The Gospels record 35 or 36 separate miracles performed by Christ (cf. Table 1: The Recorded
Miracles). Of these Matthew mentions twenty times, Mark eighteen, Luke twenty, and John seven. It
should not be concluded, however, that these are all the miracles of our Lord. Matthew, for instance,
alludes to twelve occasions when Jesus performed a number of wonderful works.
According to Acts 2:22, Peter, in his Pentecost sermon, used three categories to set forth the wonderful
works of the Lord Jesus: the first word, “miracle,” means a mighty work; the second word, “wonder,”
means a marvel, something that makes its appeal to the senses; and the third word, “sign,” points to a
spiritual truth of which the miracle is the outward expression. Of these three terms, the third is the most
important in relation to Jesus’ mission. In its aspect as a sign, a miracle was a kind of acted parable,
whose value lay in its correspondence with the spiritual lesson it was intended to convey.
Miracles authenticated the Person of Christ as God’s Son and His offer of the kingdom to Israel as their
Messiah-King. Miracles showed something about the character of the Messiah. For instance:
1. Turning water to wine reveals His glory
2. Raising Lazarus from the dead reveals His power
3. Feeding the 5,000 reveals His compassion
Further, His miracles revealed the realm of authority committed to the Son as Messiah. In stilling the
storms He showed His authority over nature. In healing the sick, He showed His ability to remove the
results of the curse. In raising the dead, He showed He was the Author and Giver of life. In forgiving
sin, He demonstrated that He could deal with that which separated men from God.
Each miracle in the physical realm was a revelation of what Christ had come to do in the spiritual realm.
In healing the blind, He revealed He had come to remove spiritual blindness. In healing the lame, He had
come to enable those who were incapable of walking to please God to walk so as to please Him, that is, to
walk the narrow road of the Sermon on the Mount. In raising the dead, He affirmed that He had come to
give eternal life to those who trusted Him.
Finally, the miracles reveal the conditions that will prevail in His kingdom when He reigns. It will be a
kingdom in which there is no sickness, no hunger, no sin, no death. All creation will be under His
control. These same conditions were predicted by the prophets in their description of the messianic
In brief, Christ did not ask the nation to accept Him on His Word alone, but authenticated that word by a
multitude of signs. The nation was responsible then to make a response to that authenticated offer.
As we study the Life of Christ, we want to note whether Christ’s miracles display power over nature,
demons, sickness and disease, or physical deformity. Miracles, especially in Mark’s Gospel, are
parables-in-action, which demonstrate by a supernatural action what Christ is teaching. Jesus is teaching
something with every miracle; they were not performed in a vacuum.
Observe the beneficiary of the miracle. What was the need? How did Jesus perform the miracle? Did
He speak, touch, or do something else? Were there any conditions for the miracle, such as faith?