Johan Smulders has a . B.A, B.ED and M.A in Education, Theology and Counselling. Works as an evangelist and counsellor.
Walking With Jesus –The Miracles
As Jesus called his disciples to follow him he began his teaching ministry. Part of that ministry included an amazing series of miracles. As the gospel writers recorded these miracles it becomes apparent that they were not the reason why Jesus came. He came to proclaim the “good news” and Mark records in chapter one verse 38 that when everyone was looking for Jesus because of his ability to heal he replied “we must go on to the other villages around here. I came to preach to them also, because that is why I came”. (Good News translation of the Bible –used with permission)
At the same time his miracles were a vital part of his work. Many of the miracles were acts of compassion. In a world where many are hurting Jesus reached out and touched many lives. So when Jesus healed the man born blind a life was changed forever (John 9:1-34) Because of this healing the man was expelled from the synagogue. (vs.34) At the same time he became a follower of a new and better way of life on two levels.
At other times the miracles were as a response to the immediate needs of those who came to hear his message. A good example of that was the feeding of the crowds who came to hear the message that Jesus proclaimed. On more than one occasion Jesus multiplied a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish to feed a multitude of people who came to hear him and needed food.(Mark 8:1-10)
Jesus walked on water to get to a place where he needed to be. On another occasion he calmed the stormy sea that threatened to capsize the boat that he and his close disciples were using. He healed blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) Often the healing resulted on the person becoming a follower of Jesus as in this case.
Some things become apparent in a study of the miracles of Jesus. They were not always healing miracles. They were not done to bring in money to Jesus and his followers. They were not done to impress the crowds. Rather it was his teaching that amazed them.
Why then did Jesus have the power to perform these miracles and exercised that power? In a sense he was bridging the gap between the spiritual world and the physical world.
Luke tells us that Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost”.(Luke 19:10) He did not come to set up a physical healing program but a spiritual one. It was the spiritual part of humanity that he came to heal, not the physical.
The miracles proved who he was and also who his Father in heaven was. John in his gospel explains is clearly; “In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life”. (John 20:30, 31)
Coming into this physical world with a message from the eternal spiritual world Jesus used the power that he had not only to prove who he is, but also to prove what he can offer to those who believe. When Jesus told his disciples as recorded in John 14 that he is “the way and the truth and the life” he proved his claims on a regular basis in what he was capable of doing.
Off course the ultimate miracle was the resurrection from the dead that proved once and for all that Jesus brought hope of a better life in His Father’s kingdom. To bridge that divide between the physical and eternal spiritual worlds Jesus came with a message of hope and promise. In order to enjoy that promise a person has to be “born of the water and the Spirit” as Jesus explained to Nicodemus and is recorded in John 3:5. Peter explains it further in Acts 2:38 were Luke records Peter’s answer to the crowds on the day the church was born; “Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit.”
To accept the promises of God one needs faith. The miracles of Jesus including the miracle of His resurrection backs up the reality of Jesus and His teaching. He challenges everyone today to really believe and become his followers and then bring much needed light into this dark world!
References: Bakers Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Good News Bible – New Testament. Today’s English Version.4th Edition.