Faith and Miracles
Jesus has power over nature:
There’s a difference between miracles and magic. Old Testament magicians could copy lots of God’s achievements in Egypt, but couldn’t copy God’s control over nature. In the New Testament, it’s when Jesus controls the wind and the waves that the disciples respond with greatest awe (Mark 4:35-41).
Jesus has power over social convention:
Social rules can dictate who we do and don’t eat with, or who we allow into our homes, churches and schools. But Jesus broke the social rules and invited everyone (Matthew 9:11-12, John 4:7-15).
Jesus has power over need:
Jesus recognized the hunger of his followers and provided food, either by directly miraculous means or by equally miraculously causing huge crowds to share, depending on your interpretation.
Jesus has power over sickness:
Jesus healed people, and his followers healed people (Acts 5:12-16, 8:6-7). After his death, his disciples continued to heal people in his name. People were cured
• just by touching his garments (Mark 5:33), or his disciples’ garments (Acts 19:11-12)
• on hearing a divine pronouncement (Mark 1:5, Acts 3:1-10)
• or healed at a distance (Mark 8:5-13).
• Sometimes human intervention was employed in healing (Mark 7:31-39, 8:22-26), and in the New Testament, even advised (James 5:14 – oil in this case was the most common form of healing ointment).
• Faith was useful (Matthew 9:2-7, 15:28) but not necessary (Mark 9:21-22).
• Belonging to the (Jewish) church helped but wasn’t necessary either (Mark 7:26-30).
Jesus has power over demons:
Whether we consider demons to be a personification of mental illness or a supernatural force, the Bible is clear that Jesus and his disciples had power over them.
Jesus has power over death:
Jesus made it clear that he did not raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:24), but he did admit to raising others from the dead (Matthew 11:5, Luke 7:11-15, John 11:14). His disciples are also recorded as raising people from the dead in Jesus’ name (Acts 9:36-41).
Jesus has power through prayer:
Jesus is frequently recorded as praying, going away to pray, taking time to pray, etc. He is quoted as saying he only does what the Father tells him (John 5:19). After Jesus’ death, the disciples continue to spend a lot of time in prayer (Acts 2:44, 6:4).
Jesus’ name has power:
The disciples healed in Jesus’ name, both before his death (Mark 6:7) and after (Acts 3:6), but it is not enough just to use his name; we have to also allow ourselves to be used by him (Acts 19:13-17).