The Miracles Jesus performed

During His life and public ministry, the gospels record Jesus performing countless supernatural miraculous signs. Jesus did so many miracles that many, probably most, are not recorded in any detail. No-one else had ever, or has ever, been able to do so many and such astonishing miraculous signs and this shows clearly that Jesus is totally unique in His ability, power and authority.

The miracles of Jesus were an essential part of His ministry and are supernatural signs indicating (i) His deity, (ii) His mission of restoration and healing for humanity, and (iii) His authority over Satan and his powers. They show Jesus was and is able to bring all kinds of physical healing; that He had power and authority over nature; that He could restore the dead to life and much more. All these miracles, humanly speaking impossible things, are testimony to the fact that Jesus was more than just another person. He was from God, full of the Spirit of God and He was God.

Why did Jesus do these miracles? Because of His love and compassion. People sometimes say "If God would do something or other unexpected, then I would believe." Jesus said this himself on one occasion "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe." Well God has given us signs and wonders, we have the written record, therefore we should believe. God has always given miracles and many are recorded in the Old Testament and many continue in different ways today. On occasions, Jesus even gave His name to His disciples as the authority to carry out miracles. But Jesus was the miracle-man, the focal point of every supernatural event that forever bears witness to His Deity.

That Jesus was able to heal every kind of physical disability and disease gives us the assurance that, as He said, He is able also to heal every kind of spiritual and moral disease. As He said "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Get up, and walk?'" Only God can heal a paralysed man with a word, and only God can forgive sins. In His grace and through His miracles, Jesus has given us the confidence He and He alone can cure man's greatest illness which is his spiritual disease. And the cure? Forgiveness, the power to defeat sin and a future with Him for ever.

The Miracles of Jesus

Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,
Matthew 12:15

Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
Matthew 14:14

When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. When the people of that place recognised him, they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick; and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.
Matthew 14:34-36

Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them, so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, the injured healed, the lame walking, and the blind seeing-and they glorified the God of Israel.
Matthew 15:30-31

Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there.
Matthew 19:2

Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30-31

He called to himself his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness.
Matthew 10:1

As you go, preach, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give.
Matthew 10:7-8

Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him amongst you, even as you yourselves know.
Acts 2:22

In-Page Navigation

Please click on the following links to go to the section on each miracle.


1. The Virgin Birth - Matthew 1:18-20

Verses: Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:30-35

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: After his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18-20

Matthew does not record Mary's meeting with the Angel Gabriel, which is given in Luke's account, but he does record the appearance of an angel to Joseph in a dream. Both these angelic visitations communicate the essential mystery of the incarnation that Mary's child was conceived not by Joseph, but by the Holy Spirit.

This unique virgin birth is the explanation that Jesus was, and still is, both Divine and human. If Jesus was born in the natural way, he would have been just like us, unable to live a perfect life, unable to perfectly obey God's law and unable to save humanity. Because Jesus was directly placed in Mary by God the Holy Spirit, He is God clothed in a human body and able to live that perfect life and offer himself for the salvation of the world. We must not think that Jesus was created at the incarnation, this was God the Son becoming human; He was always God the Son, just like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. (The name, Son of God, is not to be thought of as the child or offspring of God, but rather the Son in the sense of 'in the character of'.)

The incarnation is perhaps the most 'miraculous' of all the miracles. Its mystery cannot be understood, yet it remains a historical fact and central to Christianity. If the incarnation is denied then neither can the resurrection be believed.


2. Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy - Matthew 8:1-4

Verses: Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-14

When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. Behold, a leper came to him and worshipped him, saying, "Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be made clean." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Jesus said to him, "See that you tell nobody, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
Matthew 8:1-4

Having announced His Kingdom, His ethics and His manifesto in the sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ immediately begins to display His ability and power. The multitudes had listened to the wondrous words which He had spoken and had been astonished at the authority of His teaching. Now they would be astonished again as Jesus reveals further a ministry of healing, putting into action the words He had spoken.

In this first section in Matthew's account we have four miracles; a leper, a Roman, a woman and then many demon possessed. In the culture and religion of the time, lepers were sent away; Romans were hated; women were undervalued and those demon possessed would cause fear and anguish. Jesus deals with all these people and heals them.

In the first miracle recorded by Matthew, a leper came up to Jesus and asked to be made clean, confident that Jesus was able, but uncertain whether He would be willing. One can imagine the crowds moving away to escape contamination. The answer of the King was immediate, and to the multitudes surrounding it must have been startling. He stretched forth His hand and touched him, and affirming His willingness, demonstrated His ability to deal with leprosy. Our familiarity with the power of the Lord may interfere with our ability to realize how striking a demonstration of power this was to the people who witnessed it. There was no hope for the leper either of cure of fellowship within the religious life. It was a most strict isolation so that those affected would not come in contact with others. Yet in this miracle, the One Whose moral code had demanded a spiritual purity which seemed wellnigh impossible to achieve, touches the leprous man and communicates to him a purity that cleansed him.


3. Jesus Heals a Centurion's Paralyzed Servant in Capernaum - Matthew 8:5-13

Verses: Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10

When he came into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking him, and saying, "Lord, my servant lies in the house paralysed, grievously tormented." Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion answered, "Lord, I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and tell another, 'Come,' and he comes; and tell my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to those who followed, "Most certainly I tell you, I haven't found so great a faith, not even in Israel. I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed." His servant was healed in that hour.
Matthew 8:5-13

The second miracle in this section was performed in the interest of a Roman Centurion. This must have been as startling to the crowds as the healing of the leper. A Roman soldier approached the King on behalf of his personal servant. It was the coming of one outside the covenant of Hebraism on behalf of another outside that covenant. The manner of his coming was that of a remarkable recognition of the method of the King's authority. Illustrating from his own position, that of a man being under authority, and, therefore, exercising authority over others, he besought the Lord to speak the word, and affirmed his conviction that if He would do so, his servant would be healed. It was the approach of one confident of the King's authority.

Jesus interrupted the centurion's request and told hime He would heal the servant even before the request had been made. When the centurion had confessed his own unworthiness, and his confidence in the power of the King to act without taking the journey, Jesus made his confession the occasion of a solemn word of warning to the multitudes that were about Him. He was about to confer a benefit on a man outside the covenant, and He declared that was a foretaste type of what would happen in larger degree. He then uttered the word of power, and the servant was healed.


4. Jesus Heals Peter's Mother-in-Law Sick With Fever - Matthew 8:14-15

Verses: Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39

When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her. She got up and served him.
Matthew 8:14-15

The third miracle in this section occupies just two verses and was exercised on behalf of a woman, apparently without any request for help. Entering into the house of Peter, He saw Peter's mother-in-law lying sick of a fever, and immediately touched her hand, and she was healed.

The demonstration of the completeness of the healing was immediate as she arose and expressed her gratitude in service rendered to Him.


5. Jesus Heals Many Demon possessed and Sick in the Evening - Matthew 8:16-17

Verses: Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41

When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons. He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, "He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases."
Matthew 8:16-17

The last manifestation of power in this first group of incidents took place on an eventful evening. The story is very briefly told, but suggests a picture full of the Lord's compassion. The King is seen surrounded by multitudes who are bringing to Him those possessed with demons, and those who were sick; and His power is revealed in that without any apparent difficulty, but merely by the uttering of His word, He cast out the demons and healed all that were sick.

In this connection, however, Matthew reveals the secret of that wonderful activity, linking these miracles to Isaiah's prophecy "He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases" and to the more profound activity of Jesus in His ultimate suffering and of sacrifice.

In these four miracles there had been a marvellous revelation of His power; leprosy, palsy, fever, demons and disease; all had obeyed His touch or His word; and His activity had been marked by a gracious disregard of human limitations as He had bestowed benefits upon those who were shunned. By these actions Jesus demonstrated His willingness to include these people in His Kingdom. On that wonderful evening, when the crowds gathered, and the King in a mystery which no human mind could understand, took their infirmities and bare their diseases, He gave a radiant revelation not only of His power, but also of His love.

Matthew shows that the results of these four miracles was that even more crowds were attracted to Jesus. No doubt many were attracted by the beneficial healings, others were attracted due to a conscious desire to follow Him. Two illustrations are given. The first is that of a scribe who said to Him, "I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest." The second illustration is that of a disciple who, moved by a similar desire, was yet divided between immediate loyalty to the King and his duty to his father.


6. Jesus Calms a Storm on the Sea - Matthew 8:23-27

Verses: Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25

When he got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Behold, a violent storm came up on the sea, so much that the boat was covered with the waves, but he was asleep. They came to him, and woke him up, saying, "Save us, Lord! We are dying!" He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men marvelled, saying, "What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Matthew 8:23-27

We come then to a second group of three miracles; stilling the storm, casting out of many demons and forgiveness of sins.

In this first miracle in this second group, Jesus and His disciples, acting under His direction had gone in a boat to cross the lake. In the course of their crossing a great storm arose, so that the boat was in danger of sinking, but Jesus was asleep. In their despair the disciples awoke Him. His response consisted of a two-fold rebuke, first of them for lack of faith, and then of the sea, producing the very calm they desired. That revelation of power filled the disciples with wonder, and drove them to the consciousness that they had not yet perfectly understood their Master. This is revealed in their question, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"


7. Jesus Heals two Men from Geresenes of possession by Many Demons - Matthew 8:28-34

Verses: Matthew 8:28-33; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39

When he came to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, two people possessed by demons met him there, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that nobody could pass that way. Behold, they cried out, saying, "What do we have to do with you, Jesus, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" Now there was a herd of many pigs feeding far away from them. The demons begged him, saying, "If you cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of pigs." He said to them, "Go!" They came out, and went into the herd of pigs: and behold, the whole herd of pigs rushed down the cliff into the sea, and died in the water. Those who fed them fled, and went away into the city, and told everything, including what happened to those who were possessed with demons. Behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged that he would depart from their borders.
Matthew 8:28-34

The arrival on the other shore was signalized by the approach of two demoniacs of so fierce a nature as to be a constant menace to the peace and safety of the country-side. If the disciples were uncertain as to Who the Lord was, these evil spirits had no such uncertainty. They recognized, and immediately confessed Him as the Son of God. They also were conscious of His purpose in the world, and expected that they would be cast out, for they requested that if this were done, they might be permitted to enter into a herd of swine.

To their request He immediately replied in the word of authority, which sent them from the man, and so delivered him from his affliction, and the neighbourhood from his evil influence.

The account of this miracle reached the city, with the result that their commercial catastrophe made them insensible of the benefit which had been conferred upon them by the healing of the man, and they came out and besought Jesus that He would depart from their borders.

This manifestation of the King's power was accompanied by a revelation of the limitation of His power. If the city will not have Him, He will not force His entrance; and turning round. He re-entered the boat, and crossed back to the other side.


8. Jesus Heals a Paralytic Who Was Let Down From the Roof - Matthew 9:2-8

Verses: Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralysed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you." Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man blasphemes." Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Get up, and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins-" (then he said to the paralytic), "Get up, and take up your mat, and go to your house." He arose and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Matthew 9:2-8

Jesus now exercised His authority in a new way. There was brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, and He immediately answered the faith of those who brought him, but not in the way which they expected. He pronounced pardon upon a sinner, and straightway opposition was aroused. Certain of the scribes who were present thought within themselves that it was a word of blasphemy, for they rightly believed that none could forgive sins other than God.

In answer to their thought the King suggested a problem as to whether it was easier to forgive sins, or to heal disease. As they heard His question, it suggested a contrast. As a matter of fact it indicated a connection, and in order that they might know that He had authority to forgive sins. He immediately healed the man sick of the palsy. If they heard the question as suggesting two exercises of power, then it was for them to decide which was easier, for He had claimed both, and one claim was vindicated by the actuality of the healed man. Or if they now were able to see the connection between the two, they would understand His teaching that all His healing miracles were based upon His ability to deal with the sin which lay at the root of human suffering. Whatever effect was produced upon the men who were in difficulty, the multitudes were filled with fear, and glorified God who had given such power to men.

As Jesus moved away, unacknowledged as King by the vast masses of men, and, therefore, misunderstood and criticised, He saw Matthew, a publican, despised of his countrymen by reason of his calling; and looking on him, He said, "Follow Me." The response was immediate and remarkable. He arose and followed Him, and although here in his Gospel he does not himself chronicle the fact, it was he who spread the feast in his own house at which Jesus sat down with publicans and sinners, as well as His own disciples.

As we review the results of the previous group of events we see, the disciples wondering who Jesus was; the Gadarenes constrained to send Him away because He interferred with their business; the multitudes glorifying God as they saw the man sick of the palsy healed; the scribes charging Jesus with blasphemy; and the despised publican yielding to the call of Jesus which would subsequently lead him to the high office of writing the Gospel which should reveal Jesus as King.

As before, two illustrations are given of these results. The first is that of the Pharisees who were perplexed by His willingness to sit down and eat with publicans and sinners. The second illustration is that of the disciples of John who were perplexed by the joy of the disciples of Jesus. Their own religious outlook, in common with that of the Pharisees, necessitated the practice of fasting; but the disciples of Jesus did not fast.


9. Jesus Heals a Woman in the Crowd With an Issue of Blood - Matthew 9:20-22

Verses: Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:42-48

Behold, a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years came behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said within herself, "If I just touch his garment, I will be made well." But Jesus, turning around and seeing her, said, "Daughter, cheer up! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
Matthew 9:20-22

Now we come to a third set of miracles and here there are four; healing disease, raising to life, giving sight and again casting out demons.

In the first miracle of this group Jesus is seen on the way to the house of Jairus, and surrounded by His disciples, and the multitude that followed He is interrupted. A woman had been for twelve years the victim of a form of disease which subjected her to every kind of disadvantage and disability. She was excommunicated from the assemblies in the synagogue, divorced from her husband, and ostracised from society, quite apart from her pain and grief. Nevertheless, somehow she found her way to the King, and touched the border of His garment. It was an activity inspired by faith as her thought, afterwards declared, undoubtedly reveals, "If I do but touch His garment, I shall be made whole."

The answer of the King is a word of restoration, comfort and power. He understood all that she had suffered, and turning round and looking into her eyes. He called her Daughter, and bade her be of good cheer. From that hour she was made whole.


10. Jesus Raises Jairus' Daughter Back to Life - Matthew 9:18 and 9:23-26

Verses: Matthew 9:18, 23-26; Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 8:40-42, 49-56

While he told these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshipped him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." When Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd in noisy disorder, he said to them, "Make room, because the girl isn't dead, but sleeping." They were ridiculing him. But when the crowd was put out, he entered in, took her by the hand, and the girl arose. The report of this went out into all that land.
Matthew 9:18 and 9:23-26

A ruler approached Jesus with a story of overwhelming sorrow. He came in reverence, and great faith, declaring that all hope of help through ordinary methods had gone as he said, "My daughter is even now dead"; but affirming his conviction that the touch of Jesus would restore her.

Jesus arose and followed Jairus. Arriving at the house of Jairus, with dignity and authority, He sent the tumultuous mourning crowd about their business, and then did exactly what Jairus had suggested. He laid His hand upon the child, and immediately she responded to the touch. This was the first time in which the King had manifested His power in the awful realm of death. It is not to be wondered at that the fame of Him went forth into all the land.


11. Jesus Heals Two Blind Men - Matthew 9:27-31

Verses: Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by from there, two blind men followed him, calling out and saying, "Have mercy on us, son of David!" When he had come into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They told him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, "See that no one knows about this." But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.
Matthew 9:27-31

After the raising of Jairus' daughter, and as the King passed on His way, He was followed by two blind men who cried out, "Have mercy on us, Thou Son of David." The form of address was remarkable. It was really a recognition of Messiahship. It may not have been wholly intelligent. Probably it was an expression of hope, and of venture based upon it, as the result of what they had heard of His power in the case of the child raised from the dead. He does not seem to have made any immediate reply, for it was not until He had entered the house, and the men had followed Him, that He spoke to them. He then challenged their faith, asking them if they believed that He was able to do what they asked. They immediately replied "Yea, Lord," thus affirming their faith, and addressing Him in the language of reverent respect. The King immediately responded to their faith, and their eyes were opened.

Here we have one of the occasions when the Lord strictly charged them not to tell the story of how they had received their sight. They, in all probability with the best intention, disobeyed His command, and going forth, spread abroad His fame.


12. Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Unable to Speak - Matthew 9:32-34

Verses: Matthew 9:32-34

As they went out, behold, a mute man who was demon possessed was brought to him. When the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke. The multitudes marvelled, saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!"
Matthew 9:32-33

The last manifestation of power recorded in this group is that of the casting out of a demon, and the loosing of a dumb tongue. It is interesting to note that Matthew gives no details. The power of the King was being exercised so perpetually that he simply declares that a man was brought to Him in this condition, and proceeds to the story of results produced by saying, "When the demon was cast out, the dumb man spake."

The results of this third series of miracles was two-fold: the multitudes marvelled and affirmed their conviction that such wonders had never before been seen in Israel. In this connection also His opposition manifested itself more definitely, and the long conflict with the forces of false religion began. The Pharisees, madly jealous of His power, attributed it to Satan. One wonders more and more at the grace which bore so patiently with these men. It does not seem that at the time the King vouchsafed any answer to their awful suggestion; and yet how it must have pained His sacred heart, this wilful misinterpretation of His deeds of grace. The evil of it lay in the fact that it was intended to divert the crowds from their wonder and admiration, and stir up their fear and animosity; and this action was taken by the men who should have been the shepherds of the people.


13. Jesus Heals a Man's Withered Hand on the Sabbath - Matthew 12:9-13

Subject: Restoration of Health
Verses: Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

He departed from there, and went into their synagogue. And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?" that they might accuse him. He said to them, "What man is there amongst you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won't he grab on to it, and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day." Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.
Matthew 12:9-13

There now follows two miracles exposing the opposition of the Pharisees. The first concerned what was lawful to do on the Sabbath and the second concerned the source of the power by which Jesus carried out the miracles.

Jesus is now seen arriving in the synagogue on Sunday and the Pharisees, with the subject of the Sabbath still in their minds, and seeing a man who was present having a withered hand, challenged Him as to whether it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath day.

Jesus first suggested to them a question as to whether if their animal was in danger on the Sabbath, would they rescue it? He then emphatically declared that because a man was of more value than a sheep, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day; and finally He gave them the active answer of restoring the man.

This issued in the plotting of the Pharisees for His death, and Jesus perceiving this, withdrew but followed by multitudes whom He healed.

Matthew draws attention to the fact that by this action He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which declared that the Messiah would neither strive nor cry; that He would take no action of judgment against such as were opposing Him until He should send forth judgment unto victory.


14. Jesus Heals a Blind, Mute Demoniac - Matthew 12:22-24

Verses: Matthew 12:22-24; Luke 11:14-23

Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. All the multitudes were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."
Matthew 12:22-24

The next attack upon the King concerned His power. Its occasion was when a blind and mute, demon possessed man was brought to Jesus. Jesus healed this man so that he immediately was restored and could see and speak. The consequence of this healing was the inquiry of the multitude, "Is this the Son of David?" which of course meant, Is this the Messiah?

It was to deny this possibility that the Pharisees then boldly affirmed that the power by which Jesus wrought these wonders over demons was that of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. It was a grave and awful charge, and the answer of the King was characterized by great solemnity.

Jesus first exposed the folly of their suggestion as He declared that division within a kingdom means desolation. He then appealed to the witness of their own sons who had cast out demons, and proceeded to declare the alternative to their suggestion. That alternative was that He cast out demons by the Spirit of God, that He cast out demons by having bound the strong man, that is, having gained the victory over Satan. It was in that connection that He uttered the familiar words, "He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth," which being considered in its relation to this action, will be seen in its first application to them, meant that not He, but the men who were opposing Him, were doing the work of Beelzebub.

Jesus then proceeded to utter perhaps the most solemn warning that ever fell from His lips concerning the sin that has no forgiveness. These men had not committed it, for their words were words of blasphemy against the Son of man, which He said should be forgiven. But they were in grave peril of such sin, for He knew that the special ministry which the Spirit would fulfil would be one concerning Himself; and whereas men might refuse His voice, to refuse Him when finally presented to them by the Spirit would be to sin the sin that can have no forgiveness. After the warning He appealed to them for consistency. They had declared that His beneficent work was the result of complicity with Satan. This was impossible. Let them be consistent, and consent that the good fruit had come from a good tree; or that the things He had done were evil things, because they had come from a corrupt tree.


15. Jesus Heals Many brought to Him and Feeds 5,000 Plus Women and Children - Matthew 14:13-21

Verses: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities. Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, "This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food." But Jesus said to them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat." They told him, "We only have here five loaves and two fish." He said, "Bring them here to me." He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces. Those who ate were about five thousand men, in addition to women and children.
Matthew 14:13-21

After the parables of the Kingdom in Matthew chapter 13, Jesus withdrew to a deserted place but was followed by the multitudes. Having compassion on these crowds, Jesus healed their sick.

When the afternoon was late and the multitudes had not eaten the disciples besought Jesus to send the people away, in order that they might provide themselves with food. But Jesus declared that there was no need that they should go away, and He commanded His disciples to feed them. There were five loaves and two fish to hand but naturally they immediately emphasized the insufficiency. Commanding the multitudes to sit, Jesus took the little they had, blessed it and gave to the disciples to distribute. The food was multiplied so that there was plenty left after 5,000 men and their women and children had eaten.

In this desert Jesus exercised His power in healing the sick, and feeding the multitudes. Afterwards, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and go ahead of him to the other side of the lake, while he sent the multitudes away and retired to a mountain for loneliness and prayer. It is of great interest to see His need of communion with His Loving Father which no doubt was the inspiration of His compassion in the presence of such human need and yet such unbelief.

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16. Jesus Walks on Water and Calms a Storm - Matthew 14:24-34

Verses: Matthew 14:24-34; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It's a ghost!" and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Cheer up! It is I! Don't be afraid." Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters." He said, "Come!" Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased. Those who were in the boat came and worshipped him, saying, "You are truly the Son of God!" When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
Matthew 14:24-34

The Lord had retired to a quiet place but the disciples were now in danger on the lake due to a storm. Aware of their need, Jesus goes to them, walking on the surface of the water. Their fear of the storm was forgotten in their terror at what appeared to them to be a ghost, moving across the waves toward them, until they heard the well-known voice, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." It was in that moment of revelation that Peter made his great venture of faith, and successfully walked upon the waters, until consciousness of the circumstances, making him for a moment forgetful of the power of his Lord, he began to sink. The grace of the Master was immediately revealed in the fact that when the cry of the sinking man was heard, Jesus stretched forth His hand to rescue him, with a mild rebuke of the doubt which made his faith fail.

On getting into the boat, the wind immediately ceased and the disciples became convinced that standing with them was the Son of God, and they worshipped Him.


17. Jesus Heals Many Sick in Gennesaret as They Touch His Garment - Matthew 14:34-36

Verses: Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56

When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. When the people of that place recognised him, they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick; and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.
Matthew 14:34-36

On coming to the other side of the lake Jesus and the disciples come to Gennesaret. When the people of that location realised Jesus was there they brought to Him all those that were sick, and asked that they might be allowed only to touch the border of His garment. It is evident that the King granted them their request, for Matthew briefly declares "As many as touched were made whole."

These miracles were evidence of the people's faith and the power of Jesus. In the Old Testament, the garment fringe stood as a reminder to the people of Israel representing holiness to God's law. It is the same fringe that the woman with an issue of blood touched and was healed. This is a reminder that healing from Jesus is ony possible for sinful man through His perfect holiness and obedience to the law.

law and was

18. Jesus Heals a Gentile Woman's Demon-Possessed Daughter - Matthew - 15:22-28

Verses: Matthew 15:22-28; Mark 7:24-30

Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!" But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us." But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and worshipped him, saying, "Lord, help me." But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Matthew 15:22-28

Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon and was met by a Canaanitish woman, obviously outside the covenant, but bearing great sorrow in her heart due to her daughter's affliction of demon possession. The woman's is confident of the Lord's Kingly connection but Jesus apparently paid no attention and gave her no answer. Then the disciples interfered, beseeching Him to send her away, by which they did not mean to suggest that He should dismiss her without granting her request, but that He should give her what she asked, and so be rid of her. This is evident from the King's answer, in which He declared that He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

It was then that the woman's persistence was most wonderfully manifested. Pressing nearer to Him, she fell in reverence before Him, and cried out of the depth of her heart, "Lord, help me"; and in answer the King said what at first appears to be one of the most unusual things that ever fell from His lips. "It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs." To this apparent rebuff the woman replied, by agreeing, and yet urging that there was a privilege which even dogs might enjoy, that of the crumbs which fall from the master's table. To that appeal the King immediately answered in a word of high commendation, and in a deed of healing power.

How strange at first this story is in the matter of the silence of the King, and then of His rebuff. The reason of His attitude is revealed in the result which followed. He knew how strong that woman's faith was, and His method was one which resulted in the manifestation of that faith in all its beauty. How perpetually the very best of character is hidden, until for its forthshining the King hides His face. It is in the darker dispensations of His dealings with us that we learn the meaning of His method, and so discover Him most perfectly. It is through such circumstances, moreover, that we are changed into His likeness, and our best and highest possibilities are realized. When He seems least kind, let us rest assured that His loving-kindness is most perfectly at work, and let us then most patiently wait for Him.


19. Jesus Heals Lame, Blind, Mute and Maimed and Feeds 4,000 Plus Women and Children - Matthew 15:30-39

Verses: Matthew 15:30-39; Mark 8:1-13

Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them, so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, the injured healed, the lame walking, and the blind seeing-and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place as to satisfy so great a multitude?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves and the fish. He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes. They all ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, in addition to women and children. Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.
Matthew 15:30-39

Here again we have the story of the multitudes bringing their injured, diseased and disabled folk to Jesus. Jesus heals them all, another manifestation of His unlimited resources, unmeasured power, and compassion. Matthew records that they glorified the God of Israel - suggesting that many of those healed were outside the covenant.

Then we have the account of the feeding of multitudes. Having compassion of the crowds, Jesus declared to His disciples that He desired that they should not be sent away without food, or they should faint by the way. Although the disciples had already witnessed the feeding of the 5,000 (in Matthew chapter 14), again they question the possibility of feeding the crowd with just a few loaves and fishes.

Without rebuking the disciples lack of faith, again He took their resources, and multiplied them to meet the necessity of the crowds. With the multitudes satisfied and the King satisfied in His own heart He sent them away, and then Himself departed.


20. The Transfiguration of Jesus - Matthew 17:1-9

Verses: Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. He was changed before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him. Peter answered, and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let's make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him." When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid. Jesus came and touched them and said, "Get up, and don't be afraid." Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Don't tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
Matthew 17:14-20

"After six days," and it is interesting to observe that we have no record of what transpired in those days. In all probability they were days of silence and contemplation. The strange declaration of the King concerning the Cross had crushed the hearts of these men.

Now, to three of their number, as special training for special service, was granted a wondrous vision of His glory. In the high mountain apart they saw Him in all the resplendent beauty of His perfected humanity, His face shining as the sun. His very garments becoming white as the light. There, in that unsullied splendour, they beheld Him, and heard Him talking with Moses and Elijah. Whereas Matthew does not record the fact, we know from the other evangelists that the subject of converse was the very one which they had shunned.

The true force and meaning of this they did not comprehend until the Spirit came, and this was evidenced by Peter's blunder, when he said, "Lord, it is good for us to be here," and proposed the erection of tabernacles, one for the Master, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. If his word, "Lord, it is good for us to be here" be put into contrast with the last thing he is recorded to have said prior to that, "God have mercy on Thee, Lord: this shall never be unto Thee," we shall understand his meaning. The Cross was a scandal. The glory was to be desired.

This attitude of Peter was immediately rebuked by the voice out of the cloud, and the disciples were filled anew with fear. The grace of the King was immediately manifested as He touched them, and bade them "Arise, and be not afraid." The final vision was that of Jesus only.

On the way down from the mountain He charged them that what they had there seen was not to be proclaimed to men until after His resurrection.


21. Jesus Heals a Boy With an Unclean Spirit - Matthew 17:14-20

Verses: Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43

When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him." Jesus answered, "Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me." Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, "Why weren't we able to cast it out?" He said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:14-20

Having seen something of the relation between the glory and the Cross in the mount of vision, they passed to the valley; and the relation is revealed in the incident which occurred. On the mountain, the King is in converse with glorified saints; in the valley there is contact with demon-possession.

The appeal to the King was made by a father on behalf of his boy, and in the appeal He declared the helplessness of the disciples to whom he had brought the boy.

The answer of the King was first that of rebuke of the generation, and then that of the word of power whereby the demon was sent out, and the boy was cured.

The disciples immediately asked why they had failed, and were answered that their failure was due to their lack of faith. It was a striking answer. They had failed for lack of that faith which yields the whole life to His control. When the father brought the boy to them, there was in their heart a questioning of Him concerning the last word He had spoken to them, as to the necessity for the Cross; and the presence of that unbelief paralyzed their power. They had cast out demons before, but now because of failure of faith they had failed. Hence they were reminded that in this new economy the glory of victory must come by the way of the acceptation of the Cross.


22. Miraculous Temple Tax in a Fish's Mouth Matthew 17:24-27

Verses: Matthew 17:24-27

When they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the didrachma coins came to Peter, and said, "Doesn't your teacher pay the didrachma?" He said, "Yes." When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive toll or tribute? From their children, or from strangers?" Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Therefore the children are exempt. But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin. Take that, and give it to them for me and you."
Matthew 17:24-27

In Capernaum those who received the half-shekel asked Peter whether their Master paid it. It is evident that they were collecting it, from the fact that subsequently it was paid, as the story reveals. The negative form of their question is suggestive of a critical attitude, as though they did not think that He did pay it. Peter replied that He did.

The reply, while perfectly natural and intended in defence of his Lord, was incidentally a revelation of the fact that he did not understand Who his Lord was; and his answer afforded the opportunity for an action on the part of the King, which was a revelation of His grace.

His conversation with Simon suggestively reminded him of His relation to God, which had been proclaimed upon the mountain, and which Peter had confessed at Caesarea Philippi. Because He was the Son of the King, He was not liable to the paying of tribute. Then immediately His action was a revelation of His grace. In order that these men might not be caused to stumble. He Who was free as Son, consented to bondage, in that He paid the half-shekel. His grace was, moreover, manifested in the fact that He paid it in fellowship with Peter.


23. Jesus Restores Sight to Two Blind Men in Jericho - Matthew 20:29-34

Verses: Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!" The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!" Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" They told him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened." Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.
Matthew 20:29-34

As they moved on their way, in the neighbourhood of Jericho two blind men sought mercy from Jesus addressing Him the Son of David, signifying their acknowledgment of His messiah-ship. The multitude rebuked them, but they were the more persistent in their cry.

Immediately, the compassion of the King expressed itself in the exercise of power which answered their prayer, and gave them their sight. To what strange scenes their eyes were opened. One wonders whether during all the tragic and awful events of the succeeding days they continued to follow Him. If so, how inexplicable and mysterious it must have seemed to them, that One Who was able by a touch to open their eyes, should yet be unable to deliver Himself from His foes. This was the supreme mystery to all those who were closely associated with Him, both foes and friends. Today we know that the power which thrilled through His touch, and communicated vision to sightless eyes, was that which bound Him to the Cross. It was the power of His love.


24. Jesus Withers the Fig Tree on the Road From Bethany - Matthew 21:18-22

Verses: Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14

Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!" Immediately the fig tree withered away. When the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?" Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done. All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Matthew 21:18-22

On the following day the King returned to the city, and on His way to the city, the King performed the only miracle of judgment which He ever wrought, as He by a word of command destroyed the fig tree, whereon He found nothing but leaves.

This action impressed His disciples, and they inquired "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?" It is interesting to notice that they did not ask why He destroyed the tree, but how He did it. There is nothing in the story to suggest either that they understood His meaning, or that they did not. I think that it is most probable that they thoroughly understood, but they were perplexed as to the swiftness of the judgment, for we notice that the word immediately is twice used, once in Matthew's description of what happened, and once in the inquiry of the disciples.

Moreover, He did not give them any explanation of the meaning, but answered the question as they asked it, affirming the power of faith, and the power of prayer, as at their disposal for doing even more wonderful things than they had seen done.

There can, however, be no doubt that the value of the miracle was parabolic. There has been a good deal of discussion as to this act of the Lord, as though in itself it were out of harmony with strict justice, especially in view of Mark's declaration that "it was not the season of figs." That declaration was evidently literally true, for these things happened in March, and the first fig crop is not gathered until June. On the other hand, the early fruit buds appear on the fig tree in February, and its leaves unfold in March. On this fig tree the Lord found nothing but leaves only. It is evident that there would be no fruit on this tree because its vitality had run to leaf. In that it was a perfect picture of the Jewish nation, and His judgment on the tree was an equally perfect symbol of the judgment to fall on the Jewish nation, as to its reason.


25. The Resurrection of Jesus - Matthew 28:5-10

Verses: Matthew 28:5-10

The angel answered the women, "Don't be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. Go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you." They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" They came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid. Go tell my brothers that they should go into Galilee, and there they will see me."
Matthew 28:5-10

As dawn breaks the Marys came to see the sepulchre, they found it empty, and under the guardian care of an angel. To them the angel declared that the Lord was risen. "He is not here ... He is risen." That surely was the sweetest of all music. It was the declaration not merely of His resurrection, but of His coronation. His enemies had rejected Him, and had proved their malice by handing Him over to their common, their last, their most terrible enemy, death. He proved His Kingship by overcoming that enemy in His dying; and now He was alive, and on His way to Galilee to meet His disciples.

As they departed from the tomb He Himself appeared to them. All the suffering was behind, and the conflict was won. The heavens were about to receive Him for a season, but He tarried for a while to make the fact of His resurrection very real in the experience of His followers; and thus He greeted the women, received their worship, and spoke to them of His coming meeting with all the disciples in Galilee.

In the meanwhile the members of the guard who had been for the moment rendered unconscious by the appearance of the angel, found their way into the city, and reported the things that had come to pass. There and then in the council, the enemies of the King invented the lie that His body had been stolen by the disciples. This became current, and as Matthew declared, continued until the time of his writing.


26. Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit From a Man in Capernaum - Mark 1:21-27

Verses: Mark 1:21-27; Luke 4:31-36

They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes. Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, "Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, so that they questioned amongst themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!"
Mark 1:21-27

Jesus was in the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath. This was the synagogue that had as its ruler Jarius whose dead daughter, Jesus had brought back to life. We see Jesus teaching, no doubt explaining the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms of the Old Testament and suddenly there was an interruption, a man in the grip of an unclean spirit. The first outcry of the demon is an expression of terror. The demon immediately recognises Jesus as the Holy One of God, which of course many people at that time and ever-since have failed to see. The demon also recognises Jesus' authority but does not know what Jesus will do with him.

Jesus immediately commands the demon to be silent and come out and the spirit cannot resist but is compelled to do as Jesus said.

Before this miracle, the people were 'astonished' at His teaching. Now, after seeing that the unclean spirit is forced to obey His commands they are 'amazed' and were left questioning among themselves as to what they had seen.


27. Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man - Mark 7:31-37

Verses: Mark 7:31-37

Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the middle of the region of Decapolis. They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!" Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it. They were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!"
Mark 7:31-37

In this and the next miracle (The Blind Man at Bethsaida) Jesus seems to adopt new methods. In this case the crowds begged Jesus to lay hands on the deaf and dumb man but Jesus takes him aside and puts His fingers in the man's ears and spitting, He touched his tongue. The reason for the method is not given nor can it be deduced. It would appear that in both miracles the Lord chose not to heal with simply a word or touch but employing an action. This difference was certainly not due to variation in the power of Jesus but entirely due to the circumstances and needs of the individual, of which we are unaware. In both of these miracles we have a wonderful illustration of the method of Jesus in dealing with human need: He always works in a unique way that will suit the individual.


28. Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida - Mark 8:22-26

Verses: Mark 8:22-26

He came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him. He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. When he had spat on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything. He looked up, and said, "I see men; for I see them like trees walking." Then again he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly. He sent him away to his house, saying, "Don't enter into the village, nor tell anyone in the village."
Mark 8:22-23

In this and the previous miracle (The Deaf and Dumb Man) Jesus again heals in a way He had not used before. The blind man is brought by others asking for Jesus to touch him. Jesus first spat on his eyes and then touched and it was a healing in two stages; at first, sight was partially restored and then in a second laying on of hands the man's sight was restored clearly. Again the reason for this is not really known except by Jesus and the man healed. Nevertheless we have a wonderful illustration that Jesus does not stop working until the healling is complete and so we can be assured that Jesus will bring to final completion our own spiritual healing.


29. First Miraculous Catch of Fish on the Lake of Gennesaret - Luke 5:1-11

Verses: Luke 5:1-11

Now while the multitude pressed on him and heard the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered him, "Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word I will let down the net." When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking. They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came, and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord." For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive." When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything, and followed him.
Luke 5:1-11

Here we see Jesus climbing into a beached boat and asking Simon that it be put out a little onto the water so that He could teach the multitudes on the shore. When the teaching was over, Jesus instructed Simon to put out into the lake and cast their nets for a catch. At first Simon objects because he and some other of the disciples had been fishing all night without success. Now the disciples had previously been called by Jesus to leave their fishing activities but it seems on this occasion they had returned and it had been a wasted effort.

In obedience to Jesus' instruction however, they cast over the nets and catch a great number of fish. Now we see Jesus as the master of the old business activites of the disciples, of which they should be the experts! On seeing that Jesus is the better fisherman, Simon realises his error - he had gone back to fishing when he had been called to follow Jesus - and he says "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord."

There is no rebuke from the Lord to Simon. Rather, a call not to be fearful, and a renewed call to the new work of the disciples which will be catching people for God.


30. Jesus Raises a Widow's Son From the Dead in Nain - Luke 7:11-17

Verses: Luke 7:11-17

Soon afterwards, he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. Now when he came near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, "Don't cry." He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen amongst us!" and, "God has visited his people!" This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.
Luke 7:11-17

Here, Jesus is seen with His disciples and the crowds and they come across a large funeral procession led by a mother, and widow, who had lost her only son. Jesus looks at the woman and seeing her sorrow, has compassion on her. The he came nearer and touched the coffin and spoke, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The boy sat up and was alive. Understandably the reaction of the crowd was fearful; God has done this!

It is interesting that He talked to the boy. Death is not the same as annihilation; death is the end of the body but not the person, the spirit. Wherever the spirit is after death it is still able to hear the voice of God and is compelled to obey. In all three miracles where Jesus raised people back to life, He spoke to them because he knew they were still alive and He alone could communicate with them. Of course we must not be foolish enough to think we can communicate with any who have died; God alone can do this.


31. Jesus Heals a Woman Who Had Been Crippled for 18 Years - Luke 13:10-17

Verses: Luke 13:10-17

He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. Behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years. She was bent over, and could in no way straighten herself up. When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." He laid his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight and glorified God. The ruler of the synagogue, being indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the multitude, "There are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!" Therefore the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each one of you free his ox or his donkey from the stall on the Sabbath, and lead him away to water? Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound eighteen long years, be freed from this bondage on the Sabbath day?" As he said these things, all his adversaries were disappointed and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Luke 13:10-17

Again Jesus is seen here teaching in the synagogue on a Sabbath. A woman is there who is bent double and unable to straighten up. It seems this disability was the result of demon activity as Luke refers to "a spirit of infirmity" and Jesus says Satan had bound her for eighteen years. Perhaps we cannot fully understand this situation but we see that this woman had faith in God because Jesus also describes her as a "daughter of Abraham".

With a word, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity" she is immediately and completely healed. One moment bound by Satan, the next moment loosed by Jesus.

Then we see the reaction of the ruler: he is angry and effectively tells the congregation not to come for any healing on a Sabbath! Clearly he was not pleased that the woman was now healthy and failed to see that Satan's power had been broken that day. His only concern was in the area of ceremonial rites and traditions. Next, we see Jesus reaction: he is also angry and charges the ruler with hypocrisy. Said Jesus, if healing this woman is work, why do you work by watering your animals on the Sabbath. By saying this Jesus exposed the real reason for the anger: it was hostility towards Jesus. Jesus showed that doing good is always greater than mere ceremony and His adversaries were put to shame and the crowds rejoiced.


32. Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy on the Sabbath - Luke 14:1-6

Verses: Luke 14:1-6

When he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching him. Behold, a certain man who had dropsy was in front of him. Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" But they were silent. He took him, and healed him, and let him go. He answered them, "Which of you, if your son or an ox fell into a well, wouldn't immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?" They couldn't answer him regarding these things.
Luke 14:1-6

Jesus had been invited to the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees for a reception. One of the other guests was a man who had dropsy. It is clear that this man would not normally have been invited and this was a deliberate provocation to see what Jesus would do since this was the Sabbath.

In answer to this charged situation Jesus asks "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath". Asked for their opinion, they could not answer. So Jesus heals the man and suddenly he is cured and able to go. The action of Jesus shows He had no doubt as to the answer.

As on previous occasions Jesus forces them to address their hypocrisy. They would help an animal in distress on the Sabbath but would not help a person. In their jealousy and prejudice they wanted to accuse Jesus of "working" on the Sabbath but when confronted with truth they could not give an answer.


33. Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers on the Way to Jerusalem - Luke 17:11-19

Verses: Luke 17:11-19

As he was on his way to Jerusalem, he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. As he entered into a certain village, ten men who were lepers met him, who stood at a distance. They lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." As they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. Jesus answered, "Weren't the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up, and go your way. Your faith has healed you."
Luke 17:11-19

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and is met by ten lepers, standing at a distance. It seems that one of them was a Samaritan and the others were Jews. Obviously their miserable condition had overcome the normal separation between Jew and Samaritan.

The lepers call out for mercy saying "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Unlike on a previous occasion the Lord does not touch the lepers nor even say the word to be clean. Here Jesus merely says go and show yourselves to the priests. This had reference to Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 where the priests are appointed to give judgement on the condition of lepers, whether clean or unclean. Clearly they were to go in faith and obedience, and they were healed as they went.

As they were on their way the Samaritan realising he was healed, turned back and worshipped Jesus and gave thanks. We do not know about the meeting with the priests. But we see that Jesus values gratefulness and worship and was offended when the nine did not give glory to God.


34. Jesus Heals a Servant's Severed Ear While He Is Being Arrested - Luke 22:50-51

Verses: Luke 22:50-51; Matthew 26:51-52; Mark 14:47; John 18:10-11

A certain one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered, "Let me at least do this"-and he touched his ear, and healed him.
Luke 22:50-51

This incident occurred during the arrest of Jesus and is recorded in all gospels, but in only John are the characters named: "Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?"

The injury was clearly an act of protest at the arrest, a courageous act in defence of His Lord but also clearly a mistake. This is the last healing act recorded of Jesus and it was restoration of this injury. There was to be no opposition to the arrest because it was the Father's will to save mankind. The cross was the cup that Jesus spoke of, given to Him to drink.


35. Miraculous Presence of Jesus in the Upper Room - Luke 24:36-37

Verses: Luke 24:36-37; John 20:19-23

As they said these things, Jesus himself stood amongst them, and said to them, "Peace be to you." But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luke 24:36-37

The disciples, knowing that the tomb had been found empty and that Jesus had already appeared to some of them, are gathered in Jerusalem in a closed room for few of the Jews. Suddenly Jesus appears without the opening of a door. The disciples are understandably terrified at first but Jesus greets them with the words "Peace be to you". Luke is careful to say 'Jesus himself stood amongst them' - this was not a vision or an appearance or a ghost but it was the real Jesus himself. Then Jesus shows them his hands and feet and invites them to touch Him and know that He is risen. Then Jesus ate with them and then He taught them from the scriptures. In this way, Jesus proves to them, and therefore us, the reality of the resurrection; Jesus now had a body that could be touched and could eat but was not limited by a door, but it was still Him, the same Jesus.


36. Jesus Turns Water into Wine at the Wedding in Cana - John 2:1-11

Verses: John 2:1-11

The third day, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus' mother was there. Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever he says to you, do it." Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece. Jesus said to them, "Fill the water pots with water." So they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast." So they took it. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn't know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!" This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
John 2:5-8

Jesus and His disciples were invited as guests to a marriage feast in Cana. His mother's simple statement, "They have no wine," in the light of His reply to her, reveals the fact that she expected Him to make some manifestation of that mystery of His nature which she knew, and had kept as a secret in her heart. His reply was most significant. Couched in terms of perfect courtesy, He nevertheless indicated His separateness from her by addressing her not as Mother, but as "Woman"; and declared that His hour was not yet come.

This is the first evidence of His consciousness that the culminating work of His mission would be accomplished by the Cross. Repeatedly through the Gospel something akin to this is repeated. Her submission to His rebuke, and her unshaken confidence in Him, were manifested in the word spoken to the servants, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." Then with quiet dignity. He put forth His creative power by turning water into wine, and thus immediately accomplishing natural results ordinarily obtained through slower processes. The ruler's testimony to the excellence of the wine constituted an unprejudiced witness to the perfection of His work. The evangelist is careful to declare that the issue of this sign was the manifestation of His glory, and that His disciples believed on Him.

Firstly, by this sign essential truths concerning Jesus were made manifest: creative power without so much as a spoken word. Secondly, it was a sign that the exercise of that power was at His own personal discretion. Thirdly it was made clear that His power would be exerted in answer to faith. When she no longer suggested a line of action to Him, but in perfect confidence told the servants to obey Him whatever His commands might be, He responded.

Finally, this first sign demonstrates His readiness to come into the gladness of human life and enrich it. Many subsequent evidences of His readiness to deal with sorrow were granted. He began with a demonstration of His attitude toward pure joy in the actualities of human life.


37. Jesus Heals an Official's Son at Capernaum in Galilee - John 4:46-54

Verses: John 4:46-54

Jesus came therefore again to Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way believe." The nobleman said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying "Your child lives!" So he enquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." He believed, as did his whole house. This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.
John 4:46-54

After two days' spent in the city of the Samaritans, Jesus returned to Galilee.

The nobleman comes to Jesus and here was a father whose heart was in anguish because his boy was at the point of death. He besought Jesus to accompany him to Capernaum for the healing of his child. Jesus' first reply suggests the necessity for the miraculous in His work: "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe." Undeterred by the truth of this declaration, and urged by the greatness of his need, the nobleman persisted in his appeal, "Sir, come down ere my child die." That sentence did not prove faith of a high order, but rather determination to make any experiment that might issue in the boy's restoration. Jesus virtually declined to go and create faith upon the basis of a sign. Yet though He knew all the truth concerning this man, He knew also the intensity of his anxiety, and the depth of his love; and so He chose to give him a test for faith, by creating an opportunity for the exercise thereof; and He said to him, "Go thy way, thy son liveth." Thus no sign was given, but a word of power.

In that moment the weak and faltering and experimenting faith which had brought him to Jesus rose on to a higher level as it became obedient. When he made inquiry, and found there was evident relation between the word he believed, and the sign for which he had to wait; his own faith was vindicated, and all his house was won.


38. Jesus Heals an Invalid at Bethesda - John 5:1-15

Verses: John 5:1-15

After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, "Bethesda", having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralysed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel went down at certain times into the pool and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. A certain man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I'm coming, another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat." He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your mat and walk.'" Then they asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your mat and walk'?" But he who was healed didn't know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you." The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
John 5:1-15

This event signifies the beginning of the conflict between Christ and His enemies which culminated in the Cross. He had already manifested Himself to representative people at Jerusalem, in Samaria, and in Galilee. No open hostility had been shown. It existed, however, and it would seem as though Jesus took action to bring it to the surface, for this miracle wrought on the Sabbath, and giving rise to the first outbreak against Him, was of His own choosing, as to place, and time, and details. From here on, the course of this conflict is evident.

This man had been "thirty and eight years in his infirmity." It is easy to read such a statement, without attempting to comprehend its meaning. The man said, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool," and he thus revealed the utter hopelessness which possessed him. He was completely dependant upon the charity of others, and there was no hope of healing.

Thus Jesus was confronted with a most desperate case. The initial question of Jesus constituted an arrest of the man's mind, as it brought him back to a consciousness of his real need. It was, however, more than that. It is impossible to read the story without feeling that as the words were uttered, a new hope, rose in the darkened life of the man. Then followed the command, clear, urgent, definite, "Arise, take up thy bed, and walk." Despair had given place to hope. Hope now merged into confidence. Confidence expressed itself in obedience. Obedience was answered with healing.

There can be little room for doubt that these men were familiar with the impotent man. One who had been so long bound by infirmity, and who therefore in all probability was a well-known figure in the Bethesda porches, must have been almost a public character. His healing was therefore a graphic setting forth before them of the operation of life in overcoming the disastrous disability resulting ultimately, from sin.

Immediately following the miracle the open controversy between the Hebrew leaders and Jesus commenced. Their state of mind is revealed in the fact that the first thing that attracted their attention was not the healing of the man, but that he was carrying his bed on a Sabbath day. Their objection thus in the first place was not due to their antipathy to Jesus, for they did not know that He had any thing to do with the matter. It was rather the result of their mechanical and rationalistic ideas of religion. They were shocked by the violation of the Sabbath in so great a degree as to be unimpressed by the wonder of this man's restoration.

These objections Jesus answered, first to the man himself, and then to the Jews. Finding the man in the Temple, Jesus said to him, "Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee." This was a revelation of the moral meaning of His healing. It is of permanent value, as it shows that whereas out of the pity of His heart He heals men of all physical disability, yet that pity ever operates along the line of absolute loyalty to the principles of righteousness. A man is not healed of those evils which result from sin, in order that he may continue in sin, but in order that he may be strong not to sin.

His answer to the Jews revealed the religious significance of the healing. It was made in terms of brevity and sublimity. "My Father worketh even until now, and I work." In these words He virtually declared that the sin of man had ended the Sabbath, and had brought unrest even to God. From the hour of man's fall God had been at work. In this statement, moreover, Jesus claimed co-operation with the Father in His work, and that what He had just accomplished was in immediate continuity of the work of God. Thus He definitely claimed equality with His Father.


39. Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind using mud - John 9:1-7

Verses: John 9:1-7

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "This man didn't sin, nor did his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him. I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud, and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent"). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.
John 9:1-7

Seeing a man blind from his birth, Jesus is asked by His disciples concerning the relation of sin to disability. Some of their conceptions of life were evident in their question. They considered that the man's limitation was punishment, and that punishment is the result of sin. To them the man's blindness proved sin. Their difficulty was to discover whose sin has caused the punishment. Since the man was blind from birth their question seems to allow hold a view that sins could be committed before birth. Jesus did not directly answer these suggestions other than to deny their thought that all such limitation was the direct result of particular sins.

The disciples came to Him with a problem, He answered them with a great revelation. The limitation of life evident in the blindness of the man created an opportunity for the display of the works of God.

The words, "the night cometh, when no man can work," constitute one of those remarkable soliloquies of which a few are chronicled in the gospel stories. For the sake of argument, omit them, and it will be seen how the main statement is independent of them; "We must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day ... As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

This soliloquy - "the night cometh when no man can work" - is the result of His onward look to the darkness of the hour to which He was moving. It would be a night in which God would work alone. Even then He would accomplish through the Word, but it would be a death grapple in the darkness. The works referred to here are evidently those which are displayed in the realm of human limitation, such as that of blindness from birth. He proceeded immediately to that work, and bestowed the gift of sight upon one who had never seen.

Reading further, we see that the case aroused great interest, and the man was brought before the Pharisees. In reply to their question he repeated the fact of his healing. The envy in their hearts against Jesus is manifested by the fact that they were prepared to discount the value of the miracle, because it had been performed upon the Sabbath day, and to argue from that fact that Jesus was a sinner. They appealed to the man for his opinion, and he expressed it in the simple statement, "He is a prophet." This roused their anger, and they cast him out of the synagogue.

Then Jesus finds the man again and reveals Himself to him as "Son of God" and receives his worship.

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40. Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead in Bethany - John 11:20-45

Verses: John 11:20-45

Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died. Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world." When she had said this, she went away and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, "The Teacher is here and is calling you." When she heard this, she arose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there." Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died." When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, "Where have you laid him?" They told him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had for him!" Some of them said, "Couldn't this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?" Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see God's glory?" So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank you that you listened to me. I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude standing around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go." Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.
John 11:20-45

Jesus arrived too late so it would seem and Martha greets Him with the words "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother would had not have died." But her confidence expressed itself in her assertion, "Even now I know that whatsoever Thou shalt ask of God, God will give Thee," though of course she was mistaken in thinking Jesus would need to request something from God.

The Lord, however, ignored the complaint and the blunder, and answered only the confidence of Martha by declaring, "Thy brother shall rise again." To this she replied, with evident impatience, that she knew he would rise at the last day, the very affirmation of her confidence in the midst of her grief showing that she realized that there was little comfort for present desolation in anticipation of an event so far postponed. Then the Lord surcharged the clouds that hung about her with the light of a new and marvellous revelation; uttering His great "I am" of resurrection and life, He asked if she believed. She seemed to be bewildered, and yet silenced. In her reply, she affirmed the faith she had, faith in Him, and thus refused to affect a faith which she did not possess. This faith is all He ever asks, for even though it cannot intelligently take hold upon all He says, it is the very condition of discipleship, and must issue in the enlargement of faith with the increase of understanding.

Mary had remained in the house until Martha, bearing the message of Jesus, called her. At that call she rose quietly and passed to meet her Lord. Falling at His feet, where Martha had stood erect, she uttered exactly the same words, and yet evidently in an entirely different tone. Martha's agonized perplexity called for teaching whereas Mary's submissive sorrow asked for sympathy, and this was supplied by an unveiling to her of His own sorrow.

Three stages of revelation are to be found in the three expressions, "He groaned in the spirit" "He was troubled," "Jesus wept." God is moved with indignation in the presence of the final issue of sin, which is death. God voluntarily identifies Himself with sorrow, and ultimately with the sin that causes sorrow. Finally God, standing in the presence of death, spoke the word which broke its power, and gave life to the man who for four days had lain within the grave. This leaves us in no doubt that from creation, death is not natural and not what God intended for man.


41. The Second Miraculous Catch of Fish at the Sea of Tiberias - John 21:5-9

Verses: John 21:5-9

Jesus therefore said to them, "Children, have you anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." They cast it therefore, and now they weren't able to draw it in for the multitude of fish. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around himself (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, with fish and bread laid on it.
John 21:5-9

In all probability the disciples were restless and unsure, so they had gone fishing but after a dark and fruitless night they had caught nothing. Probably they did not go back with any intention of taking up again the abandoned calling, but only in order to ease their perplexity. Jesus had called them to be fishers of men.

Now Jesus appears on the shore. He was interested in their fishing, and knew how to direct them so that it should be successful. He was interested in their physical conditions, and Himself built a fire, and prepared a breakfast, that they might be warmed and fed after the wearisome experiences of the night of fruitless toil.


42. The Ascension of Jesus - Acts 1:9-11

Verses: Acts 1:9-11

When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing, who also said, "You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky, will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky."
Acts 1:9-11

Just before the ascension, the disciples had asked "Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?" They were mistaken in their understanding of the kingdom in thinking that it would be a purely nationalistic kingdom but to be commended in their confidence in their Lord that he could at that time overthrow everything and bring about His kingdom and the ultimate purposes of God the Father. Remember, after the cross, on the road to Emmaus, this was their hope, "We were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel". They are now confident but the Lord has to rebuke not their confidence but their desire to know the timing. Jesus then told them what the next step would be. The Holy Spirit was to come on them and they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the far off places in the world. This constituted a promise and a commission.

Their preparation was now complete and it was time for the presence of Jesus "in the flesh" to end. And so Jesus was taken up into the sky and lost from view into a cloud. This was Jesus vanishing from view but not departing; he is still with His people on earth in and through the Holy Spirit whilst the Man of Nazareth, still a Man with His risen body, stands in Heaven.

As they look into the sky we are told that two men appeared. We tend to think of these as angels but the Scriptures say it was two men, perhaps Moses and Elijah that had appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. And what do they say? That Jesus will be back and of course it is that return that we still expect and watch for, so that we would be ready.