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Reasons For Believing in Biblical Miracles

Definition of a Miracle

Miracle - "an extraordinary objective occurrence in the external world effected by the immediate power of God, an event that is neither a mental phenomenon nor caused by a natural but rather by a supernatural force injected into nature." (Robert Reymond, Faith's Reasons For Believing, p. 197)

"God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure." (WCF Chap. 5 "Of Providence", section III)

Purpose of Miracles

Read Mark 16:20, Acts 2:22, 14:3, and Hebrews 2:3-4.  What is the purpose of miracles in these passages?  How is revelation connected with miracles?  Is this also true in the Old Testament?

  1. Objective historical events of saving redemption in Christ
  2. Called forth an explanation of these events through the apostles
  3. Called forth "miracles of power" as authenticating signs of the bearers of this revelation
Why does the first necessitate the 2nd and the 2nd necessitate the 3rd?
Read Luke 16:27-31 and Heb. 3:16-19.  Do miracles help to persuade men to believe the gospel?  If not, what good are they?
Though we do witness "miracles of grace" in answers to prayer and the working of regeneration, why do we not see the same kinds of miracles that were seen during the first century church?

Jesus' Miracles

Specific Healings:
  • the royal official's son (John 4:46-54)
  • Peter's mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-40)
  • the woman with the hemorrhage of blood (Matt. 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48)
  • the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10)
  • the man suffering from dropsy (Luke 14:1-6)
  • the blind (Matt. 9:27-31; John 9:1-7; Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)
  • the deaf (Mark 7:31-37)
  • the paralyzed and lame (Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; John 5:1-15; Matt. 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-10; 13:10-17)
  • the lepers (Matt. 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16; 17:11-19)
  • Malchus' ear (Luke 22:49-51)
  • many exorcisms of deamons...
General Healings:
  • Matt. 4:23-24 "healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people"
  • Matt. 8:16 "healed all who were sick"
  • Matt. 9:35 "healing every sickness and every disease among the people"
  • Matt. 14:14 "healed their sick"
  • Matt. 14:35-36 "sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well"
  • Matt. 15:30 "great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them"
  • Mark 1:32 "Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons"
  • Mark 1:39 "and casting out demons"
  • Mark 3:10 "He healed many"
  • Mark 6:56 "they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well"
  • Luke 4:40 "all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them"
  • Luke 6:17-19 "great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all."
  • Luke 9:11 "and healed those who had need of healing"
Other Miracles:
  • changing water into wine - John 2:1-11
  • miraculous control of fish - Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-14
  • the stilling of the storm on the Sea of Galilee - Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
  • the feeding of the five thousand - Matt. 14:15-21; Mark 6:34-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-14
  • walking on water - Matt. 14:22-27; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21
  • the feeding of the four thousand - Matt. 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10
  • the four-drachma coin found in the fish's mouth - Matt. 17:24-27
  • the cursing of the fig tree - Matt. 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14,20-21
Read Luke 5:4-11 and Mark 4:35-41.  What did Peter understand about these miracles?  What was the response of those in the boat and why?
Do the miracles of Jesus play a role in apologetics?  If so, how?