As many passages underline, the Jesus' miracles teach and come to attest to the divine origin of the preaching of Christ or of the apostles. There is therefore a special link in the Bible between the word of God and miracles. We find this already in the Old Testament: signs and wonders accompany the revelation of the Law at the time of Moses; miracles also accompany the ministry of certain prophets like Elijah or Elisha.
It is the same in the New Testament, the "signs and wonders" performed by Jesus or the apostles come to attest to the Word of God. The Word became flesh in Jesus Christ. And the Word preached by the apostles, that is, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As Hebrews 2:4 says, by miracles, signs, and wonders, God comes to "testify" to the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
What the miracles of Jesus teach you
Another aspect of the miracle as a "sign" is that it signals the Kingdom of God. Thus, in the Gospels, the proclamation of the Kingdom of God is accompanied by miracles.
To fully understand the value of the miracle as a "sign" of the Kingdom of God, one must keep in mind that the New Testament presents the Kingdom of God as a present reality and a future reality. In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God has been established.
However, the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, but of the world to come. The Kingdom is both a present reality and a future reality. If we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we are already citizens of the Kingdom of God. However, we are not yet reaping the full benefits of our citizenship. We are saved, but we have not yet experienced the full benefits of salvation.
And this is particularly the case for the perfect health or the absence of suffering that we will experience only in the new creation. In this, miraculous healing is like a sign of this dimension of salvation that awaits us. Likewise, we do not yet live in a world where Satan no longer has any influence.
In this, miraculous deliverance is a sign of Christ's victory over Satan, which will be fully manifested in the end times. Likewise, we do not yet live in a world where hunger and poverty do not exist. So by multiplying the loaves or turning water into wine, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the eschatological banquet, the manifestation of a new creation marked by abundance.
Not surprisingly, these signs particularly accompany the proclamation of the Good News of salvation. Miracles are signs of God's ability to bring about the salvation promised in Jesus Christ.
But let's keep in mind that these are only signs of the Kingdom to come. It is important not to confuse the times: miracles are not normality in the present world (otherwise they would no longer be "miracles") , they are a sign of what will be normality in the world to come.
Is faith necessary for God to work miracles?
Some Gospel texts seem to indicate that if there are few miracles, it is because of unbelief. When Jesus visits the town where he grew up, Nazareth, he doesn't do many miracles.
Matthew 13:58 explains it this way: "He did not do many miracles here because of their unbelief" (cf. Mk 6:6 ). In another episode, the disciples are shown as unable to heal a child with a demon. And when the disciples ask Jesus why they could not cast out the demon (Mt 17.14-21), he replies, "It is because of their little faith" (Mt 17.20).
It seems to me that the questioning character of these statements of Jesus cannot be dismissed. These statements are there to make us reflect on our faith. As we have seen, miracles are a sign of God's ability to accomplish his salvation: he is an all-powerful God to heal, deliver, restore, and save.
The salvation accomplished in Jesus Christ is far greater than the healing of a blind man or the deliverance of a demon-possessed man. The fact that the disciples had no faith for a simple miracle underlines the smallness of their faith.
The absence of faith
Per Matthew 13:58, "Jesus did not do many miracles in this place because of the 'absence' of their faith": these people refused to recognize in Jesus (they grew up with him) the Messiah; he was, according to them, a man like the others. This absence of faith is different from the doubt that can be mixed with trust in God (cf. Mark 9:23-25).
The Lord does not intervene, when asked, when we deliberately refuse to believe that he is God.
My name is Maria. I am passionate about theology and I have been writing about the religious world for 5 years. I am curious and research everything about the religions around the world. I love researching the curiosities that guide the most varied doctrines in different countries and languages. Today, I am an editor and love to share my knowledge on the portal Prayer and Faith.
Leave a Reply