What Do Jesus' Miracles Do?
By Don Bunting
The words used in scripture to identify Jesus' miracles include signs, wonders and works. The word miracle refers to an act that supercedes the natural. It is outside the realm and above the laws of nature. It would be a supernatural act. People and other parts of the natural realm cannot violate the laws of nature. The word works suggests activities that are routine, normal acts that are within one's normal ability. So, miracles happen to be routine for Jesus, well within his normal ability. The word wonders highlights the reaction of witnesses to these works of Jesus. they cause us to wonder, be amazed, astounded, because we are witnessing the impossible. The word signs indicate that what is being seen is telling us something. That is what a sign does, it gives information.
So the miracles or Jesus are telling us something about Him. What do the signs say? What do we learn from Jesus' signs? Of course, all the miracles are telling us that Jesus functions outside of and beyond the realm and laws of nature and this material world. He exists beyond this material realm. Jesus is Deity, Creator and Creator. So we should be in awe of Jesus. He is to held in reverence and honor. What is impossible for us is an easy matter for Him because He possesses infinite power. So these signs are telling us that Jesus is more than a man, He is the Son of God who does the works of God. The signs of Jesus tell us more.
We learn things about the purpose and the character of Jesus from the miracles. The many miracles of healing show Him, not only to be powerful, but compassionate, caring for people. He healed Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, the great and the lowly. Healings are His largest category of miracle. Jesus cares. Jesus cast out demons. Of course this was an act of compassion for the one possessed. But they especially illustrate that Jesus is more powerful than Satan and all evil powers. With a simple word He exercised complete and absolute authority over the many and most powerful of demons.
We have no reason to fear demons and evil spirits. The gospel of John connects the spiritual truth in Jesus' teaching with specific miracles of confirmation. Jesus claimed to be the "light of the world" and proceeds to heal a blind man. Jesus feeds 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes and claims to be the "bread of life." Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and claimed to be the "resurrection and the life" that can give eternal life to everyone. The miracles of Jesus do plenty!