Summary: The world has questioned the reality of Jesus' deity, His supernatural origin, His miracles, and His resurrection and His ascension. Now here is the proof the Bible means what it says.
PROOF OF THE MIRACLES OF JESUS
1 Cor. 15:3-8
A. HUMOR: A MISER’S KINDNESS
1. Sam is a kind-hearted husband but he’s the tightest skinflint you ever saw. One day he took his wife Sue to the Woodlands Mall.
2. They walked down half the mall for over 45 minutes admiring all the wonderful shops when Sue began to feel a bit hungry. Just as they passed the food court, Sue whispered to him, "Sam, that restaurant we just passed. What a wonderful smell of food was coming out of it. What do you think?"
3. Sam wanted to be kind to her, so, still holding her hand, he turned around and they walked back past the restaurant again.
1. We are continuing our series “Proofs that the Bible is True!” Tonight we’re touching on another extraordinary intervention of God in human history – God’s sending His Son into the world in the person of Jesus Christ!
2. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” 1 Cor. 15:3-8.
C. TITLE & THESIS
1. So tonight we’re looking at “Proofs of the Miracles of Jesus.”
2. The Question has been asked: “Hasn’t the New Testament been changed, since it has been copied and recopied throughout history?” Accusations have been made that zealous monks or others embellished Biblical accounts about Christ and the Apostles. It is said that the virgin birth, the miracles, the resurrection and ascension never occurred, but were added later. These charges can be easily shown to be untrue.
I. FIRST CENTURY MISREPRESENTATION UNLIKELY
If the followers of Jesus, in the period A.D. 33-100, had made up the stories of the miracles, the claims would have been refuted and disproven, for too many people were still alive who would have known they weren’t true. Much like if people claimed today that John F. Kennedy walked on water, fed 5,000 people from a single lunch, drove out demons and healed thousands of sick people, such claims would be loudly denounced in the media as patently false. Quite the opposite was true. Paul, in one of his letters (I Cor. 15:16), stated that of the 500 people who had seen Christ after He rose from the dead, the majority of them were still alive in 60 A.D. and could verify that they had seen the risen Christ!
II. CONFIRMATION OF HIS MIRACLES BY NON-CHRISTIAN CONTEMPORARIES
A. THE JEWISH RULERS of Jesus’ day didn’t dispute that Jesus had performed miracles, rather they tried to question the source of the power He exhibited. “By what authority are You doing these things?” (Matt. 21:23; see also Matt. 9:32-34; 12:22-24, 25:1-4; John 9:15-16). This line of attack -- the “how” of Jesus’ miracles -- continued in the Jewish Talmud. Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a says, “On the eve of Passover they hanged Jeshu (of Nazareth) ... in that he had practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel.”
B. PONTIUS PILATE evidently made a record of his procuratorship and sent copies to the imperial archives in Rome. This record included accounts of the Miracles of Christ. When the Christian witness, Justin Martyr, stood trial before Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in A.D. 150, he appealed to these records when speaking of the miracles of Jesus; “That He performed these miracles you may easily be satisfied from the ‘Acts of Pontius Pilate’” (Apology I:48).
C. FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS (born A.D. 37), a Jewish historian, wrote a history of the Jewish people. Included in it is this statement about Jesus. “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (Antiquities, Book 18, ch 3, par. 3).