When I was about 10 years old, a high-school-aged guy would often play baseball with us. We were always amazed at his ability. To us, he was like Ken Griffey, Jr. in the flesh.
One day I was standing too close while he was at the plate. He took a huge swing at the ball, and his backswing whipped around and connected solidly with the side of my head. The blunt force was so hard that it broke the skin and fractured the bone above my ear. Even so, I only spent one night in the hospital. It felt like a miracle that I wasn’t hurt worse.
We can all relate to “miracles” like this, can’t we—lucky breaks where the unexpected happens? But Jesus’ miracles were true miracles.
Why did He perform them? What was Jesus after when He performed signs and wonders?
Jesus’ miracles set Him apart. He wasn’t just an illusionist, some sort of precursor to David Blaine. Jesus’ miracles were real and they showed people who He was. They revealed that He was the Messiah. They revealed His glory. And they revealed that God’s Kingdom had come to earth.
Let’s look a closer at each of these.
First, Jesus’ miracles revealed He was the Messiah. The Old Testament had spoken of the Messiah who would come and bring an end to sin and death (Isaiah 61:1-3). In Matthew 11:2-5, John the Baptist asks Jesus if He truly is the Messiah. Jesus’ response? “Sin and death are already being pushed back because people are being healed and resuscitated” (my paraphrase). When John asked if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus pointed to His miracles as proof.
Second, Jesus’ miracles revealed His glory. In John 2:11 we read that the disciples believed in Him because they saw His glory through His miracle of turning water into wine. They knew this was more than a magic trick or a nice turn of events (like a one-night stay in the hospital). It was plain to them that His miracles were otherworldly—that He must have come from above.
Finally, Jesus’ miracles revealed that God’s Kingdom had come to earth. For sin and death to be defeated, God Himself would have to step in and clean up our mess. Jesus did just that. As He Himself said, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Matthew 12:28). When sin and death are being pushed back, it’s clear that God is at work in our midst.
Jesus’ miracles are not chance, luck, or good fortune. They’re the power of God. And they are bringing us all the way home to New Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22).
Written by Brandon D. Smith