By Pamela Rose Williams
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” — John 6:29
This powerful statement was spoken by Jesus shortly after He had fed the multitude with just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus was speaking of how it was the work of God that just a few fish and loaves of bread could be multiplied into so much food that there was enough left over to fill 12 baskets (John 6:12).
Jesus and His apostles often worked miracles during His earthly ministry. Not only do we see miracles in the New Testanment, but they were done before Jesus came down to earth too, as recorded in the Old Testament. Sometimes called signs and wonders, these were always done so that the unbeliever’s eyes would be opened to the mighty power of God. How do I know this? Take a look at just a few of the other miracles in the Bible and see the pattern:
The Man with Many Demons – Mark 5:1-20
This is the Biblical account of a man named Legion who was possessed by many demons (about 2,000 Mark 5:13). When Legion saw Jesus approaching him he worshipped Him. Jesus called the demons out of the man and sent then into pigs who then ran into the water and drowned. Before Jesus called the demons out people in the town were afraid of Legion. When Jesus had finished the miracle He told Legion to go back to his friends and tell them the great things that He had done. Legion was obedient and many “marveled” or “believed” because of this miracle (Mark 5:20).
Moses Parts the Read Sea – Exodus 14:18, 31
God gave Moses the gift of signs and wonders with the goal that people would fear the Lord and believe in Him:
And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. (Exodus 14:18)
And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:31)
God Fed Them Manna in the Desert – Exodus 16:12-15
God used the miracle of manna every day to confirm His existence:
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. (Exodus 16:12-15)
Dried Up the Water Again – Joshua 4:22-24
Often times we see things repeated in the Bible to emphasize a point. For example, just as the Red sea was dried up for safe passage so too the river Jordan was dried up so the people could safely cross over. God did this so that the people would know that He is mighty forever:
Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever. (Joshua 4:22-24)
Jesus’s Works Prove the Father Sent Him – John 5:36
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)
Nicodemus Admitted the Miracles Prove Jesus is God – John 3:2
A well know Pharisee, Nicodemus, considers the deity of Jesus as proved by miracles:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (John 3:2)
Elijah Called a Miracle from God to Prove that He was Speaking on God’s Authority – 1 Kings 18:37-39
Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God. (1 Kings 18:37-39)
Paul and Barnabas Were Given the Gift of Signs and Wonders to Bear Witness of God’s Grace – Acts 14:3
Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3)
The Gift of Signs and Wonders Bears Witness to God’s Plan of Salvation – Hebrews 2:3-4
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3-4)
In Biblical times we see that miracles were often done in the presence of unbelievers, false teachers, and even false miracle-workers. Modern folks who claim to do miracles often times refuse to do miracles when doubters are present. Or they say that the people lacked faith and therefore the miracle failed. This never happened in the Bible
Old Testament miracles proved that the God of the Bible is the One true God. We see that true miracles were always successful, they were complete and perfect, they occurred at a specific point in time and there was never any doubting the evidence that a true miracle was performed.
It did not matter whether or not the people in the Bible were Jesus’s friend they could not deny that the miracle happened. We see their testimony recorded by holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit to record it in the Bible. The Bible contains the most complete historical evidence that God worked miracles and used men as His instruments to perform them as a sign to the unbeliever. This is God’s way of saying “I approve this message” and ” I am the Almighty God and Father, Creator of the Universe and I grant My power to these holy men for My glory”. Jesus did miracles to convince people that He was who He said He was — the Son of God and God.
Things to Think About and Do
1, Find at least 2 more miracles in the Bible and in your own words write down what was going on and why the miracle was necessary.
2. Discuss what you learned today about miracles with someone else.
3. Share this Bible devotion with someone who needs to be encouraged today.