What You Didn’t Know About Jesus’ Miracles
There is more and more interest in supernatural phenomena, perhaps now more than ever due to premiere TV shows that capitalize on the vampire and superhero extravaganza. This new wave of monotony has added one more reason for devout souls to gorge their minds with emptiness. Nonetheless, if you like the supernatural, consider reading the Bible instead. And upon reading the Bible, consider the purpose of Jesus’ miracles wrought so frequently throughout the New Testament narratives.
What was the purpose of Jesus’ miracles? Popular opinion is this: the miracles of Jesus were recorded to testify to Jesus’ power and His deity. However, popular opinion stops there, stating this is the only purpose of Jesus’ miracles. Certainly, this was a hierarchal, if not, the primary role of the miracles recorded. No other gospel shows this truth more evidently than John’s gospel packed with jaw dropping miracles from cover to cover. The back cover of His gospel even states the details therein were recorded in order that his audience might believe in Jesus’ deity (John 20:30-31). With this being said, consider that there is another purpose to these miracles revealed by the Holy Spirit Himself: an intent that will cause you to rethink how your life looks in the eyes of God.
The Holy Spirit, writing through the hand of Matthew, records a robust series of miracles in Matthew 8 & 9. In Matthew 8, Jesus heals a leper (v. 3), a Centurion’s paralyzed servant (v. 5-13), Peter’s mother’s fever (14-15), many demon-possessed persons (v. 16), and, “All who were sick,” (v. 16). Every type of healing fathomable is either listed by name or included in the statement, “All who were sick.” What does this have to do with showing a secondary purpose of Jesus’ miracles? Read Matthew 9:6. Just before healing a lame man let down through the roof where He was preaching, Jesus proclaims this purpose to working the miracle of healing, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” The miracles evidence Jesus’ power to forgive sins when we realize what is happening spiritually at the time of forgiveness. Just as the psalmist cried out to God and was healed spiritually (Ps. 30:2), so the physical, miraculous illustration invoked by Jesus’ words, “Be cleansed,” (Matt. 8:3) gives our finite human minds a glimpse into the spiritual realm of activity that transpires upon Jesus washing away our sins. In sin, we are, “paralyzed and dreadfully tormented,” like the centurion’s servant in Matt. 8:6 graphically portrays. But again, after stating He had power to forgive sins on earth in Matt. 9:6, Jesus proclaimed to the lame man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Consider your spiritual state at this time, now aware of how God views the sin in your life.
For further evidence that the Holy Spirit wants the Bible reader to grasp this secondary purpose to Jesus’ miracles, answer the following questions. 1) Why does Matthew quote Isaiah 53:4 in Matt. 8:17, this just after he details all the different types of healings performed by Jesus, and that without a mention to forgiveness of sins? Isaiah was referring to Messiah taking away spiritual infirmities and sicknesses in context, but the Holy Spirit applies the passage to the miraculous display of Matthew 8. The answer- Jesus healing people of physical infirmities illustrated His power to heal them of spiritual sicknesses. 2) Does Jesus’ resurrecting of Lazarus after three days in the grave (John 11) have any illustrative purpose to what Jesus was about to accomplish in John 20? 3) Does Peter and John’s healing of the lame man in Acts 3:1-10 having any illustrative purpose for the subsequent sermon about the spiritual “restoration” of Israel (i.e. Acts 3:19, 21)? More examples could be given, but these will suffice. May this study build your faith in the divine composition of God’s Holy Word given for your nourishment (Matt. 4:4).