EDITOR’S NOTE: This groundbreaking series is being offered in celebration of a previously top-secret project and now unprecedented new 3-Volume book series (over 10-years in the making) from best-selling scholar Dr. Thomas Horn and acclaimed biblical history and theology majors Donna Howell and Allie Anderson: THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION—YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW
We often hear sincere prayers in our contemporary Christian world for a supernatural actions such as healings, changes in the weather, or interventions from God in areas of need. In fact, it happens frequently. How often do such pleas result in the outcome hoped for? Not every time, at least in the experiences of these authors.
Here’s a question that can help provide clarity in all of this before we begin discussing the rest of Jesus’ miracles: How often do the prayers like those just mentioned include the words “so You might be proven/glorified”? Sometimes, maybe. But how often do these prayers take place in a setting where, for many, Jesus is a brand-new concept?
See, that changes everything.
This word study we’re about to present might be one of the greatest apologetics (argument) regarding why our prayers for miracles aren’t always answered affirmatively, even when we offer them with the grandest levels of human faith. Bookmark this page and highlight it, because the current absence of God’s intervention in a New-Testament, storm-calming, make-the-blind-see-again fashion is an enormous reasons for atheists’ disbelief—which, tragically, many of us can’t refute with much more than a weak, “God works in mysterious ways” response. (Don’t take that wrong. There are times this is the appropriate answer. Isaiah 55:8–9 makes it clear that God’s ways are mysterious to us. However, unfortunately, it has become a short, pat, abused cop-out response to explain away every “failed” prayer, excusing Christians from having to tackle a tough subject.)
The Greek word translated “miracle” in the New Testament is almost always semeion, or “sign,” and semeion is regularly used in conjunction with teras, or “wonders.” (Another similar term is dynamis, translated “mighty works” or “power.” Though these don’t mean exactly what semeion and teras do, the context of Scripture is clear that they accomplish the same goal.) Scholars acknowledge what we often miss:
Miracles in the New Testament are often referred to as signs and wonders. This is key [see that?: key, meaning of paramount importance!] to understanding the purpose of Jesus’ supernatural acts of healing, spiritual deliverance, control of nature, and raising of individuals from the dead. The Gospels present these miracles as signs of Jesus’ rightful authority as King over the natural realm. The words of Jesus, including His announcement of the coming of God’s kingdom, are substantiated by His performance of miraculous deeds. Thus the miracles served a specific and designated purpose—to prove that Jesus is King and that God’s kingdom over which He rules is now immediately accessible, operating on earth. Jesus’…miraculous deeds demonstrated the authenticity of this Kingdom and the legitimacy of His claims to be its King [or Messiah]. Only the legitimate Ruler of such a government could exercise such a degree of control and authority over its elements.[i]
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
WILL BLOOD OF THE ANTICHRIST “SAVE” PEOPLE FROM THIS!?
Going deeper, the Lexham Theological Wordbook states semeion is the object or occurrence that makes it possible to recognize something important that’s otherwise ambiguous or unknown, and it goes on to say: “This basic sense is attested in the [New Testament], as in the instance where Judas’ kiss serves as a sign (semeion) revealing Jesus’ identity to the men tasked with seizing him (Matt 26:48).”[ii] Without Judas’ “sign” of the kiss, the Roman soldiers wouldn’t have known who to arrest. Thus, the kiss “proved” Jesus was the One they were after.
Miracles in the New Testament were, therefore, ultimately not for the benefit of the recipients, though that was an obvious side effect. It was a “sign,” literally an indicator or marker, that the Savior was among them and was who He said He was. The reactions of the beneficiaries bolstered this, as they would transform from quiet beggars or afflicted individuals to loud proclaimers of what had been done for them.
Knowing this, we should really question the motive behind our prayers today. If we ask for miraculous intervention from a place that isn’t—in any way, shape, or form—intrinsically connected to our hope of proving the Messiah to others who can observe the miracle and come to believe in His sovereignty, then our intent does not line up with the purpose of the miracles we read about in the Bible. And even when pointing others to Him is, in the fullest way, our intent when we pray, we have to consider whether the people of the area we live in are familiar with Jesus. Those in the Western world usually do know of Him, even though they reject Him. Also remember when Jesus was asked to show the Pharisees a sign, He responded by saying only a wicked generation would ask for such proof (Matthew 16:4). He didn’t say this because their request was inherently wicked, but because He knew their motives were wrong. They were familiar with Jesus in a human-flesh, person-to-person way that we can’t be today, but they, too, rejected Him. When the motive behind asking for miracles isn’t pure, He isn’t willing to perform parlor tricks for our amusement. From there, we must be willing to admit whether, if the prayer is answered the way we wish, we would hurry to spread the Good News as did the beneficiaries of the New Testament miracles. If we don’t meet these requirements to the fullest, then we, ourselves, become the benefactors of the miracles we’re asking for…which is, when traced to the very root of motive, a selfish request.
In the earliest days of Defender publishing company (known as “Anomalos” at the time), we released a book, God Sent Me Back, about a Nigerian pastor, Daniel Ekechukwu, who was raised from the dead in 2001 after perishing in a car accident. This book has since been taken out of print, but we remember how astonished our production staff was by the colossal mountain of evidence that supported the incident. (Note the author was writing on behalf of the man who had come back from death, which challenges the idea that Ekechukwu was exaggerating his own story.) This pastor had been dead for three full days, his body in the morgue. The book included corroborated interviews and documents from the mortician who wrote up and signed his certificate of death and saw to the administration of embalming fluids. Pictures included in the publication showed graphic before, during, and after photos of the wreck, as well as the “Lazarus” moment when Ekechukwu rose again after his body had been taken to a Reinhard Bonnke crusade. Bonnke’s Christ for All Nations ministry went on to produce a documentary of the incident. If all that transpired after this event was that the Nigerian man returned home and spent the rest of his life in peace and privacy, it would be a beautiful description of God’s grace…but that would not fulfill the ultimate, point-to-Christ purpose of the miracle, and thankfully that’s not what he chose to do. Instead, he rose and dedicated the rest of his life to telling as many people as he could about the miracle he had experienced in an area of the world where witchcraft and voodoo (and other world religions) often hold people in a tighter, more demonic grip than in the highly Christianized West.
Miracles do happen, but not with the same rate of frequency and saturation as they did in the New Testament period, when Jesus had just appeared on the scene, when the world had no idea of who He was or whether the whispers about Him being the Messiah were true. When Jesus walked the earth, He was a new idea, a new answer to the question of which power on earth was more authoritative than all others amidst sorcery and satanic energies that were alive and well up to His appearance. Had He merely stated with empty words that He was the Son, but refused to show signs that validated those declarations, then He would have been no more impressive in the history books than all the other revolutionaries who came before Him, like Judas the Galilean.
Though it may not be the answer we want to hear, miracles were and are about God, not us, and He knows the secret depths of our motive and our hearts, as well as the future, and therefore has the divine right to see whether our miracle will produce the harvest that supports the sign in the first place.
But doesn’t the Word say “by His stripes we are healed”?
Yes, but it’s not a physical healing we are promised; plus, don’t miss the emphasis of this verse (despite it being so often misquoted) is in the past tense.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
HOW OBAMA, HITLER, AND THE THRONE OF SATAN ARE CONNECTED TO “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION”
In 1 Peter 2:24, we read, “by whose [Jesus’] stripes ye were healed.” The key word here is “were.” This verse is an echo of a prophecy in Isaiah 53:5–6 that clearly points to a then-future physical wounding for the sake of spiritual healing. Note the clarification in brackets:
But he [Christ] was wounded [physical wound] for our transgressions [for our sin], He was bruised [physical wound] for our iniquities [again, for our sin]…All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way [fallen away from God; not a physical illness]; And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all [the Father has laid upon the Son the sin of the world].
Nowhere in this passage did Isaiah point to a physical element. The only treatment of anything physical is that Jesus was physically wounded for the sake of our transgressions/iniquities.
We frequently assign 1 Peter 2:24 to a promise of bodily healing, but that can’t be the meaning of this Isaiah verse based on the Greek word behind “you were healed,” iaomai, which is used in the common aorist verb, or past, tense. Peter was using Isaiah’s prophecy to acknowledge a fulfillment—that the work of Christ on the cross paved the way for a spiritual healing for all on the day He died. As are the common rules of context, this is also shown in the very next verse, 1 Peter 2:25: “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” The emphasis here is unmistakably about the soul.
Yes, but “where two or more are gathered—”
Wait a sec… There is also a common misunderstanding about Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Many of us, as sincere as we may be, take this Scripture out of context to say that we can claim literally anything in the name of God/Jesus, and so long as two or more others are present and the request fits with biblical teaching (and by extension, God’s will as outlined in the Word), it will be done. But this verse’s context (starting with verse 15), regards conflict among church members. Jesus explained that if our “brothers” (fellow Christians) “trespass thee” (sin against us—and note that this is a sin against us, not merely “offending” us), we are to take the following steps:
- Speak privately with the individual who sinned against us. If the person will not listen:
- Take one or two other “witnesses” to have further discussion with that person. This doesn’t mean we should take along those who “witnessed” the sin, as the context is a personal conflict and not a judicial/legal one in which “witnesses” would provide testimony. Instead, we should be accompanied by people who know what sin is and what it’s not. If the offender still won’t listen:
- Tell the “church.” Some scholars interpret this to indicate the whole church, as in making a church-wide statement, while others interpret it to mean the leaders of the church, but either way, the purpose is not to pass judgment and gang up on the offender, but to bring him or her back to the fold and completely restored with the fellowship. If the offender, however, still will not listen:
- He or she should be removed from the church and treated as a pagan or tax collector—as a foreigner to the disciples.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
GOD BROKE THE POWER OF “THE CHRISTMAS MAGI”? BUT IS SUCH “MAGI-CALISM” RETURNING NOW FOR THE RISE OF A DIFFERENT “CHRIST CHILD”?
This radical removal is a response to a sin that goes above and beyond personal hurt feelings, as the context of the next verses stipulate regarding forgiving a person “seventy times seven.” An example of extending this kind of forgiveness is in the parable of the king who forgave the debts (Matthew 18:21–35). If we allow the popular “where two or more” interpretation to lead, then we’re not only forced to believe anything we ask for will be granted, but we also must admit that God’s presence is not found in the presence of just one Christian. In other words, this interpretations asserts that He requires that two or more people be in attendance before He will grant His presence or a miracle. Both of these teachings are heretical. Also, the Greek word translated “gathered” is synegmenoi, and it means “united,” not just people occupying the same physical space. In proper New Testament context, “united” people are integrated for the cause of spreading of the Gospel, not for any kind of personal gain. The bottom line: Where two or more are united for the purpose of sharing the Gospel, God will honor decisions to deal with, and possibly remove, troublesome congregants, assuming those actions are made slowly, methodically, maturely, and with the offender’s restoration as the goal.
Yeah, but…my pastor said we don’t have healing or whatever we need because we don’t ask for it. So if we ask—
Hang on… Yet another abused verse that looks like it might be promising answers to prayer comes from James 4:1–4, often shortened to “you have not because you ask not,” as if that applies to anything we might ask for. The true context of the verse is, ironically, also about church conflict, as the whole passage shows:
From whence come wars and fightings among you [believers in the early Church]? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss [meaning “you ask with the wrong motives”], that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
It’s unfortunate so many drop “you have not because you ask not” in the air like a promise, because the verse after it speaks of not getting what we ask for because we ask out of selfish or vain motives (“that ye may consume it upon your lusts”). The believers James was addressing in his letter were making the mistake of assuming their earthly blessings (their relationship with the world) would justify spiritual-holiness competitions among members.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
DOES “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS” INCLUDE THE WORLD PREPARING FOR ANTICHRIST?
More often than not, the words of the Bible do not promise specific outcomes. As stated earlier, the Israelites interpreted the Deuteronomic “retributional justice” system to be a constant promise, not a general guideline. This led to confusion every time someone met what they believed to be “pointless” suffering. For example, when Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth, as recorded in John 9:1–12, the disciples asked, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” To them, the man couldn’t be blind simply because he came into the world with an affliction. But, “Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.’” The man had been born that way so God could be glorified in the healing.
This also does not mean God is oblivious to our needs or doesn’t wish to bless His people, even to the point of miraculous intervention. Here’s one instance—again as a guideline, not a promise—that we can ask for what we need and expect those needs to be taken care of:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7–11)
The Gospel of Matthew commentary brings this into focus, rightly emphasizing that the requests of believers should be based on need only, and not on preferences or luxury: “In [Matthew] vv. 25–34 the focus was explicitly on need rather than desire, and here too the son’s requests are for basic food, not for luxuries.… The ‘carte blanche’ approach to petitionary prayer does not find support from the NT as a whole.”[iii] The commentator goes on to explain that there are circumstances when “the door” is not opened to those who knock, citing Matthew 25:10–12 and 7:21–23 as examples. Likewise, he says Matthew describes instances in which prayers are not answered, citing 6:5 and 6:7, as well as Jesus’ own prayer in 26:29 just before His arrest.[iv]
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
BEHOLD HIDDEN MYSTERIES CONNECTING THE OLD TESTAMENT “OPENING MIND” WITH THE SCROLL “SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS”
Again: If our eyes remain on the goal of spreading the Good News of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, many prayers are often answered in the positive (God knows when it’s not). The result of such prayers can lead the lost to Christ. This is why, though we in the West may not see many amazing miracles, certain Christian missionaries in the Majority World report them all the time. In one of her earlier college classes, Howell read of a long list of astounding miracles that occurred in Muslim countries through a practice some call the “power encounter,” all occurring as recently as between 2013–2019. Christian missionaries boldly go to this territory to tell everyone they meet that Christ is more powerful than Allah and that they, the precious unbelievers whom God loves, can have that power shown to them by merely asking Christ to intervene for them in some way. These missionaries also teach about signs and related motives of the askers. Because of these prayers, many have been healed from physical ailments, have had dreams of Jesus probing their minds during slumber, and have even been freed from the intensely oppressive response of their culture after their conversion became public (unheard of in Muslim countries!). Jesus is then glorified as the sole reason behind their miracles—and all this in a region where folks have yet to widely accept Him as Savior.
As a last word on Matthew 7:7 (as well as on its counterpart, John 16:24), we must keep in mind that humans—though finite and faulty—are made in the image of God, and we can learn one thing from this: A relationship with God is comparable to our relationships with other people. (Note we didn’t say it’s “the same as.”) Like children, when we ask for something God, in His infinite wisdom, knows is not what we need, we may not understand why His answer is no. If your child asks for a poisonous snake, both of you might banter about the request, your child never fully accepting your reasons for turning him down. When we read that we can ask “any thing” in Christ’s name and He will give it, the “thing” we ask for must still be within the will of God (compare John 14:14 with John 6:38, then compare them both with 1 John 5:14). What is the ultimate will of God? That Christ might be glorified…thus bringing us back to the beginning of this whole study: that the answered prayer would be a semeion, or “sign” of Christ in some way.
This quick search through the Scriptures on prayer is meant to encourage readers who have heard the dreaded “no” or “wait” as an answer to a prayer, and to bring back into focus what the miracles of Jesus were for. If you’ve been praying for a miracle, don’t stop praying! Just consider adding to your prayer the intent to use that miracle as a sign of Christ’s deity whenever and wherever you’re given the chance. Then, if your prayer is answered the way you had hoped, follow through with your promises.
Jesus’ many miracles documented in the New Testament aren’t even close to the whole story, either. John’s Gospel made that clear when he wrote: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (21:25). But here’s a list we can remember and praise Jesus for (beginning with His second miracle, because His turning water into wine has already been discussed).
- Healed an official’s son at Capernaum (John 4:43–54).
- Delivered a man in Capernaum from an evil spirit (Mark 1:21–27; Luke 4:31–36).
- Healed Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever (Matthew 8:14–15; Mark 1:29–31; Luke 4:38–39).
- Cast out devils and healed the sick of many—on the same evening as Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever (Matthew 8:16–17; Mark 1:32–34; Luke 4:40–41).
- Instructed fishermen to lower their nets, producing a miraculous catch after an all-day fishing attempt rendered nothing on Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:1–11).
- Cleansed a man of leprosy (Matthew 8:1–4; Mark 1:40–45; Luke 5:12–14).
- Healed a centurion’s paralyzed servant in Capernaum (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:1–10).
- Healed the paralyzed man who was lowered from an opening in the roof over the room where Jesus was (Matthew 9:1–8; Mark 2:1–12; Luke 5:17–26).
- Healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9–14; Mark 3:1–6; Luke 6:6–11).
- Resurrected the son of a widow in Nain (Luke 7:11–17).
- Calmed a storm over the sea (Matthew 8:23–27; Mark 4:35–41; Luke 8:22–25).
- Cast demons into pigs (Matthew 8:28–33; Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39).
- Healed a woman with an issue of blood (Matthew 9:20–22; Mark 5:25–34; Luke 8:42–48).
- Resurrected the ruler Jairus’ daughter (Matthew 9:18, 23–26; Mark 5:21–24, 35–43; Luke 8:40–42, 49–56).
- Healed two blind men (Matthew 9:27–31).
- Healed a mute man (Matthew 9:32–34).
- Healed a crippled man at Bethesda (John 5:1–15).
- Fed five thousand (plus women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish after healing the sick among them (Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–15).
- Walked across the water (Matthew 14:22–33; Mark 6:45–52; John 6:16–21).
- Healed many from sickness in Gennesaret as they touched His garment (Matthew 14:34–36; Mark 6:53–56).
- Healed a demon-possessed daughter of a Gentile woman (Matthew 15:21–28; Mark 7:24–30).
- Healed a man who was both deaf and mute (Mark 7:31–37).
- Fed four thousand (plus women and children) with seven loaves of bread and “a few little fishes” (Matthew 15:32–39; Mark 8:1–13).
- Healed a blind man at Bethesda (Mark 8:22–26).
- Healed a blind-from-birth man by spitting on the ground and making a healing ointment from mud (or “clay”) (John 9:1–12).
- Delivered a boy from an unclean spirit (Matthew 17:14–20; Mark 9:14–29; Luke 9:37–43).
- Drew the amount of money due for the Temple taxes from the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:24–27).
- Healed and delivered a blind, mute man possessed by demons (Matthew 12:22–23; Luke 11:14–23).
- Healed a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years (Luke 13:10–17).
- Cured a man from edema (or “dropsy”) on the Sabbath day (Luke 14:1–6).
- Cleansed ten people from leprosy on His way to Jerusalem (Luke 17:11–19).
- Raised Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (John 11:1–45).
- Healed a blind man, Bartimaeus, in Jericho (Matthew 20:29–34; Mark 10:46–52; Luke 18:35–43).
- Caused a fruitless fig tree on the road from Bethany to withers and die (Matthew 21:18–22; Mark 11:12–14).
- Healed a soldier’s ear after Peter cut it off the night of Jesus’ arrest (Luke 22:50–51).
- Resurrected Himself from the grave/tomb (Matthew 28:11–15, 18).
- Appeared in a room “with closed doors” (in other words, He walked through a wall) where His disciples had gathered after His crucifixion (John 20:19).
- Appeared to His disciples after His crucifixion, instructing them to lower the net on the other side of the boat, resulting in a huge catch after a tiring day of catching nothing (John 21:3–11).
- Vanished from thin air without an explanation (Luke 24:31).
- Repeatedly appeared to many individuals and gatherings to produce “many infallible proofs” after His crucifixion (Acts 1:3–4).
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO
WOW! WATCH DR. THOMAS HORN and DONNA HOWELL INTRODUCE “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION!”
Almost all these miracles, signs, and wonders were performed in front of multiple witnesses, and some were amid gatherings of hundreds or thousands. One particular sign took place in front of three disciples only, and they were asked not to tell anyone “till the Son of man were risen from the dead” (Mark 9:9).
(Jesus’ popular self-reference, “Son of Man,” appears more than eighty times in the Gospels. The most obvious underlying meaning we see today of that name is that God would one day appear in human form, looking like any other “son” who has ever come from any other “man [human male],” as Jesus did. But that wasn’t necessarily the interpretation of the Jews. After the effects of Maccabean revolt [circa 140–36 BC], the Jews began to reinterpret the “Son of Man” from Daniel 7 as a more mystical, eschatological [end-times] character who would rise up in the last days with a literal, physical Kingdom of God and rule over all the earth. Therefore, this “character” would be different from all others, so “Son of Man” implied an eternal Person who embodied perfection from the Most High. He would be the most pious of Sages. But the Jews also believed this Being would, as an eternal Person, be a heavenly Being incapable of physical death, and that He would not “appear” as a human until His Parousia, or “Final Advent” [what we understand to be the Second Coming].[v] Either way, there is a definitive cohabitation of divine qualities alongside human qualities in one, which cannot point to anything besides an Incarnation. So Jesus, God Incarnate, in His choice to refer to Himself as this Being, wasn’t only positioning Himself as the eschatological ruler of a future earthly Kingdom, but He was also showing that there would be a “First Advent” [the disciples were witnessing this now] and a “Second Advent.” The First Coming would provide an answer to the problem of sin—substitutionary atonement: a “removal” of sin instead of a “covering” of it like in the Mosaic Law—which would eventually lead to the Second Coming, the culmination of all things in the end of all time. In this reference, however, Christ identified Himself as the fulfillment of the Man Daniel saw in his vision.)
Jesus had an opportunity to take Peter, James, and John with Him up to “a high mountain” (scholars believe it was Mt. Hermon, Mt. Miron, or Mt. Tabor) to pray. It was there that the miracle of the Transfiguration occurred (see Matthew 17:1–8; Mark 9:2–8; Luke 9:28–36). “And [Christ’s] raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them [meaning no expert in clothing could have bleached them that white]” (Mark 9:3), “and his face did shine as the sun” (Matthew 17:2). Moses and Elijah appeared “in glorious splendor” (Luke 9:31) to speak with Him about His coming departure from Jerusalem. Moses was the supreme deliverer of God’s people prior to Christ, and his presence represents the entire Old Testament Law. Elijah was the supreme prophet, as well as Jesus’ forerunner (Malachi 4:4–6). In this trio, Israel’s past (Moses), present (Elijah), and future (Christ) are in view. Once again, a voice from heaven from the Father recognized the bright and shining Son: “This is my beloved Son: hear him” (Mark 9:7).
With Christ’s end goal of “signs” in mind, we need to recall that He wasn’t just proving He was the Son of God so He could accumulate worshippers and disciples. In every case, each semeion He performed pointed to His central message of teaching: The Kingdom of God is here! Book of Acts exegete F. F. Bruce concurs:
The miracles of Jesus were not mere “wonders”; they were “mighty works,” evidences of the power of God operating among the people, and “signs” of the kingdom of God—“the powers of the age to come,” in the language of Heb. 6:5. “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons,” said Jesus on one occasion, “then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). And the generality of those who saw his mighty works agreed: “God has visited his people” (Luke 7:16).[vi]
Proof was offered to those with ears to hear and eyes to see (Matthew 13:9–16), and not just to glorify Jesus, but to support His message, His teaching, that the Kingdom of God was, finally and forever, at hand.
UP NEXT: HIS Kingdom?! This Guy Has to Go!
[i] Hedlun, Randy, The New Testament as Literature: An Independent-Study Textbook (Springfield, MO: Global University; 2016), 136.
[ii] Lewellen, E., D. Mangum, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, & R. Hurst (Eds.), Lexham Theological Wordbook (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; 2014), “Miracles.”
[iii] France, R. T., The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co; 2007), 279.
[v] Mowinckel, Sigmund, He That Cometh: The Messiah Concept in the Old Testament and Later Judaism (Translated by G. W. Anderson. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; 2005), 385.
[vi] Bruce, F. F., The Book of the Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co; 1988), 63.
Category: Featured, Featured Articles