Bible facts about Miracles
Who Performs Miracles?
There are many people in our so-called Scientific Age who baulk at miracles because they think them "unscientific". As a result, the Bible is either dismissed as totally fraudulent, or attempts are made to "explain" its miraculous content on a natural basis - for example the works of healing done by Christ are compared with modern methods of psycho-therapy. The words used in the Bible to indicate the miraculous, fall into three groups thus:-
1) Hebrew: Geburah = a mighty act.
Greek: Dunamics = an act of power.
2) Hebrew: Mopheth = a wonder - Pala = to be wonderful - Pele = a wonder.
Greek: Teras = a wonder.
3) Hebrew: Oth = a sign.
Greek: Semeion = a sign (used mostly in John's Gospel).
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, all these ideas are combined in one sentence.
We can see that this verse alone answers the question posed by our title - who did the miracles? - GOD. Why? - to show that Jesus, by whom the miracles were done was "a man approved of God."
No-one can deny that the universe is a miraculous thing - i.e. is a manifestation of POWER and ENERGY. But whose power and energy? To the careful, unbiased reader of the Bible, the answer is God's power. Consider the following passages.
It is illogical in the extreme, to believe in an omnipotent God and yet to deny that He is capable of changing His own laws of "nature" to perform an act of power i.e. a miracle. The apostle Paul took the same point of view when speaking to the Roman king Agrippa.
Yet the resurrection of Christ's body is one of the things over which scepticism stumbles. It is useful to note that the miraculous events which in these days are ridiculed, were taken by Christ and vindicated the flood, (Luke 17:26) Jonah and the fish (Matthew 16:4) and Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4).
The Purpose of Miracles
Although miracles are recorded throughout the whole of Scripture, it is to be expected that Christ's ministry and the mission of his apostles, should provide the greatest concentration of miraculous power. The apostle John takes seven of Christ's miracles and calls them “signs” (Semeion) and at the end of his testimony says this:-
There is a twofold reason given here for the miracles of Christ - they demonstrated:
- His Messiahship (Messiah and Christ are respectively the Hebrew and Greek equivalents for "Anointed")
- His Divine Sonship.
Miracles are never performed as an end in themselves or to make a spectacular display. Christ's purpose was to lead men back to God whose plan with the earth everyone had forgotten and the miracles were his credentials that people may believe his WORDS.
Speaking of the work of the apostles after Christ's ascension Mark says,
This is not peculiar to the New Testament for Mark's words are a quotation from the prophet Isaiah who, speaking of God, says,
God's methods and ways do not change. His great messenger Moses was being sent by God to Israel (who were in bondage in Egypt) with a message of deliverance. He protested to God that the people would not believe that he was God's messenger,
God's reply was to perform three miracles, instruct Moses to go to the elders of Israel and God would repeat these miracles,
Miracles in the Future
In Acts 17 Paul, speaking to the philosophers of Athens, says these words,
Christ's resurrection can be proved by a careful examination of all the FACTS.
FACTS are awkward things to get rid of - they won't go away. Paul's words make us think of the future when Christ will return. That is the day all God's children, who worship Him in truth according to His Word, look forward to with joy. This present age is not an age of miracles but a time is coming when we shall see again miracles of healing, done, not only in the land of Israel, but throughout the earth,