Why Believe In Jesus?

Discovering the fundamentals of Christianity!

What is a miracle?

Just as people say the word "pray" when they really mean something like "hope" or "wish", the word miracle is often used to describe an extremely unlikely but fortunate event. The definition of a miracle though is something which has been brought about by God contrary to the laws of nature.

The Bible records many miracles in both the Old and the New Testament and in all cases they show God's supreme power. An example of a miracle in the Old Testament would be the parting of the Red Sea to let Moses and his followers cross. But miracles in the New Testament were mainly done by Jesus to show that He was no ordinary man, but the Son of God.

The miracles of Jesus

As mentioned above, Jesus performed miracles to prove his divinity. Only those who have been given power by God can do miracles which is why prophets and apostles were able to perform miracles too. The miracles performed were to illustrate God's power, and also to show His loving attitude since God would never perform a miracle for the purpose of harming someone. Jesus' miracles can be divided into three subcategories: miracles of healing, miracles giving command over the forces of nature, and bringing the dead back to life.

Jesus heals the sick

Here are all the times Jesus healed people who were suffering from physical or mental disorders, as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

Miracle

Description

References

Leper

A man with some kind of skin disease (leprosy was a term for several skin diseases) asked Jesus to be made clean, and Jesus healed him.

Matt 8:2-3

Mark 1:40-42

Luke 5:12-13

Centurionís servant

A Roman centurion approached Jesus, asking him to heal his paralysed servant at home, though he didnít require Jesus to see the servant in question. Jesus said the servant would be healed and he was at that very moment.

Matt 8:5-13

Luke 7:1-10

Peterís mother-in-law

Simon Peterís mother-in-law had a fever and was lying in bed at home. When Jesus touched her hand, she got better and started serving those present.

Matt 8:14-15

Mark 1:30-31

Luke 4:38-39

The demon-possessed man at the tombs

A demon-possessed man approached Jesus and asked if he had come to torment him further. Jesus cast the demons into some nearby pigs, which then proceeded to drown themselves.

Matt 8:28-34

Mark 5:1-15

Luke 8:27-35

Paralysed man

A paralysed man was lowered on a bed through a roof to Jesus, and Jesus told him to ďget up and walkĒ and suddenly he was able to.

Matt 9:2-7

Mark 2:3-12

Luke 5:18-25

Woman with a haemorrhage

A woman who had had a twelve-year discharge of blood furtively touched Jesusí clothes and was healed by him.

Matt 9:20-22

Mark 5:25-29

Luke 8:43-48

Two blind men

Two blind men asked Jesus to heal them. He tested their faith and then healed them.

Matt 9:27-31

Dumb and possessed man

Jesus cast a demon out of a mute man.

Matt 9:32-33

Luke 11:14

Man with a withered hand

Jesus was asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, but he proceeded to heal a manís withered right hand.

Matt 12:10-13

Mark 3:1-5

Luke 6:6-10

Man blind, dumb  and possessed

Jesus healed a man who was possessed and both blind and mute.

Matt 12:22

Canaanite womanís daughter

A Canaanite woman approached Jesus and his disciples begging him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Seeing her faith, Jesus healed her daughter.

Matt 15:21-28

Mark 7:24-30

Boy with epilepsy

A man came up to Jesus and begged him to heal his epileptic son. Jesus was frustrated by the lack of faith people had but healed the epileptic boy. His disciples had not been able to do it.

Matt 17:14-18

Mark 9:17-29

Luke 9:38-43

Bartimaeus and another blind man

A crowd followed Jesus on the road to Jericho and two blind men by the roadside asked Jesus to heal them, which he did.

Matt 20:29-34

Mark 10:46-52

Luke 18:35-43

Deaf and dumb man

Jesus privately took a deaf and mute man aside and touched his ears and tongue.

Mark 7:31-37

Possessed man in the synagogue

Jesus commanded an evil spirit to come out of a man at the synagogue and amazed the bystanders.

Mark 1:23-26

Luke 4:33-35

Blind man at Bethsaida

Jesus healed a blind man by spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him.

Mark 8:22-26

Woman bent double

A woman who hadnít been able to stand up straight for eighteen years was healed by Jesus.

Luke 13:11-13

Man with dropsy

Jesus questioned the Pharisees whether it was right to heal on the Sabbath then healed a man with dropsy.

Luke14:1-4

Ten lepers

Jesus healed ten lepers between Samaria and Galilee and only one thanked Jesus.

Luke 17:11-19

Malchusí ear

After a disciple had cut off a high priestís servantís ear, Jesus rebuked him and healed the man.

Luke 22:50-51

Officialís son at Capernaum

A man in Capernaum whose son was at the point of death asked Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus healed him with just a word.

John 4:46-54

Sick man at the pool of Bethesda

A man who had been an invalid for thirty eight years told Jesus how people took advantage of his condition, and Jesus healed him.

John 5:1-9

Man born blind

Jesus made some mud with his saliva and then anointed a blind manís eyes with it and told the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. When he returned, he could see.

John 9

Miracles over the forces of nature

Sometimes Jesus performed a miracle which went against a force of nature, for example the wind. Here are all such miracles as recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

Miracle

Description

References

Calming the storm

Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and Jesus took a nap. A terrible storm arose and the disciples woke him so he could save them. Jesus then told the storm to abate, which it did. The disciples were amazed.

Matt 8:23-27

Mark  4:37-41

Luke 8:22-25

Walking on water

Jesusí disciples waited for him in a boat as he went away to pray. He walked back to them across the surface of the sea. Until they recognised him, the disciples thought he was a ghost. Peter asked if he could walk out to Jesus on the sea, then did so but began to sink when he lost faith.

Matt 14:25

Mark 6:48-51

John 6:19-21

Feeding of the 5000

A huge crowd was following Jesus and they needed food but only a boy came forward with five loaves and two fish. Jesus performed a miracle so that the food multiplied until it was enough for everyone to eat until they were full and still have twelve baskets left over.

Matt 14:15-21

Mark 6:35-44

Luke 9:12-17

John 6:5-13

Feeding of the 4000

A huge crowd had not eaten for three days and Jesus fed them all by making enough food from seven loaves and a few small fish. There were seven baskets left over afterwards.

Matt 15:32-38

Mark 8:1-9

Coin in the fishís mouth

Jesus told a tax collector he would find a shekel in the mouth of the next fish he caught.

Matt 17:24-27

Fig tree withered

On seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, Jesus saw it had only leaves on it but no figs and he cursed it so that it withered.

Matt 21:18-22

Mark 11:12-14, 20-26

Catch of fish

Jesus got into Simonís boat and taught from it. Afterwards he told Simon to let down the fishing net. Simon protested saying they had caught nothing all evening, but nevertheless he let down the net. They caught so many fish that the net almost broke.

Luke 5:1-11

Water turned into wine

At a wedding party, Mary (the mother of Jesus) came and told Jesus that theyíd run out of wine. Jesus told the servants at the party to fill the wine jars with water but when they were poured out, the water had become wine.

John 2:1-11

(Another) catch of fish

Jesus asked the disciples how their fishing was going, but they hadnít caught any fish. On telling them to let the net down the right side of the boat, the suddenly caught too many to haul in.

John 21:1-11

Bringing the dead back to life

 While some are sceptical of miracles regarding health or nature, which can be attributed in some cases to extreme coincidence, the same line of argument cannot be used for bringing the dead back to life. Jesus rose three people from the dead, as explained by the gospel writers:

Miracle

Description

References

Jairusí daughter

A ruler called Jairus came up to Jesus and informed him that his daughter was close to death but Jesus could make her live. Jesus went to her and when he arrived, he told everyone there that she was just sleeping. They laughed at him, but he told her to get up and she did so.

Matt 9:18-19, 23-25

Mark 5:22-24, 38-42

Luke 8:41-42, 49-56

Widowís son at Nain

A man who had died was being carried out of Nain. His widowed mother came along too. Jesus told her not to weep and then told her dead son to get up. He did so and everyone was amazed and frightened.

Luke 7:11-15

Lazarus

Lazarus of Bethany was ill and died but so that witnesses might believe Jesus was the Messiah, he went to the tomb where Lazarus had been buried four days before. He ordered the stone to be rolled away and told Lazarus to come out. Still wrapped up in burial clothes, Lazarus emerged.

John 11:1-44

But Jesus himself was also raised to life following his crucifixion. This is called the Resurrection, and is the main focus of the Christian faith.