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Bible verses about Jesus Christ's Miracles
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Christ's object in performing miracles was not merely to astonish those who witnessed them. When asked for a startling sign from heaven, Christ refused to oblige (Luke 11:16-17). He was not a magician or an illusionist, as Herod learned, who thought he could command Jesus to perform a miracle to satisfy his curiosity. Nevertheless, some of His miracles did overwhelm onlookers (John 7:45-46; 18:6).

Because Christ was authoritative as a teacher (Matthew 7:28-29) and sinless in His character, His miracles not only formed an integral part of His teaching, but they were also proofs of His identity as the Messiah and of His purpose. Jesus' miracles, an exercise of God's creative power, were the Father's way of authenticating His divine Son's mission among humanity.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)


 

Jesus' miracles place the focus and glory on His Father. Thus, they serve to declare and prove God's existence and sovereignty. Christ never worked a miracle on His own behalf (perhaps the coin found in the fish's mouth is an exception to this rule; see Matthew 17:27). It appears that He did not do any miracles until He was thirty years old, and none that He did after that promoted His own ease and comfort. He performed no miracles for His own relief when suffering intense anguish in Gethsemane, when being beaten by Roman soldiers, or when hanging on the stake, since doing so would not have promoted the glory of God. Legions of angels waited to obey His command, but He never requested their help (Matthew 26:53). Though He provided ample food for hungry followers, He would not transform stones into bread to satisfy His own great hunger (Matthew 4:1-4; Mark 6:35, 41).

Christ never paraded His supernatural power. On occasion, He even commanded those He healed not to broadcast the news of their healing (Mark 1:43-44; 5:43; 9:9). He never performed a miracle to create a sensation or to win adherents. He rejected such use as a temptation, always refusing to perform a miracle to satisfy the demands of unbelief (Matthew 4:6-7; 16:4). When a miracle was necessary, He performed it: It took a miracle to raise Lazarus from the dead but not to roll the stone away from his tomb, since the disciples could do this.

The gospels reveal a purposeful and careful use of divine power. We can see that Jesus' miracles display His humility, mercy, and lovingkindness, and simultaneously, declare the sovereignty and glory of His Father.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)


 

In the world today, physical healing is looked upon with at least some skepticism, if not outright doubt. Much of this skepticism results from the many charlatans who play on the misery of the infirm, often performing their spectacles on stage and on television for the entertainment of thousands. What a contrast to Jesus' humble, circumspect miracles of healing! His miracles reflect His character, naturally expressing His love and sympathy for suffering mankind.

It is obvious that dramatic miracles of healing are not occurring today with the frequency and power that they did when the church was new, when there were immediate, complete, and permanent healings. There is no historical record over the intervening two millennia that such healings were a consistent feature in the church, and in fact, except for the healing of Eutychus in Acts 20:9-12 and Publius in Acts 28:8, very few miraculous healings are mentioned after the first several years of the church.

The Bible contains a few other aspects of miracles of divine healing. For instance, the prophet, apostle, or evangelist would take no payment for healing. Most importantly, he would always use his gift to glorify God and not himself. He directed all credit and thanks for healing to God.

Christ's healing acts were never tentative, nor was He ever unsure of His abilities. The Gospels contain no record of failure or relapse in anyone He healed. The excellence and permanence of Christ's miracles of healing prove Him to be God in the flesh. One group of His miracles shows His control over nature; another group, His power over physical and mental diseases; and yet another group, His ability to command the spirit world. His miracles were accompanied with prayer and with the giving of thanks (John 6:11; 11:41). Jesus did not depend on His own power, but that of His almighty Father in heaven (John 5:19, 30; 14:10).

Clearly, Christ did not heal every person who was sick. While He did not refuse to heal anyone who sought His aid, many were not healed. In John 5:3-9, He passed by a great multitude and selected only one for healing. Through sometimes painful experience, we know that healing is not always the divine will. Some He heals, while others are ordained to suffer. While we pray for the sick and desire their restoration to health, we must be subject to God's holy will and purpose. Whatever God decides is best for a sick person is, in the end, the result of the excellence of His wisdom. He promises that the suffering that even members of His church must experience cannot compare with the glory we will receive (Romans 8:18).

During His ministry, Jesus was not limited just to physical or to spiritual healing. Sometimes He laid His hands on the sick, while at other times, He healed without any contact. Some reached out to touch Him or His clothes and were healed. Once, He used His spittle to heal. In short, He followed no set method or ritual. Because of His close relationship with the Father, His word and will were sufficient. In several places, miracles are represented as having been performed, not so much by Christ, as by the Father (Matthew 9:8; 15:31; Luke 7:16; 17:15; 18:43).

Jesus revealed that His actions were guided by a desire and zeal to glorify God. In so doing, He was likewise glorified as the Son of God. Relief of the afflicted was secondary (John 11:4). Jesus' miracles had two essential purposes. First, they revealed the sovereignty, power, and glory of God and of His Son. Second, they revealed mankind's desperate need. His healings expose the devastation caused by sin, as well as God's power and will to repair such sin-wrought desolation and wretchedness.

While Jesus placed limited value on the faith produced by witnessing His miracles (John 4:48), nevertheless, human faith played a role in His effectiveness. Strong faith was rewarded with healing (Matthew 8:5-13; Mark 5:25-34; 7:24-30; 10:46-52), while, in contrast, unbelief caused Christ to refrain from manifesting His miraculous power (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:5-6).

Christ possessed a deep sympathy for those afflicted with bodily and mental diseases: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17). The Gospels say many times that He was "moved with compassion" (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 18:27, 33; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 5:19; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 7:13). His healings contained no ulterior motive; His merciful works arose from His loving, giving character, which harmonized with His life and teachings. Despite this, His healings did not always lead to repentance; miracles do not guarantee conviction of sin.

We do not know exactly how many miracles Jesus performed. Most of them are referred to collectively, and they far exceed the number of healings recorded in detail. Whatever the number, He brought relief and mercy to many during His ministry. His far greater work, however, is the spiritual mercy and redemption He brought with His great sacrifice and His present work of salvation as our High Priest.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part Two)


 

Matthew 8:5-13

Only Matthew and Luke record the miracle of the healing of a centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10). Both accounts indicate that the afflicted servant who needed Jesus Christ's help was young. Luke uses the Greek word doulos, meaning bond slave, someone born into slavery (Luke 7:2). Matthew, however, uses pias, meaning a child or young person (Matthew 8:6). The context indicates that this servant was not a little boy but a young man still in his teens.

The servant's master was a centurion, a Roman soldier in charge of one hundred soldiers of the Roman garrison in Capernaum. Several centurions recognized Christ's special purpose and honored Him (Mark 15:39; Acts 10:1; 22:25-26; 27:1, 43; 28:16). This miracle reveals that faith is sometimes found where we least expect it.

Although Matthew and Luke generally agree in their accounts of this incident, some differences occur. Matthew, a Jew, seems to have Israel in mind as he records Christ's somber warning to the nation not to neglect personal responsibility and to put their faith and hope in God instead of civil and religious institutions of man. They were in serious need of humility (Romans 12:16).

On the other hand, Luke, a Greek, had fellow Gentiles in mind, so excluding the warning to Israel, he instead encourages the proud Gentiles to ask for the help they needed for their problems. He does this by showing that a centurion was able to persuade the Jewish elders to help in pleading to Jesus for his servant. Humility is necessary for happiness in life (Psalm 69:32).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part One)


 

Matthew 8:5-13

Capernaum is the scene of the healing of the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10), as it is for one-third of the 33 recorded miracles that Christ performed. This one, performed shortly after the Sermon on the Mount, is one of only two miracles that He did in the presence of and for Gentiles.

Because of the centurion's faith, humility, and love, the Jews who were acquainted with him are supportive of his efforts to plead with Christ for his dying servant's healing. The centurion's action helps to break down the barrier between Jew and Gentile there—for a short time at least.

As soon as Christ hears of the servant's serious condition and discerns the centurion's humility, He promises to come and heal him. Upon observing the centurion's faith, Jesus says, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." The healing was not slow; it did not take months or weeks or days—not even hours. Matthew writes, "His servant was healed that same hour" (Matthew 8:13). As soon as Christ accepts the centurion's humility and faith, He gives the command, and the servant is completely healed. This miracle shows that humility and faith go hand in hand and are closely connected with healing.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Two)


 

Matthew 8:5-13

Like the miracle of the healing of the nobleman's son (John 4:46-54), the healing of the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10) reveals Christ as able to heal from a distance merely by the power of His word. Because of his experience as a commander, the centurion knew that it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his home to visit the sick servant and pray while standing over the afflicted. Then, as now, distance is not a factor in Christ's ability to heal; His word is sufficient whether near or far.

True faith requires no visible sign. The centurion's faith was in the spiritual capability of Christ; he had confidence in the effectiveness of Christ's word to heal the sick and dying. As a man of authority, he believed and understood that diseases had to obey Jesus' command just as his men had to obey him as their superior officer. He knew that authority transcended distance. An officer need not be personally present to command his soldiers to carry out his orders. It was sufficient for Christ to exercise His will through His word, and it is done. Nevertheless, the quick healing of a sick person from a distance is a rare occurrence in the healing miracles of the Bible (see Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)


 

Matthew 8:8

The centurion's faith is commendable because he had received the Word of God. In asking Christ to heal his servant by His word, he shows that he trusted God's Word. He believes that all that is necessary is for God's Word to be spoken for healing to occur in even the most desperate case. The centurion's faith is great because it did not require the bodily presence of Christ to heal, surpassing even that of the nobleman whose son was healed (John 4:49). His faith is also shown to be greater than that of Mary and Martha, who also thought Christ had to be present to heal their brother Lazarus (John 11:21, 32).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)


 

Matthew 8:8

Christ compliments the centurion's faith because it is faith in His Word. When the centurion says he is unworthy of Christ's presence, he tells Him that he believed that all that He had to do was speak and the miracle would happen. To explain his understanding of the principle, the centurion says, "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, 'Go,' and he goes" (Matthew 8:9). He recognizes the power of the spoken word because he is familiar with authority, yet he also believes that Christ's word has power and authority even over disease. In asking Jesus to heal simply by speaking, the centurion shows that he accepted the authority of Christ's word. No one can have real faith if they reject the Word of God.

It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Many people doubt whether God's Word is sufficient. If they have a problem, they run instead to hear what the world's doctors and psychiatrists have to say. Today, many professing Christian churches do not show very much confidence in God's Word either. The centurion's "only speak a word" is not an applicable command for most churches. These days, churches use a lot of entertainment to draw people into their membership, believing that it is essential to their success. Yet, "only speak a word" is the true essence of spiritual success. Without the Word of God, the church will not maintain a solid foundation of truth and grow.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)


 

Matthew 8:15

An important aspect of the miracle is manifested as Jesus lifted the woman by the hand, and the fever left her. The laying on of His hands (see Hebrews 6:2) was something He did often. He even touched lepers, though the Gospels never mention Him laying hands on a demon-possessed person. Through His hands flowed the power of the Holy Spirit, producing immediate restoration to health.

Another feature of this miracle is the way He infused full strength into the woman, enabling her to serve her guests. Her recovery did not include a period of weakness and exhaustion, which usually follows a high fever, but she at once became energetic and full of health. The restoration of her health must have encouraged great gratitude, which manifested itself in service to Jesus and the others there.

This sets a pattern for all who are healed, both physically or spiritually: They should use their new strength to serve God and His people with thankfulness (I Thessalonians 5:18). Peter exhorts, "If anyone ministers [serves], let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (I Peter 4:11).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Peter's Mother-in-Law


 

Matthew 9:8

The people were stunned, moved to glorify God, filled with fear, and confounded. It is no surprise that the witnesses to the miracle were amazed at the astounding healing. Each of the three gospel writers uses a different Greek word to express a variation of a state of awe. Nevertheless, considering the great impact this miracle had on observers, most of them were not moved to have faith in God. Though filled with awe at His mighty works, they were not convinced or converted. Faith is not produced through sight (II Corinthians 5:7). Miracles and physical proof do not instill faith. God must call a person, opening his mind to His truth (John 6:44). Today, people tend to think that sensationalism will convert sinners, designing their religious presentations to impress people and increase followers by physical rather than spiritual quality.

In addition, the people were moved to glorify God in their limited way (Matthew 9:8). Yet, their reaction to the healing did not cause a change of heart in them.

Luke writes that they were all "filled with fear" (Luke 5:26). It can be terrifying to be near the power of Almighty God. Paul states, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Realizing his own sinfulness in the presence of the perfection and might of God, Peter knelt in fear at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Again, however, most of the witnesses to the paralytic's healing refused to overcome their sins and change their lives.

James notes that even the demons believe and tremble before God (James 2:19), yet they, of course, have never been converted. This principle should enlighten us about the professed religion of others. Being filled with awe, glorifying God, or experiencing fear are not enough in themselves; they are merely beginnings of understanding and wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).

Some witnesses to this miracle said, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:12). Others exclaimed, "We have seen strange things today!" (Luke 5:26). They were confounded. The miracle they witnessed was one of a kind, different from anything they had ever seen before. No other "gods" compare with our God the Father and Jesus Christ!

In Luke's account, the word "strange" is the Greek word from which the English word "paradox" derives. It suggests true things that are contrary to all common sense and ordinary experience. The things of God are beyond the understanding of mere human beings. In this miracle, we see the incomprehensible sovereignty and glory of God in His comfort and healing of the sick through His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part Two)


 

Matthew 9:21

The woman's genuine faith in touching Jesus' clothing is from a human standpoint, for, in reality, the power to heal is in Christ Himself (Mark 5:30-34). In touching Him, she is not thinking of His merciful and compassionate will, but of a physical healing power passing from His body to His clothing and then to the hand that touched it. She has a material conception of His healing power, a confidence that something magical flows through His clothes.

However, as physical and imperfect as the woman's faith is, Jesus does not scorn her and her limited belief. He uses His supernatural knowledge to identify with her, even though in the Jews' eyes this meant that He had contracted ritual uncleanness. Using what faith she has to glorify His Father, He heals her by an act of His divine will, bringing her to a higher, spiritual faith. Though imperfect, her faith is essentially genuine and accepted by God because, as soon as she touches the hem of Jesus' clothes, her flow of blood dries up, and she feels her diseased body heal.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Woman With a Flow of Blood


 

Matthew 11:2-3

Because the prophet Isaiah foretold the Messiah's exercise of miraculous power (Isaiah 35:4-6; 42:7), John the Baptizer asked for such a sign of Christ. Jesus replied: "The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (verse 5). His miracles provided proof of who He was.

Christ came into the world, not only as God's personal representative on earth, but as God manifest in flesh. He was Himself a miracle in human form, and His miraculous works are bound up inseparably with His life. When we accept the miracles of His prophesied birth, sinless life, and glorious resurrection, then any other miracle is possible. Born holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26), He was conscious of His God-given responsibility to bless and relieve mankind in miraculous ways.

In describing Jesus' healing miracles, Luke, a doctor, emphasized the power of God by saying, "The power of the Lord was present to heal them" (Luke 5:17), and "the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all" (Luke 6:19). Similarly in Acts, Peter describes "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

One could say Christ's miracles were parables in deeds, just as His parables were miracles in words. God designed His miracles to symbolize His power to meet spiritual needs, as well as physical and material ones. Jesus' recorded miracles are real-life experiences of what it means to be under the wonderful rule of the powerful but merciful King of God's Kingdom.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)


 

Matthew 12:10

The man Christ healed is described as having a "withered hand." With professional accuracy, Luke alone tells us that it was his right hand, as ancient medical writers always noted whether the right or the left was affected. Since most people are right-handed, his right hand was especially important to him since he likely needed it to work. In addition, only the man's hand was withered or shriveled, not his whole arm, apparently the result of paralysis due to some accident or disease rather than a congenital deformity.

He was in the right place—where he should have been—on the Sabbath day. If he had stayed home that day, would he have had this wonderful opportunity to be healed? The same principle holds true regarding our own Sabbath attendance with others of God's church, when possible. If we fail to attend the commanded "holy convocation" on the Sabbath, we may miss out on the spiritual healing God provides through the inspired messages from His Word, as well as the encouragement of the brethren to press on in faith and obedience to God. As the author of Hebrews writes:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Withered Hand (Part One)


 

Matthew 14:13-21

Just prior to this miracle (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14), the people anticipated where Jesus was headed. By walking along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, the crowds joined Him, and He, feeling compassion, healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples sought to send the crowds away because supplies in that remote place were inadequate to feed so many. Despite having only five loaves of bread and two fish at hand, Jesus desired to give them something to eat, and with just these, He performed an astounding miracle. The bread and fish continually multiplied so that everyone was satisfied—so much that twelve basketfuls of broken pieces were left over.

This took place at Bethsaida just before the Passover (John 6:4). Jesus primarily intended this miracle to teach the disciples, although a witness of the Son of God's power had also been impressed upon the multitude. In it, Jesus illustrated the kind of ministry His disciples would conduct after His departure: feeding people with spiritual food, and their source would be Christ Himself. They would have to replenish their supply of spiritual food continually by maintaining a close relationship with Him, but they would be responsible for feeding their congregations.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)


 

Matthew 17:14-21

Jesus walked with His disciples from Bethsaida to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi. Six to eight days later, Jesus went up into a high mountain to pray, taking Peter, James, and John with Him and leaving His other nine disciples behind. There He was transfigured before the three. Meanwhile in the valley, the remaining nine disciples failed to cast out a demon from a young boy. Descending the day following His transfiguration, Christ healed the demoniac boy.

The failure of the nine disciples had given the scribes fuel for criticism of both the disciples and Christ. When Christ arrived on the scene, the scribes were being critically disruptive about the failure. The scribes were not known for their questioning as much as for their refuting and disputing. "Questioning" (KJV) or "disputing" (NKJV) in Mark 9:14 is translated from a Greek word that implies confuting, that is, attempting to disprove or deny.

The success of Christ, however, countered the failure of the disciples, shutting the mouths of the critical scribes. His coming upon this scene of dispute, chaos, and darkness must have been an incredible contrast to the honor, power, and glory that He had just experienced on the mountain in the Transfiguration. The sights and sounds that met Him on His return to the sinful world must have disturbed Him.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part One)


 

Matthew 17:18

The gospels record the boy's horrible symptoms: severe convulsions, foaming at the mouth, grinding of the teeth, and general rigidity of body. Due to sudden attacks, he often fell into the fire and into the water. Another overwhelming symptom was deafness and dumbness. He could utter only inarticulate sounds, though he possessed all the necessary organs for speech. All of his problems came as the result of his miserable, possessed condition, and they left him so emaciated that all life seemed to be draining from him.

Yet, nothing is too hard for Jesus Christ to conquer, no matter how powerful a demon seems to be. After rebuking the faithless and perverse generation, including the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus rebukes the demon, and it departs from him (Matthew 17:18; Mark 9:20, 25-27; Luke 9:42; see Zechariah 3:2). The demon dares not disobey Jesus' order not to re-enter because it recognizes His authority over it.

From then on, the boy is free of the demon. Jesus takes the boy's hand and delivers him to his father, bringing calmness, peace, and order in place of the disruption that preceded the exorcism. His spiritual power to heal had overcome the demonic force that caused the boy to suffer.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part One)


 

Matthew 17:20-21

The disciples' question, "Why could we not cast it out?" suggests that they could not see any reason for their failure. Jesus replies emphatically, "Because of your unbelief. . . . [T]his kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:20-21). Here He emphasizes the necessity and power of faith, as well as the need of intercession and self-denial. Their great lack of faith was not a lack of intellectual acceptance of all Christ stood for, but the lack of living faith in His divine omnipotence. He taught with excellence and performed many miracles, yet His teaching and miracle-working made little progress in the people's faith. Unbelief still dominated them (Romans 3:3-4).

However, Christ continued in patience to teach the people and to work mighty miracles for them. Thankfully, our Savior is patient in dealing with our sluggishness and dullness in learning God's truth and faithfully living His way of life.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part One)


 

Matthew 17:24-27

The miracle of the coin found in the fish's mouth (Matthew 17:24-27) may be among the least dramatic of Christ's miracles, but it is certainly instructive. The context involves the paying of the Temple tax, and not surprisingly, only Matthew, the former tax collector for Rome, reports it. Although he did not collect this particular tax, it still interested him. His account of Christ's life tends to highlight the King and His Kingdom. Why, then, should the King be subject to a tax? Is He not the Son of God, the Heir of all His Father's house?

Coming to Capernaum, the tax collector asks Simon Peter, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" and Peter replies in the affirmative (verses 24-25). This tax was not a Roman civil tax but a religious one supporting the Temple in Jerusalem. God inaugurated this tax in the wilderness, instructing Moses to take a half shekel from every male twenty years and older (Exodus 30:11-16). It provided for the work of the Tabernacle and later of the Temple, including during the time of Christ. This tax was not an evil one per se, helping to cover legitimate costs of the worship of God, but as with almost all taxation, the money was often misused.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Coin in the Fish's Mouth


 

Matthew 20:29-34

While Bartimaeus sits by the roadside wondering, “Why all the commotion?” he is told that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. In addressing Him as “O Lord, Son of David,” his crying out to Him for mercy acknowledges Christ's deity and humanity, as well as signifying his acceptance of His Messiahship as the future King of Israel. “Son of David” was a well-known designation of the expected Prophet (Ezekiel 34:23-24; Matthew 9:27; Luke 1:32), the Promised One at whose coming the eyes of the blind would be opened (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5).

The fact that their eyes can now see alludes not only to receiving physical sight, but also—more importantly—to their eyes being opened spiritually, verified by the words “and they followed Him” (Matthew 20:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 18:43). The world ridicules Christians for calling out to God in faith, but this is exactly what the Son of God wants us to do. Many who are spiritually blind to God's truth have a bitter attitude, disliking those whose eyes are opened to Christ, the only path to salvation.

Since Bartimaeus was blind, he likely felt a certain tension while straining to ascertain Jesus' reaction to his shout. No doubt, he felt great relief when He responded with compassion. Most people do not realize how far they are from God and the wonderful gifts He offers to those who respond to His call. However, because they will not cast off their self-righteousness, they remain alienated from Him, at enmity with Christ (Romans 10:3). When God calls, we must lay aside every weight and enticing sin (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus


 

Matthew 20:32

Jesus asked similar intriguing questions in Matthew 9:28 and John 5:6: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Do you want to be made well?” As the omniscient One, He knew what they needed. However, He often questioned those desiring healing, prompting them to express their need and faith in words so that, in a fuller exercise of faith, they would be prepared to receive the desired blessing. His question, then, is intended to produce a dynamic exercise of faith in the men and to be a sign that He was willing to aid them.

When Bartimaeus answers Jesus, he addresses Him respectfully. In the King James Version, all three accounts indicate that he uses “Lord.” But in Mark, the word rendered “Lord” is different than those in Matthew and Luke: rabboni, correctly translated in the New King James Version, meaning “My great master.” Akin to “rabbi,” it is a higher and more respectful term. It is found only in Mark 10:51 and John 20:16, where Mary Magdalene uses it of Christ after His resurrection. We must honor the One from whom we seek aid.

Their earnest request is illuminating: “Lord, that our eyes may be opened” (Matthew 20:33). Unless we confess our need, showing our desire to have the need filled by Christ, He will take no action. The same is true in the matter of salvation: We must confess that we are a sinner if we expect to be forgiven and saved. The apostle John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). No confession to God means no forgiveness and no salvation.

God's blessings, like this healing, are intended to improve our devotion to Him, but people often pervert their blessings to other uses. Many become distracted by them, leading to backsliding. We should instead follow the example of our Savior, who came, not to be served, but to serve.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus


 

Mark 1:25-28

Jesus commands the demon to leave, giving it a short, direct order backed by God's authority. He does not rebuke the man, because the unclean spirit had possessed him, yet each of us must resist the influence of demons (I Peter 5:8-9). Jesus tells the demon, "Hold your peace," which actually means "be gagged or muzzled," a phrase He also uses to calm the storm in Mark 4:39. The unclean spirit does not speak again, but obeys in rage and anguish.

By his own power or authority, no man can cast out demons. Even the archangel Michael, not daring to revile Satan, called on the power and authority of God to rebuke him (Jude 9), setting a right example for us. Similarly, in rebuking the "spirit of divination" at Philippi, Paul says, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her" (Acts 16:18).

Because of Christ's authority in performing this miracle, the people in the synagogue are "amazed," a word meaning "to stupefy" and "to dumbfound or flabbergast." They express their astonishment in questions: "What is this? What new doctrine is this?" (Mark 1:27), as well as by immediately rushing away to tell everyone they can. The word translated "amazed" also can mean "to terrify" and "to be frightened." The people are not only astounded but also fearful of God's power through Jesus.

The focus of the testimony is on how Jesus exorcises the demon: simply by His command, which shows the power of God's Word. Contemporary Jewish doctrine for casting out demons was much different, as exorcists among them sometimes appeared to cast out demons by prayers or chants. Christ, however, does not cajole or request demons to leave, but authoritatively commands them to come out. The world has its weak and useless methods to appease evil and entice it to surrender, but Christ commands its defeat.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcism in the Synagogue


 

Mark 1:40-42

Notice the man's faith: "If You will, You can do it." God had revealed to him Christ's power to do this. He was confident that Christ had the power to do what he asked Him to do. The only question that remained was, "Is he willing to do it?" which is why he worded his request as he did. "If You will, I have the confidence that You can do it." Christ found this appeal within His will and the will of God. Jesus reached out and touched him.

There was a great deal in that act. The very act of reaching out and touching the man indicated that his request would be fulfilled because the law that He gave to the Israelites in the Old Testament forbade a person from touching a leper (Leviticus 5:3). In a sense, His act violated the very law that He gave to Israel, but His mind was made up He to do it to perform an act of mercy and deliverance. That quickly, He reacted to the man's appeal. At this juncture, the important fact is that the man clearly believed that Jesus Christ had the power to heal him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer


 

Mark 1:41

Christ moved with compassion on behalf of a person who, from the world's viewpoint, was repulsive and undesirable, totally unappealing in any situation. Jesus did not cleanse him because he was nice-looking or wealthy. Similarly, God does not choose to call us into His church due to our good works, beauty, or money; in us is nothing spiritually appealing. Spiritually, we are like the leper was physically—repulsive and undesirable in terms of holiness. We can thank God that His grace "brings salvation" (Titus 2:11) and "by grace we are saved" (Ephesians 2:8). God does not call us to salvation because of what we are but because of what He is. According to His mercy, God decides on whom to have compassion (Psalm 86:15; Romans 9:15-16).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part Three)


 

Mark 5:43

His attention to such detail reveals His characteristic kindness and sympathy. That He orders nourishment suggests that her body was still weak and needed to be strengthened, showing that she was resurrected to physical existence. Those who saw her did not see a spirit but a human. Her body, still dependent on natural laws, needed to be nourished.

Christ finishes by requesting that the parents "tell no one what had happened" (Mark 5:43; Luke 8:56), partly to save the little girl from rude gawkers, but most probably so that fame would not hinder her future spiritual life. The world scorns the reality of resurrection because sin separates them from God, but the day is not far off when the "dead in Christ" will respond to His simple but powerful command, "Arise!" (John 5:28-29; I Thessalonians 4:16).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Resurrecting Jairus' Daughter


 

Mark 8:22-26

Jesus Christ healed many blind people during His earthly ministry, and four of them are recorded in detail in the gospels. Mark alone records Jesus' miracle of healing the blind man from Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), which happened not far from the scene of the feeding of the 5,000.

The blind man had been brought to Christ for healing by some friends or family. Before dealing with the man's blindness, Jesus separates the afflicted man from the crowd, taking him out of town away from the inhabitants. As in another healing, He uses His spittle on the man's eyes, and afterward, He commands the man not to tell others what had transpired.

This miracle illustrates important spiritual truths. Although the man may still have been able to sense light, he remained functionally blind. His blindness is a physical portrayal of spiritual or moral blindness, indicating one who is incapable of discerning the spiritual and moral truths that are plain to those whom God has called.

His healing is unique in that it occurs in stages rather than instantaneously. Granted, the man born blind had to go to the pool of Siloam and wash his eyes (John 9), but once he did, the healing was immediate (John 9:7). Some sicknesses cannot be healed by degrees, requiring a decisive blow to end them. The exorcising of a demon, for example, must be accomplished entirely or else it is not expelled at all (Mark 1:21-28; 5:1-20; 7:24-30; 9:14-29). A leper is still a leper if the blemish remains (Mark 1:40-45; Luke 17:11-19). However, blindness can be healed in stages: first a glimmer of light, then more clarity, and finally perfect vision.

This healing by stages pictures the maturation process of a believer's spiritual understanding, the conversion process each Christian experiences. Christ asks the blind man "if he saw anything" (Mark 8:23), and he looks up, indicating a natural first inclination toward the source of light to discern images. The man's reply, "I see men like trees, walking" (verse 24), reveals that he had not been born blind. However, he could not precisely discern the shape and magnitude of the objects he recognized.

Christ's method of healing here shows that our spiritual enlightenment is a continuous process. At first, we cannot see God's truth clearly. Most of our spiritual blindness remains, but as our faith, obedience, and growth develops, Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), increases the clarity of our spiritual vision through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing the Blind Man from Bethsaida


 

Luke 5:1-11

In the account of Jesus' miracle of the great catch of fish (Luke 5:1-11), Luke calls the Sea of Galilee the "Lake of Gennesaret," a more ancient name that derives from the name of a small plain on its western shore. On this occasion, while standing in the boat in which Simon Peter had spent the whole—and very unsuccessful—night fishing, Jesus teaches those who wanted to hear the Word of God. Afterward, He tells Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." The man's reply is typical of an experienced fisherman: "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing." Shortly afterward, however, he changes his tune.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Great Catch of Fish


 

Luke 5:10-11

Jesus takes the opportunity of this miracle to call His disciples into a Teacher - student relationship with Him. He figuratively catches Peter in His net before commanding him to "catch men" for the Kingdom of God. Immediately, Peter, Andrew, James, and John leave their boats and nets behind and follow Him. They now understand that Jesus is more than capable of supplying their every need.

We are to apply this lesson in our own lives. When Christ speaks, it is always about obedience to God's way of life. In this case, His teaching affected the disciples' livelihoods. Worship and work form major parts of our lives, too, and in both we must consistently maintain righteousness.

Had Peter failed to obey Christ's command, he would have failed to experience both the miracle and the resulting blessing. No one serves God without being compensated for his service. When we serve, sacrifice, testify, or stand for Him, He will suitably reward our efforts. When God asks us to invest our time, effort, talent, or anything else, we must not resent the opportunity. No one pays dividends on an investment as abundantly as God does - "good measure, pressed down, and running over will be put into your bosom" (Luke 6:38).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Great Catch of Fish


 

Luke 7:10

Those who were sent to the house where the sick servant had been found him completely healed. The evidence of the servant's healing was abundant, excellent, and very visible; they did not need to look through a microscope to prove that he was healed. He had been paralyzed, in great pain, and near death, but now he was completely well. They needed no other proof to convince them that a genuine miracle had occurred.

Jesus provided many infallible proofs during his ministry that confirm his supernatural ability and divine purpose (Acts 1:3). The world makes every effort to discredit God the Father and Jesus Christ and their miraculous works, when the proof of their sovereignty and power are seen in everyday things. "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20-21, ESV). Do we see God at work in our lives?

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)


 

Luke 7:12-17

The most profound of all the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry are those in which He resurrected someone. The New Testament records three of these resurrection miracles, including the raising of a widow's son, of Jairus' daughter, and of Lazarus. Luke the physician is the only one to record the raising of a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17). It is interesting that each of the three resurrection miracles reports the dead person in a different stage of death from the other instances. When Christ raises Jairus' daughter to life, she is still in the bed where she had died only a few hours earlier. The widow's son lies in an open coffin on his way to his grave when Jesus performs the miracle. Finally, Lazarus is already in the grave and has been dead for four days by the time Christ arrives and raises him from the dead (John 11:39).

The varying length of times they had been dead and yet were still resurrected shows that Christ can raise the dead no matter what. His miraculous power to resurrect is not dependent upon whether a person has just died, has been dead for days, or is already decomposing. The same principle holds true regarding spiritual salvation: God and Christ can save any sinner no matter how old he is, how long he has been a sinner, or how badly he has sinned.

In the account of the resurrection miracle in Luke 7, the young man who has died is the only son of his widowed mother (verse 12). His death is twice as traumatic for the woman because she is now sonless as well as spouseless.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son


 

Luke 17:14

Christ responds favorably to their plea in the form of a command: “Go, show yourselves to the priests” (Leviticus 13-14). Notice what follows: “As they went, they were cleansed.” The healing blessing came when the lepers obeyed Jesus' command. Blessings are contingent upon obedience. We miss many blessings because there is too little “as they went” in our lives. If we do what we can in obedience, God will do for us what we cannot.

Two great blessings came to the lepers through obedience. The first is that they were cleansed of the leprosy. The healing of leprosy is usually spoken of as being “cleansed” (“healed” is also used in verse 15). Lepers were unclean, so they had to be cleansed. Disobedience corrupts, but the commands and works of God purify.

The second blessing is that, by seeing the priests as He commanded, the lepers had their social restrictions cancelled. They were free to go wherever they wanted, reunite with family and friends, work normal jobs, and freely associate with whomever they wished. Far from restricting us, following God's instruction grants us freedom. The world taunts believers at times by telling them that the Bible's commandments only restrict them from having a good time, but that is not true. It is sin that restricts, binds, and enslaves.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Ten Lepers Healed


 

John 2:1-11

The first miracle Jesus Christ performs during His ministry is changing water into wine at a marriage feast in Cana (John 2:1-11). When we compare what Christ and Moses each did with water, Jesus' miracle shows the contrast between law and grace. Moses changes water to blood, and Christ changes it into wine. Earlier, in John 1:17, the apostle John writes, "For the law was given through Moses, [and] grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Moses' turning of water into blood suggests judgment (Exodus 7:14-17), while Jesus' turning of water into wine implies generosity and joy. In John 3:17, John comments, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world [what the law does to sinners], but that the world through Him might be saved [what grace does for those who repent]."

This miracle demonstrates at the earliest possible time that Christ's ministry would be one of grace and truth, as an extension and complement of the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus had come to fulfill God's law, that is, to teach it and live it as an example of how to apply it to everyday life (Luke 24:44-45).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part One)


 

John 4:46-50

The nobleman must have had a bud of faith, for his urgent need moved him to seek Christ. At least a glimmer of faith was necessary to believe that, if he could only convince Jesus the Healer to go to his dying child, his son would be healed. This first example of Jesus' healing miracles is important, as it emphasizes the link between miracles and faith. Those who desire to be healed or to have a loved one healed must exhibit faith.

Jesus miracles of healing are instructive in that they give us kinds and actions of faith. By refusing to go with the nobleman, Jesus emphasizes and illustrates the potency of strong faith. Another time, Jesus teaches that a miracle is not the cause of faith as much as its reward (Matthew 9:22). Belief in Christ as Healer leads people to faith in Him as Savior.

We all desire divine intervention when we are in dire need; "there are no atheists in a foxhole," it is said. Though the nobleman's human faith was limited and weak, it was still real. Jesus helped him to develop it, leading to deeper belief. However, no matter how strong our faith is, if it is in a wrong object, it will do nothing to relieve suffering, but if our faith is properly directed, despite being weak, it will bring deliverance and comfort. Note, however, that faith itself does not relieve affliction, but the power of the One in whom we believe does.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Nobleman's Son


 

John 4:53

Following Jesus' assurance that his son would live, the nobleman never doubted again. The text gives no indication of an emotional reaction or that he pressed Jesus for instructions; he simply started his return trip to Capernaum. He accepted Jesus' word that his son was healed, and apparently, this knowledge comforted him to the point that he felt little need to rush home. The bud of faith that led him to Christ came to full blossom as he left Jesus.

When the nobleman is met by his servants with the wonderful news that his son had been healed at the exact time Jesus had said he was, the miracle is seen to have had a double effect - the sick boy was healed of his deadly fever, and the father was convicted of his belief in Jesus. In order to have faith, we must believe that Jesus' words are true. Too often, we possess a vague faith, a blurred longing for His promises to be true. In reality, we must cling to what Jesus says like a man gripping a cliff face over a deep chasm.

The conviction of the father and the startling result of Jesus' miracle helped to begin the process of conversion of the nobleman's entire household. Convinced that Jesus was the Christ by personally witnessing this healing, they had the opportunity to grow in their belief to full faith if they continued to seek and believe Him (Colossians 1:21-23).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Nobleman's Son


 

John 5:15

The healed man tells the critics that Jesus had made him whole, or healed him, dismissing their question about who had told him to carry the bed. The Jewish critics had emphasized his carrying the bed, but the healed man (after Christ's revelation of Himself to him) put the emphasis on the Healer, suggesting which was more important. The spiritual priority was the healing, the work of Christ.

When people criticize God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the church, it is often because they have trouble recognizing what is truly important. Ignoring God's grace and mercy, they instead focus on a supposed violation of law, usually one they have perverted or made up, as the Pharisees did. They attack the Word of God, ignoring its important messages, and focus on picky, alleged discrepancies or fine points of the letter of the law. We must have the right priorities clearly in our minds if we are to serve and revere the sovereign God acceptably and diligently.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Three)


 

John 5:16

Once the Jewish critics learn that Jesus had ordered the man to carry his bed, their criticism and attack are aimed at Him. Their ruthless reaction is to seek to murder Him, the height of hypocrisy. While they attack Christ for healing on the Sabbath, they see nothing wrong with seeking to murder the One who healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years! They consistently show no judgment or mercy (Matthew 23:23).

Hundreds of years earlier, the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah had seen hypocrisy in Israel, declaring it to be a problem of the heart (Jeremiah 42:20; Matthew 15:7-9). Human nature is full of hypocrisy, as can be seen in current laws that protect homosexuals and abortionists from criticism, even though they pervert and debase society and murder the unborn. At the same time, Christians are attacked and criticized for trying to raise their children to live moral and ethical lives for the benefit of all!

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Three)


 

John 6:28-29

The purpose of the manifestation of the works of God in Christ—the miracles, the feeding of 5,000, of 4,000, the healing of people, restoring sight, giving people hearing—were all done by God to produce faith so that we would believe. If God did these things for all of those people, would He not do the same for us? God is shaping and molding events in our lives so that our faith is continually strengthened. God wants us to trust Him and His Word and to respond in faith.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 3)


 

John 9:1

Since the blind man cannot see, he cannot see Jesus. This is the plight of the lost today: Jesus is taught, but they cannot "see" Him. Even when the Bible is explained, they cannot understand it. Why? Usually, it is because they think that they do not need God. Paul writes, "The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14). For there to be spiritual sight, Jesus must first open blind eyes.

Second, because the man born blind was unable to see, he could not seek Jesus. How can the blind seek anything? In spiritual terms, this means that an uncalled person is unable to seek God and His truth. Paul declares in Romans 3:11 that "there is no one who . . . seeks God."

Third, if the blind man could not seek Jesus, he was unable to find him, nor as a beggar, could he hire someone else to seek Christ and find Him. What a condition—unable to see, seek, or find Jesus, and incapable of procuring help in finding Him. It is a sad state—and doubly sad in that it describes the spiritual condition of most (Revelation 3:17-18).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part One)


 

John 9:12-31

Knowledge plays a part in the man's healing; this theme is suggested by the fact that each of the parties claim both to know and not to know something. Since the claims and the reasons for them differ, the contrasts highlight their various types of knowledge. By their questioning, the Pharisees try to discredit the man's testimony, attempting to find a cause to brand the healing a fraud and to attack Jesus (verse 19). They imply that the parents should stop lying and come clean (verses 20-21). Yet, the parents affirm two facts: that the healed man was indeed their son and that he was born blind. They knew this, and they were not afraid to affirm it.

Conversely, they denied knowing how he came to see and who did the miracle. Why do they not acknowledge what they know of Christ's role in the healing? “They feared the Jews.” They know that the leaders would excommunicate anyone who confessed Jesus as the Messiah. The parents simply did not want to get involved. They were afraid to acknowledge what had been revealed to them.

This is an accurate picture of many today. The truths of Christianity have been proclaimed to them—perhaps by parents, friends, or the church. Intellectually, they know and even believe these truths, but they will not admit them. They are afraid to acknowledge Christ for fear of the consequences.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Three)


 

John 11:43-53

After His prayer, Jesus, in whom is life (John 1:4) and who is the Life (John 14:6), shouts to Lazarus with a strong, confident voice, and he walks from his grave alive. It is an almost incredible thing to read. Can we imagine the effect it had on those who witnessed it?

As the conclusion of the chapter shows, this miracle had diverse results. Many Jews believed in Him, but it only angered His enemies, making them more determined to rid themselves of Him. The high priest, Caiaphas, a dupe of Rome and a Sadducee, who did not believe in resurrection, suggests to the Council that they must kill Jesus rather than lose their positions. The words and works of Jesus divided light from darkness, the believing from the unbelieving. There is still division because of Him (Luke 12:51).

The word John uses thirteen times for “miracles” in his gospel and in Revelation suggests “wonders,” “foreshadows,” or “signs,” and not “mighty works.” E.W. Bullinger explains it as

a signal and ensign, a standard, a sign by which any thing is designated, distinguished or known; hence, used of the miracles of Christ, as being the signs by which it might be known that He was the Christ of God, a sign authenticating Christ's mission; a sign with reference to what it demonstrates. (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, p. 503)

As John sees them, Jesus' miracles are symbols, proofs, messages, and object lessons of spiritual truth embodied in the wonders themselves. They are living parables of Christ's action, embodiments of the truth in works. They are not merely signs of supernatural power, but dramatic indications of the goal of His ministry and of His own all-loving character. His visible works of power and mercy foreshadow the spiritual restoration of all things. Because of these elements, a lesson, discussion, or sermon usually follows them.

John recorded only eight of Jesus' miracles, choosing typical ones to elucidate while recognizing their greater extent: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30). In the next chapter, he provides a glimpse of the fullness of His ministry: “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen” (John 21:25).

Martin G. Collins
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part Two)


 

John 14:10

Of and by Himself, Jesus had no more power than any other human being. But because the Father in heaven was actively, dynamically working in and through Him, and because Jesus yielded to Him—whenever power was needed to heal, to raise somebody from the dead, to make food multiply—God did the miracle. Not Jesus Christ—God did it. He responded to Jesus' requests because He was perfectly submissive to the Father in doing His will. If it can be put this way, this is what we need to work toward.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 26)


 

 




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