Summary: Do you really believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale? Do you seriously think that Jesus actually fed five thousand people using only five loaves of bread and two fish? The tone and trend of many ‘modern’ sceptics is one of incredulity, surely, they say,
John 14:8-14 (New International Version)
8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Are Miracles possible?
Often to establish the credibility of a single miracle is not enough for the sceptic. The real problem for the sceptic is not with the miracle but with the whole concept of God. This is a question that Jesus discuses with His disciples in John 14.
Our concept of God
The God of the Bible, the God of the Christian, is by definition all-powerful, therefore the concept of miracles for a Christian should not be difficult to understand or grasp.
In the absence of belief in an all-powerful God the possibility or existence of miracles is difficult for the sceptic or unbeliever to accept.
The sceptic has many questions, questions about the credibility of miracles, questions about the validity of predictive prophecy, questions about any supernatural act. It is difficult to understand and comprehend God from a human perspective.
Many questions that arise, stem from man assuming that the nature of God (if He exists) is the same as the person asking the question. How often do you hear people describing ‘the God they believe in’ a concept of God that a person has conceived based on the human rather than the divine.
When you have read about Miracles in the Bible what reactions have you had?
Are there specific Miracles that really amaze or surprise you? Which and Why?
Is God bound by natural law?
The question is this “If an all-powerful God, who created the universe, exists why do we have difficulty in believing that he transcends the natural laws He created ?”
As Christians our view, our belief is in a God who is alive, active, powerful, loving and caring today. The 18th Century philosopher David Hume defined a miracle as “a violation of natural law.” God would not be God if He were prisoner of natural laws.
In a modern scientific age, it is common to personify science and natural laws. The Christian views natural law as behaving in an observable cause-and-effect way, all the time - day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, century after century.
God is outside, over and above natural law, He is not bound by it. God has the right and the power to intervene when and how He chooses.
When is a Miracle not a Miracle?
Miracle is a loosely used word today. If a student passes a difficult exam with a high mark they may say “It was a miracle”. In a recent newspaper article, people who queued for ages outside Next to be the first into the store on a sale day, said in an interview that it was ‘a miracle the prices were so low”. Contestants selected for the ‘live’ shows of X-Factor described their appearance as “a miracle beyond belief”.
Today the term miracle can mean anything that is unusual or unexpected. Today when people talk about miracles it is often in a context that does not involve God being at work.
In the New Testament four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles:
1. Semeion, (s?µe???)a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38,39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
2. Terata, (t??ata)“wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
3. Dunameis, (????µe??)“might works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
4. Erga, (???a)“works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20, 36).
Do you know of any ‘real’ modern miracles?