Understanding the Bible 20: The Meaning of Jesus’s Miracles

The miracles of Jesus were only slightly less of an intellectual challenge to citizens of the 1st century than they are to us.  Raising a dead girl to life, for example, was no more common in ancient Israel than it is now!  And thus it was Jesus’s ability to perform such “signs and wonders” that first drew large crowds to seek him (they came to see something few could believe or to seek his help in the most desperate cases).  

Yet the main point of Jesus’s miracles was not to demonstrate power per se.  (Too often in the church we have seen the miracles mainly as “proof” of Jesus’s divine identity; the only lesson to be drawn is that Jesus is the “son of God.”)  Rather, the miracles are instances of salvation-in-action: the restoration and healing that marks the kingship of God.  

In this episode – and the four that follow – we take a look at a variety of Jesus’s miracles and examine the larger victory over sin that they demonstrate.  From the raising of the dead, to the calming of a storm, to the forgiveness of sins, Jesus was not only declaring, but embodying, that the age of salvation is now at hand.


This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), 2 February 2014. To learn more about Canvas, click here!


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