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Jesus: His Miracles
"If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;  but
if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you
may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."
Today, as we explore the miracles of Jesus, I am taking something for
granted. I am assuming that there is general agreement among our congregation
that Jesus was capable of and did perform miraculous works. By and large,
we are a conservative bunch who take the inspiration of scripture seriously
and believe that Jesus performed the miracles that the New Testament ascribes
to Him. Since I believe it is safe to assume that we do not question the
authenticity of His miracles, I want to concentrate on one question today:
Why did Jesus do the miracles He did?
John uses a different word to reference miracles than the Synoptic writers
used, he called them "signs." As you know, John did not write a chronological
gospel, he wrote a theological gospel. In other words, he arranged the
events of his book around a single purpose, which he spells out in John
20:31. "but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His
name." He wrote for one reason, so his contemporaries would accept that
Jesus is the son of God and to believe that Jesus was the long awaited
Messiah. When they came to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah,
then they would be ready to experience eternal life through His name.
Because of John's purpose, he selected 7 of Jesus' miracles that proved
Jesus' divinity and messiahship. Knowing how John used them is one thing,
knowing why Jesus performed them is another. Did Jesus perform miracles
so that people would believe He was the Messiah?
Our text today seems to indicate that the answer could be yes. In John
10:37-38, Jesus said, "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe
Me;  but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works,
that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the
Father." Certainly He is saying that actions speak louder than words. He
said that His works show that He is in the Father and the Father is in
But does that mean that his motives were to prove his divinity and Messiahship
through the works, or is that just a byproduct of the miracles? Though
we won't study all the miracles today, we will read enough of them to learn
four reasons why Jesus did miracles.
ONE REASON WAS OUT OF NECESSITY. Remember when Mary and Jesus were at
the wedding feast at Cana and the hosts ran out of wine? Mary asked Jesus
to do something about it. Listen to His reply to her: "And Jesus said to
her, 'Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come.'
 His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.'"
(John 2:4-5) Jesus evidenced some hesitation here, because He said His
time hadn't come yet, but Mary had faith in Him to do something about the
situation and told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. The
end result was that Jesus turned the dirty water from the purification
pots into the best wine the crowd had ever tasted. Why did Jesus perform
the miracle? It was out of necessity and because His mother asked Him to.
OTHER TIMES, JESUS USED HIS MIRACLES TO TEACH. Like the time he calmed
the storm tossed sea. "And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed
Him.  And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the
boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep.  And they
came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, 'Save us, Lord; we are perishing!'
 And He said to them, 'Why are you timid, you men of little faith?'
Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly
calm.  And the men marveled, saying, 'What kind of a man is this, that
even the winds and the sea obey Him?'" (Matthew 8:23-27 ) Certainly this
miracle pointed to His divine powers, but it did more than that, it taught
the disciples a lesson about faith.
OTHER TIMES, JESUS WASN'T TRYING TO EVOKE FAITH, BUT PERFORMED MIRACLES
IN RESPONSE TO FAITH. A prime example is found in Matthew 9:1-8 that says,
"And getting into a boat, He crossed over, and came to His own city. 
And behold, they were bringing to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed; and
Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, 'Take courage, My son,
your sins are forgiven.'  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves,
'This fellow blasphemes.'  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why
are you thinking evil in your hearts?  For which is easier, to say,
'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, and walk'?  "But in order
that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive
sins'-- then He said to the paralytic-- 'Rise, take up your bed, and go
home.'  And he rose, and went home.  But when the multitudes saw
this, they were filled with awe, and glorified God, who had given such
authority to men."
Jesus saw the faith of the men that brought the paralytic to Him and
forgave the man's sins. The religious leaders didn't like what they saw
and began mumbling among themselves accusing Jesus of blaspheming because
only God can forgive sins. They didn't like Jesus' inference-that He was
God. But because Jesus is God, he knew what they were thinking and said,
in essence, what is easier to say some words or to perform a miracle? Anyone
can say the words, but not everyone can perform a miracle. The reason for
this miracle was straightforward-in response to the people's faith and
to demonstrate that Jesus had the authority to forgive sin. According to
the scripture the man immediately took up his bed and walked.
STILL OTHER TIMES, JESUS PERFORMED A MIRACLE BECAUSE THE PERSON'S SITUATION
TOUCHED HIS HEART AND HE HAD COMPASSION ON THEM. Matthew 14:14 says, "And
when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for
them, and healed their sick." The only miracle that appears in all four
gospels is the feeding miracle. Mark 8:2-3 shows that it was Jesus' compassion
for the people that led to the miracle. It says, "I feel compassion for
the multitude because they have remained with Me now three days, and have
nothing to eat;  and if I send them away hungry to their home, they
will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a distance."
REALLY, WE CAN'T FULLY UNDERSTAND WHY JESUS PERFORMED MIRACLES UNTIL
WE EXAMINE A COUPLE OF TIMES THAT HE REFUSED TO DO THEM. When the devil
tempted Him in the wilderness, Jesus refused to prove He was the Son of
God by doing a miracle. Matthew 4:5-7 says, "Then the devil took Him into
the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 
and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it
is written, 'He will give His angels charge concerning You'; and 'On their
hands they will bear You up, Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'
"  Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall
not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
Jesus refused to prove anything to Satan, he certainly wasn't going
to perform on cue. Another time he refused to perform a miracle was when
the soldiers came to the garden to arrest Him. Peter took a sword and attacked
the soldiers. Jesus healed the man's ear that Peter cut off then asked
Peter a question. Let's read Matthew 26:52-53, "Then Jesus said to him,
'Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword
shall perish by the sword.  Or do you think that I cannot appeal to
My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions
It is Jesus' restraint not his performance of miracles that give us
the reason He did the miracles He did. In this text, he refused, because
doing the miracle would have been counterproductive to his mission-to be
the Savior of the world. Like it or not, Jesus had to fall into the hands
of the soldiers and he had to die on the cross. Without the cross, there
could be nor resurrection and without the resurrection there could be no
Jesus didn't perform miracles so we would know He was God-He did them
because He was God. He wasn't trying to prove anything-He was just being
And today, you can experience the greatest miracle of them all. You
can be transformed, by the blood of Jesus into a new creation, if you'll
only accept His sacrifice for you.