By Russ Ramsey
It’s fascinating to watch how people with power use it. Traffic cops, airport screeners, elected officials, college professors, and even hosts at restaurants all wield power. When you need special consideration, they can shut you down or wave you through. Some people use their power for good, while others might sometimes seem to use it for evil.
How we use power reveals what is in our character. Jesus’ miracles show us who He is.
What do we learn about Jesus’ character when we look at His miracles? As He shows us He is the Christ, what sort of Messiah do we find Him to be? As He reveals His power, what does He channel that power toward? As He familiarizes us with His Kingdom, what sort of a monarchy is it, and what can be expected of its ruler?
In yesterday’s reading, we looked at why Jesus performed miracles. He performed signs and wonders to show us He is the Messiah. They revealed His glory and His power. They proved His claim that His Kingdom was not of this world and that He had brought His Kingdom to us.
That is all well and good. Stories of gods showing mortals their power and glory are nothing new. Greek mythology is full of tales like these—gods flexing their muscles to remind the mortals not to think too highly of themselves.
Some of Jesus’ miracles are meant to instill in us a holy humility. When He commands creation and it obeys His voice, eye-witnesses do not tend to give each other fist bumps. They usually tremble in fear. His power is strong. But when we see the way Jesus uses His miracles to interact with people in need, we see that the character of Christ is filled with mercy, compassion, and generosity.
When He casts out demons, He shows mercy to tormented people living miserable lives. The One who overcomes evil does so to care for those afflicted by it. When Jesus opens blind eyes, or reanimates paralyzed legs, or cleanses lepers, restoring them to community, we see a Messiah who uses His power to heal, comfort, and encourage, rather than smite, dominate, and humiliate.
Jesus’ miracles serve a dual purpose: they call us to fear Him but also to trust Him—to trust that He is good. Jesus uses signs and wonders to cultivate in us a holy reverence for His power and a confidence in His affection.
Written by Russ Ramsey
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5 thoughts on "What Do Miracles Teach Us About Jesus?"
I am mesmerized by today’s reading. It’s easy to overlook the heart of God at times. We wonder where He is when we are in need. We are grateful in the good times. But everything He does, every little thing in our lives and those we witness, is done with great intention. I think of a man pursuing a woman to wed; how hard does he work to earn their attention and affection? How extravagant a man will go to win the heart of one He loves. We are His bride. He pursues us, and meddles our path with miracles as a call to trust Him and worship Him in reverence. His heart for us is so good, and we get a glimpse of every day through the smallest of miracles to the largest.
I often wonder what it would be like to witness a “blockbuster” miracle. To have been in the boat. To have eaten of the fish and the loaves. To see the neighborhood lame man healed and dance for joy. Even farther back.. to see fire fall from heaven. To walk through the Red Sea. These are intense events, powerful, and clearly a mark of Gods heart for us. But is Gods goodness more in the fire and the calming of the winds than the “smaller” miracles we may see today? Is His mercy any less or any more in the forgiveness of adultery in my marriage than Jesus forgiving the ones who pierced His side? O the Fathers love for us….
It is a great point that the author makes: Jesus wielded his power not over us, but for us. He could have easily called lightening from heaven or performed any other “tricks” to show His power, yet He used His immense power to help people in need. This does separate Jesus from anyone else that ever claimed to be God. Christ revealed His character through miracles: that He is loving, compassionate, and kind.
God can do more than I could ever imagine. Just like how he parted the sea, his solution to the issue is beyond anything I would ever predict. We need to just give each and every problem to God to let him solve it.
Jesus does miracles to show us what is in His character, but also to show us that He is indeed God. His miracles show us love, but with a healthy dose of reverence.
I really like the perspective of this topic. Jesus miracles reveal lots to us. But very importantly His character, that of compassion, generosity, and genuine interest in common life. So it is a revealing act, performance of these miracles. Power on display. God acting on Earth. God intervening in humanity. And, to such lowly and incapable people, who clearly offer him worship alone in return, but can provide Jesus with nothing more – no repayment for such kindness. At most Jesus asks them to ‘now sin no more’, meaning to stop turning away from God and rush to Him forever with everything.
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