Miracles · Supernatural

Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #2 – Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.

I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

John 4:43-54

After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

General Observations

I have not included the earlier portion of John 4, since it does not directly relate to this second miracle, but the context of the chapter is relevant in relation the Jesus’ remarks to the official. He had just come out of Samaria, where no miracles were performed. No mighty works. No eye popping actions that would excite the surrounding people. None of that. He had revealed Himself to a poor adulterous Samaritan woman, (A Samaritan woman!) and the town eventually came to trust Him as the Savior of the World. This is truly an amazing story, and I will not spend our time rehashing my thoughts. If interested, please see Simple Thoughts – Savior of the World PLACE LINK HERE

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Jesus spoke to the official in response to his request, but in verse 47, Jesus said to him (and the surrounding crowd – the “you” in verse 47 is plural!) that the only way to get faith out of these people appears to be miracles.

What a contrast with the dirty Samaritans Jesus had just departed from!

Jesus had performed one miracle in Cana, and that was not a highly publicized one, since it was only known to a select few. Yet the requests began. We have a miracle worker in our midst! What do I need? What can I get?

When did the Lord perform this miracle?

See https://www.bibletimelines.net/timelines/jesus-ministry

Where did the Lord perform this miracle?

See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.

Why did the Lord perform this miracle?

This is a hard question for me since the Lord may granted this miracle for the man, but He also understood His audience, that they were looking for eye candy. This, as we shall see throughout the miracles is a recurring theme.

Those who had the greatest revelation of God in the history of mankind, were the ones who needed the signs and miracle to initiate faith. Paul actually summarizes this condition in 1 Corinthians 1:22

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, – 1 Corinthians 1:22

The purpose of signs and miracles were discussed in the introduction to this series, and it may be profitable to review occasionally the reasons the miracles were given.

One of the reasons Jesus performed miracles was to extract faith in His words from those who were present. It seems to me He provided miracles throughout His ministry to either fulfill prophecy, directing attention to the person of prophecy hopefully, or to give supporting authority to His words.

The miracles were not an end to themselves. For this particular miracle, no one in the audience “saw” anything. His words were to be believed (which the official claimed) or they were to be ignored. The servants back home saw the fever break, but had no knowledge of the interaction between the official and the Lord.

This statement from the Lord Go; your son will live was all that Jesus provided the official. What did the man do? Did he demand the Master come down, beg for a visual proof, seek some type of validation? It seems the man accepted the words of Jesus.

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way

The official turned on his heels, and headed home, believing the words of Jesus. He left the crowd, all alone with his faith in the words of Jesus, walking back to his home. The next day, the servants and the official met and the miracle became evident to all. In between his departure from Jesus, and meeting his servants, this official only had the words of Jesus to cling to.

What was the message for the original audience?

The message for the original audience?

Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.

In Texas, where we have lived for the last couple decades, they have a way of defining the size of a group. If I am speaking to one person, I refer to “you”. If I am speaking to more than one person, I would refer to “y’all”. But if I am wanting to include everyone that is listening to my thoughts, I would refer to “all y’all”.

The term “you” in the above passage is the plural, and in the Texas vernacular, would be something like

Unless y’all see signs and wonders y’all will not believe.

Remember that this is spoken amongst the inhabitants of Capernaum, a city that will not fare well in the gospels. Later on in the gospels, Capernaum comes under the Lord’s judgement, even being compared against Sodom and Gomorrah!

And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” – Mat 11:23-24

This is incredible!

The message to the original audience in Capernaum was one of judgement, of warning. The Messiah had been revealed to the Samaritans though a message only, and immediately after, the Master faced a request for a miracle. Did the Capernaum inhabitants know of the harvest in Samaria? Highly unlikely in my thinking, but that is irrelevant to the response of the Capernaumites. (Is that a word?)

Jesus, in His human understanding, was seeing a pattern emerge (I speak as a fool here!) The Samaritans and Capernaum inhabitants were both in the promised land, and had connections with Moses and the covenant. Both referred to at least portions of the Old Testament for their religious foundation. (The Samaritans seemed to depend only on the first five books of the Law.)

The religious leadership of Israel depended on the whole of the Old Testament, and generally looked down on those Samaritans. The general attitude of the religious leadership in Israel was that the Samaritans were an adulterated bunch of impure, mixed race inhabitants, defiling the land. Only the pure Jew was acceptable to the God of Israel. Only the pure Jew!

How upside down is that?

What is the message for us today?

Are you of a pure faith? Are you doctrinally pure, without error, and exercise a ministry of “debate” on all who do not agree with you. Do you demand proofs before you believe? Do you seek to “help” those who cannot see the truth, claiming you understand the revelation of God.

In other words, do you live in pride? Would you identify with the dirty Samaritans or the pure Jew?

Simple faith is dependent on His words. As mentioned above, as this man walked home, he may have experienced doubt and fears, recalled whispers or mockings as he left the crowd. It was surely a long walk home with his thoughts, and the words of Jesus were all he could depend on. Definitely a good place to be!

Only Jesus’ words!


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Miracles · Supernatural

Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #1 – Jesus Turns Water into Wine

After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.

I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks.

With that said, let’s take a look at the miracle…

Jesus Turns Water into Wine

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

All the wedding guests, along with the mother of Jesus and the disciples. And some forgotten people we may chat about later on in the post. Can you guess who I am intentionally forgetting?

When did the Lord perform this miracle?

See https://www.bibletimelines.net/timelines/jesus-ministry

Where did the Lord perform this miracle?

See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.

Why did the Lord perform this miracle?

It may appear that this miracle was spurred on by the Lord’s mother, and her concern for the reputation of the wedding hosts. She requests her Son for assistance, but He rebuffs her.

This must have been a very rare (in my opinion) act for the Son to “refuse” His mother, but the very next thing we read is that He speaks to the servants to resolve the lack. This is where being there, seeing facial expressions and hearing tonal inflections, would provide understanding of the situation.

Did the Son tell His mother this with a smile? Was He surprised by her request? Was He refusing and then changed His mind?

A few versions I have perused actually expand this response from the Son in the following ways.

Jesus saith to her, ‘What — to me and to thee, woman? – John 2:4 YLT

“What does that have to do with you and me, woman? ” Jesus asked. – John 2:4 CSB

Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? – John 2:4 NET

The message I am starting to understand is that this response had to do with Jesus and Mary’s relationship. The miracle was not in response to obeying the mother, as was His way as He grew up in her household.

No, I think Jesus was trying to identify His relationship with His Father in Heaven, in that the miracle, as it states in verse 11, revealed His glory.

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. – John 2:11 ESV

He was not simply Mary’s son, but the Father’s Son.

What was the message for the original audience?

It appears the miracle was obvious to the disciples, for they believed in Him, as verse 11 speaks, His mother, and one other group, which I mentioned earlier. Have you identified this group?

Verse 9 & 10 shows that the response to the miracle was between the master of the feast and the bridegroom. The text says nothing of anyone approaching Jesus.

….the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” – John 2:9c-10 ESV

What is the message for us today?

Have you identified the forgotten people, those that also understood who performed the miracle, actually took part in the miracle, and watched from behind the scenes?

The servants. Those that are considered below us were the ones who were involved in this miracle. This fact has always amazed me in that Jesus uses the lowly, the humble, those who have no standing in the society. This is a recurring theme through the gospels, and Jesus Himself identifies Himself as lowly and meek.

This is the primary message I find in this first miracle. A quiet, humble walk with the Lord will allow us to experience miracles that others cannot see or experience.

A loud boisterous, attention grabbing “ministry of miracles”, that seems so popular in today’s church, does not seem to align with the first of Jesus miracles, and may provide instruction for us in the proper identification of true miracles today.

Nevertheless, He is good, and to walk with Him, as servants, is a privilege that we do not deserve, providing us opportunities to see His works in our lives and the lives of those around us.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Miracles · Supernatural

Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction

After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn back to the gospels to look into the miracles of Jesus. As our introductory post into this topic, I would like to offer some definitions, two downloadable files, and a quick review of why the miracles of Jesus were provided.

Definitions

I found two words that refer to the “miracles” recorded in the New Testament by the Lord Jesus. If you would like to check out the lexicons, get verse lists etc., please use the links provided below.

Our first Greek term is sēmeion, usually translated as miracle or sign. John really likes this term!

A second Greek word dynamis is commonly translated as works, or mighty works and is the default term used to describe what we call a miracle.

Why Miracles were provided?

Why did Jesus perform such signs and mighty works? Well, there are a number of answers to this question, some familiar and some not so much. Consider the following.

To Fulfill Prophecy

This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17

To Give Authority to His Words

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:28-29

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he then said to the paralytic–“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:6

To Exhibit His Compassion

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” Matthew 8:1-4,

To Believe His Words

If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38  

Why Miracles were not Provided

To satisfy a fleshly desire

But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:39

So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” John 4:48

File Download

In the following downloadable files, you will find gospel narratives of all the miracles for your records and reference. Also, for your convenience, a pdf is available that supplies the miracles in a table format, following the order of our study.

I have also found a timeline that is helpful in relation to when the miracles were performed in His ministry. The file may be found at https://www.bibletimelines.net/timelines/jesus-ministry


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion. If you would like to receive daily posts from Considering the Bible, click on the “Follow” link below

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com