The Miracles of Christ

The Doctrine of Christ - Lesson # 5

Joel Stephen Williams


    I. The role of miracles in apologetics

        A. Why does theism imply the possibility of miracles?

       B. One cannot accept the message of Jesus without accepting him as a miracle worker, because he appealed to them frequently. - Jn. 2:11; 5:36; 10:25, 37-38; 14:11; Lk. 7:20-22; Mt. 9:1-8

       C. Miracles are an intricate part of the Gospel records. To try to remove the miracles and leave the rest is impossible. It would be like removing a thread which runs the length of a garment and is interwoven with all other threads. For example, the teaching that Jesus is the resurrection and the life is tied to the miracles of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus' own claims as to who he was were connected to his miracles.

       D. Jesus himself was a miracle. His perfect character and divine nature go far beyond what we could expect of a mere mortal. Because of who he is, the possibility of miracles is no less than likely and, at a minimum, at least possible. As Philip Schaff wrote: "You may as well expect the sun to send forth darkness as to expect ordinary works from such an extraordinary being."

       E. Discuss the problem of circular reasoning in regard to the use of miracles in apologetics. For example, do we believe the Bible because miracles authenticate its message. Do we believe miracles happened because the Bible says they did?

       F. Put some of the miracles accounts in the Gospels to the test by modern laws for evidence. Do we ever have the testimony of unbelievers or was it only those who were biased who make these claims? Was there a wide variety of miracles or were there only one or two types which could easily be the result of trickery? Were his miracles only performed in front of a chosen group of insiders or were larger groups able to witness them? Was Jesus always able to prepare for the miracles ahead of time or did many of them occur as the situation arose unexpectedly? Was Jesus always handling the evidence (as a magician does his props)? Were the miracles only invisible things (e.g. healing a backache)?

   II. The miracles of Jesus

       A. Those recorded in the Gospels

            1.  Changing water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11)

            2.  Healing an official's son (Jn. 4:46-54)

            3.  Healing a man in a synagogue (Mk. 1:23-26; Lk. 4:33-35)

            4.  Healing Peter's mother-in-law (Mt. 8:14-15; Mk. 1:30-31; Lk. 4:38-39)

            5.  First great catch of fish (Lk. 5:1-11)

            6.  Healing a leper (Mt. 8:2-4; Mk. 1:40-42; Lk. 5:12-13)

            7.  Healing a paralyzed man (Mt. 9:2-7; Mk. 2:3-12; Lk. 5:18-25)

            8.  Healing a sick man at the Pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5:1-9)

            9.  Healing a man with a withered hand (Mt. 12:10-13; Mk. 3:1-5; Lk. 6:6-10)

          10.  Healing a centurion's servant (Mt. 8:5-13; Lk. 7:1-10)

          11.  Raising a widow's son from death (Lk. 7:11-15)

          12.  Healing two blind men (Mt. 9:27-31)

          13.  Calming a storm (Mt. 8:23-27; Mk. 4:37-41; Lk. 8:22-25)

          14.  Healing a demon possessed man (Mt. 8:28-34; Mk. 5:1-15; Lk. 8:27-35)

          15.  Healing a hemorrhaging woman (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 5:25-29; Lk. 8:43-48)

          16.  Raising Jairus's daughter (Mt. 9:18-19, 23-25; Mk. 5:22-24, 38-42; Lk. 8:41-42, 49-56)

          17.  Healing a mute, demon possessed man (Mt. 9:32-33)

          18.  Miraculous feeding of 5,000 (Mt. 14:15-21; Mk. 6:35-44; Lk. 9:12-17; Jn. 6:5-13)

          19.  Walking on water (Mt. 14:25; Mk. 6:48-51; Jn. 6:19-21).

          20.  Healing a Canaanite woman's daughter (Mt. 15:21-38; Mk. 7:24-30)

          21.  Healing a deaf mute (Mk. 7:31-37)

          22.  Miraculous feeding of 4,000 (Mt. 15:32-38; Mk. 8:1-9)

          23.  Healing a blind man (Mk. 8:22-26)

          24.  Healing a demon possessed boy (Mt. 17:14-18; Mk. 9:17-19; Lk. 9:38-43)

          25.  The coin in the fish's mouth (Mt. 17:24-27)

          26.  Healing a man born blind (Jn. 9:1-41)

          27.  Healing a deaf and blind man (Mt. 12:22; Lk. 11:14)

          28.  Healing a crippled woman (Lk. 13:11-13)

          29.  Healing a man with dropsy (Lk. 14:1-4)

          30.  Raising Lazarus from death (Jn. 11:1-44)

          31.  Healing ten lepers (Lk. 17:11-19)

          32.  Healing two blind men (Mt. 20:29-34; Mk. 10:46-52; Lk. 18:35-43)

          33.  Withering of the fig tree (Mt. 21:18-22; Mk. 11:12-14, 20-25)

          34.  Healing Malchus's ear (Lk. 22:50-51)

          35.  Second miraculous catch of fish (Jn. 21:1-11)

       B. Other miracles - Jn. 20:30-31

       C. What is the significance of the term "sign" in John's Gospel? What was the chief purpose of the miracles of Jesus? - Heb. 2:3-4; Acts 2:32-33

       D. Can you name a hymn which refers to the miracles of Jesus?

       E. Memory verse - Jn. 20:30-31