A Closer Look at Jesus’ Miracles
Have you ever considered the miracles Jesus performed and the potential purpose for these events? A friend asked me this week if Sonlife had a study specifically on the miracles of Jesus, and though our Harmony Study does cover these events, it doesn’t specifically look at them as a group.
How many miracles did Jesus perform during His ministry? We don’t know. He certainly performed more miracles than we have recorded, and some of what the Gospel writers do record do not identify individual miracles but rather an event that included many miracles.
I’ve identified 60 miraculous events in the 3 ½ year ministry of Jesus. Some of the miracles I’ve included might not be considered miracles of Jesus in a classic sense, as they were miraculous things that happened to Him, like the Transfiguration, Resurrection, Ascension, or even other events like the temple curtain tearing in two and tombs splitting apart at His death and dead people coming out of the tombs alive and walking into Jerusalem. While including these events in the list, I omitted the miraculous events that happened through the Twelve as they were sent out Two by Two (Matthew 10) as well as the miraculous events that happened through the Seventy Two as they were sent out Two by Two (Luke 10), as these miracles were done by the disciples and not Jesus Himself.
The Miracles of Jesus
- Turning the Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)
- Miraculous Signs at Passover (John 2:23-25)
- Healing of the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:46-54)
- Healing a Demoniac in the Synagogue (Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37)
- Healing Peter’s Mother-in-law’s Fever (Matthew 8:14-15, Mark 1:29-31 Luke 4:38-39)
- Healing the Sick and Demon Possessed brought to Peter’s House (Matthew 8:16-17, Mark 1:32-34, Luke 4:40-41)
- Preaching, Teaching, and Healing tour throughout Galilee (4:23-25, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44)
- First Miraculous Catch of Fish (Luke 5:1-11)
- Cleansing of a Man with Leprosy (Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16)
- Forgiving and Healing the Paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26)
- Healing of an Invalid at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9)
- Healing of the Man with a Shriveled Hand (Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11)
- Casting out Demons and Healing the Sick on the Mountain (Luke 6:17-18)
- Large Crowds come to Galilee for Healing (Matthew 12:15-21, Mark 3:7-12)
- Healing of the Centurion’s Servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10)
- Raising the Widow’s Son from the Dead in Nain (Luke 7:11-17)
- Healing the Sick and Giving Sight to the Blind (Luke 7:21)
- Ministry Tour with the Twelve and women disciples, of whom Jesus Drove Out Seven Demons from Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:1-3)
- Healing the Demon Possessed, Blind, and Mute Man (Matthew 12:22-23)
- Calming the Storm (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25)
- Delivering the Demoniacs and Casting Demons into Pigs (Matthew 8:28-34,, Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39)
- Healing of the Bleeding Woman (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48)
- Raising of Jairus’ Daughter from the Dead (Matthew 9:23-26, Mark 5:35-43, Luke 8:49-56)
- Healing Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31)
- Healing a Demon Possessed, Mute Man (Matthew 9:28-34)
- Laying His Hands on a Few Sick People in Unbelieving Nazareth (Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5)
- Preaching, Teaching, and Healing Tour in Galilee (Matthew 9:35-38)
- Healing the Sick in Bethsaida (Matthew 14:14, Luke 9:11)
- Feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:4-13)
- Walking on the Water (Matthew 14:24-33, Mark 1:6:47-52, John 6:16-21)
- Healings in Gennesaret (Matthew 14:34-36, Mark 6:53-56)
- Healing of the Syro-Phonecian Woman’s Daughter (Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30)
- Healing a Deaf and Mute Man (Mark 7:32-25)
- Healings in the Decapolis (Matthew 15:29-31)
- Feeding of the 4000 (Matthew 15:32-38, Mark 8:1-9)
- Healing the Blind Man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-28)
- Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)
- Healing of Demon Possessed Boy (Matthew 17:14-20, Mark 9:14-29, Luke 9:37-43)
- Miraculous Catch of Fish with Coin in Mouth to Pay Temple Tax (Matthew 17:24-27)
- Healing of a Man Born Blind (John 9:1-7)
- Delivering a Mute Man from Demon Possession (Luke 11:14-16)
- Healing a Crippled Woman (Luke 13:10-13)
- Healing of a Man with Dropsy (Luke 14:1-4)
- Raising Lazarus from the Dead (John 11:17-44)
- Healing of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-21)
- Healing of the Crowds in Perea (Matthew 19:2)
- Healing of Blind Bartimaeus and His Companion (Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43)
- Healing of the Blind and the Lame in the Temple (Matthew 21:14)
- Cursing of the Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-14)
- Performing Many Signs in Their Presence (John 12:37)
- Jesus’ Declaration Knocks Guards Over (John 18:4-6)
- Reattachment of Malchus’ Ear (Luke 22:50-51, John 18:10)
- The Temple Curtain is Torn in Two at Christ’s Death (Mark 15:37-38)
- Raising of the Dead to Walk Jerusalem at Jesus’ Crucifixion (Matthew 27:52-53)
- The Resurrection (Matthew 28:5-8, Mark 16:2-8, Luke 24:1-8, John 20:1)
- Identity Hidden from Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-16,31)
- Post Resurrection Appearance in a Locked Room (Luke 24:36, John 20:19)
- Second Appearance in a Locked Room (John 20:26)
- Second Miraculous Catch of Fish (John 21:1-6)
- Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:9)
A few observations about the miracles of Jesus for us to consider.
- The vast majority of Jesus’ recorded miracles occur after He called the Four to be “Fishers of People” and before His final journey to Jerusalem.
Jesus challenged Peter, Andrew, James and John to fish for people 18-21 months into His public ministry. They were all present at His baptism and began to follow Him as His disciples after Jesus returned from His 40 days of fasting and prayer in the desert. His call to fish for people was His invitation to minister alongside Him. Were Jesus’ miracles instrumental in the training of His disciples? Evidently so, because after appointing the Twelve, before sending them out on their first ministry assignment, He told them they would be doing this:
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”Matthew 10:7-8
- Very few of Jesus’ miracles of healing and deliverance were done for believers.
Though we don’t know at what point people put their faith in Christ, it appears that the only likely believers that Jesus healed during His public ministry were Peter’s mother-in-law and Lazarus. This would suggest that the overwhelming purpose of Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry was evangelism. We could look at these miraculous events throughout Jesus’ ministry as outreach events, where He was attracting a crowd, demonstrating His spiritual power and authority, and inviting people to believe in Him as the promised Messiah.
“Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.”John 12:37
“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”John 20:30-31
- Jesus’ miracles confirmed that He was the promised Messiah.
Isaiah specifically prophesied that the promised Messiah would perform the kinds of miracles that were a part of Jesus’ ministry.
“In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see…Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped…to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”Isaiah 29:18, 35:5, 42:7
The Apostles’ preaching would rely on the evidence of these miracles to prove Jesus was the Messiah and the Savior of the World.
“’Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.’”Acts 2:22
“…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”Acts 10:38
Even with a brief look at just sixty of Jesus’ miracles, may we have confidence that through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we are able to overcome what we are powerless to conquer alone. May Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:57 be the response of our hearts,