|Above & Below: Bethany
where Jesus raised Lazurus from the dead
Left: Chapel of the Holy Sepulchure
Pictures by C.W. Bankes, Dec. 1961
|Why I Believe in
The Miracles of the Bible
Miracles were the validation that a messenger, and more importantly, his message, came from
God. If you do not believe in miracles, you do not believe messengers have delivered
messages from God. If you believe in miracles, you believe messengers have delivered
messages from God. Belief in the miraculous goes hand in hand with belief in the message of
the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines miracle:
"1 an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws 2 a remarkable thing"
[Simon & Schuster, Inc: 1990].
Many times we speak of miracles in terms of the secondary meaning given by Webster. We
speak of the miracle of birth, the miracle of space travel, the miracle of modern medicine, etc.
We speak of things being remarkable, even beyond our ability to explain and understand, as
being miracles; yet, they do not suspend nor contradict known scientific law. These are not the
miracles that I want to talk about.
The first definition of Webster mentions those events or actions "that apparently" contradict
scientific law. These events would include the actions of theatrical "magicians," like David
Copperfield and Houdini and Blackstone. These actions make us wonder, and leave us
scratching our heads how such things could be done with "smoke and mirrors." However,
those events "that apparently" contradict scientific laws can be explained by rational means
obeying scientific laws. These are not the miracles that I want to talk about.
The miracles I wish to discuss are the miracles of the Bible. These are not miracles "that
apparently contradict scientific laws," they are miracles which do suspend or contradict
scientific laws. These miracles are supernatural by definition. This discussion focuses on the
miracles of the Bible as performed at the hands of the prophets, apostles, disciples and Jesus.
The Basic Argument
In the beginning, God created all things. God set into motion all natural laws. God, being the
author of all natural law, is able to suspend, change or contradict known scientific law if he so
chooses. Therefore, God is able to perform miracles, and to enable men to perform miracles.
All is based upon the creative act of God. If you do not believe God created the heavens and the
earth, then you will not believe in miracles. Everything depends upon the unlimited power of
God -- his omnipotence. But, once the omnipotence of God is accepted, then it is a matter of
deciding if a miracle actually took place or not - it is a matter of investigation.
Those who oppose the miraculous assume that those of Biblical times were gullible.
In other words, they lacked the sophistication to examine whether a miracle actually took place
or not. While it must be admitted that there have been and continue to be gullible people in this
world, it is not true that all the people in the Bible and in Biblical times were gullible.
This is true whether you are talking about the resurrection of Jesus or the miraculous healings
he performed. In fact, let's take two examples and examine how they investigated to make sure
a miracle had taken place.
In the ninth chapter of the Gospel According to John, a blind man is healed and given sight by
Let's look at this miracle, and how the people investigated to see whether a miracle took place
In verses one through seven, Jesus comes to a man who had been born blind. He makes mud
from spitting in the clay on the ground and puts it on the man's eyes. The man is told tog to the
Pool of Siloam and wash the mud off. When he does, he can see.
In verses eight through twelve, the neighbors see that the man can now see and investigate.
The first thing they do is make sure of the identity of the man. Is it really the man who was born
blind? He is positively identified as the blind man who sat and begged.
In verses thirteen through thirty-four, the Pharisees investigate. First, they ask the man what
happened. After he tells them, they do not believe he had been blind. They know he can now
see. They ask his parents if he was born blind. They say yes. They then ask the parents how he
now sees. The parents tell them to ask the man. There was now no doubt that the man had
been blind, but could now see. Neither was there any doubt that Jesus had been the one who
gave him sight.
In verses thirty-five through thirty-seven, the blind man finds Jesus to see him for the first time.
Those who reject the miraculous (as well as many who claim to perform miracles today) claim
that the miracles could only be performed upon the believing. The unbelievers claim that these
miracles were psychosomatic, or that it was a matter that the individual had a mental block that
kep them from seeing and/or belief in the person made them think a miracle had taken place
when indeed it hadn't. The meeting between the blind man and Jesus, as well as the testimony
which the blind man had given before the Pharisee, showed that the blind man did not have
faith in Jesus until after the miracle was performed.
In review, what did these people do to make sure a blind man had been given sight? First, they
verified the identity of the man. Second, they verified the man had been blind. Third, they verified
what had happened that a man who had been blind could see.
What more can we ask, before one would believe? What other investigation needs to be done?
What other investigation could be done? Were they gullible? or did they do what needed to be
The greatest miracle of all was the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
The critics have suggested the disciples were extremely gullible, even delusional, in relation to
the resurrection of Jesus. Let's look at one instance of conviction of the reality of the
resurrection -- the Gospel According to John, chapter twenty, verses twenty-four through
One of the apostles, Thomas called Didymus, was not present when others claimed to have
seen the resurrected Jesus. Rather than jumping at the news, Thomas declares: "Except I shall
see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my
hand into his side, I will not believe." He would not believe until he had not only seen it for
himself, but until he had verified his eyes were not deceiving him, as well.
Jesus then appears to the apostles, with Thomas present, and Thomas' reaction is: "My Lord
and my God."
"Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they
who have not seen, and yet have believed."
The "Missouri attitude of Thomas, "show me," establishes the verity of the testimony of those
who saw the resurrected Christ. He knew Jesus. He knew identifying marks. He would not
believe until he saw it for himself, and verified that it was not an illusion nor a deception. When
you add to Thomas' testimony the over five hundred other witnesses to the resurrection of
Jesus, there is no reason to doubt the reality of the miracle.
The reason men deny the miraculous of the Bible is because they have made up their minds
before examinging the facts: it is called prejudice.
Logically, reasonably and rationally, there is reason to believe in the miracles of the Bible. God
has the power. God exercised that power.