Sunday, August 15

The Miracles of Jesus (Part Three)

The Miracles of Jesus are quite fascinating, when we take them all into account. He did not have to perform any of them, but he did so that we may believe that he is the Son of God. This is the third entry in a series of four on the Miracles of Jesus. (Picture credit to: St. Stephen's)

As we've gone over before, John tells us that if all of the Miracles Jesus performed were to be written down, the world would not have enough space for them. That would be a lot of miracles. In this entry, we will take a look at the miracles that Jesus performed concerning Food, as well as Water, and Weather. In the past two entries, we covered healing, driving out demons, and raising people from the dead.

Let's take a look in Matthew 14:15-21. Way to start off with a bang - this is the account of Jesus feeding five thousand people. After John the Baptist was beheaded, his cousin and forerunner, prophesied about in Isaiah 40:3-5 and Malachi 3:1, Jesus went to be alone for a while.

However, the crowds followed him bu way of the roads. So he "had compassion on them and healed their sick." The disciples urged him to send them away as it started to get dark out, so that they could go and buy some food in the village. But Jesus said, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

This startled the disciples. They replied, "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish." So Jesus asked them to bring the food to him, and tell the people to sit on the grass. He took the food, giving thanks, and looked to Heaven. He gave the food to the disciples... and the five loaves of bread and two fish were multiplied, and did not stop until everyone had something to eat. There were twelve basket-fuls left over. All 5,000 ate that day, including the disciples, merely from 5 loaves and 2 fish. Incredible.

Not too long after, in Matthew 15:32-39, after Jesus performed mass healings, he asked his disciples to feed the crowd. They asked where they would get the bread from, and in turn, he asked how many loaves they had. Seven loaves and a few small fish. Jesus did the same as before, and this time, 4,000 people were fed. (Plus women and children, who were not counted in the total, so possibly double that amount) There were seven basket-fuls left over.

Another food miracles concerning Jesus that is usually overlooked occurs in Matthew 17:24-27. Jesus and his twelve disciples had just arrived in Capernaum, a temple tax-collector asked peter, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple taxes?" He replied that he died. Peter consulted Jesus, who told him that offense needn't happen, so he asked Peter to go fishing.

"Go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." (The tax was two-drachma per person.) So it happened. Peter was amazed. What were the odds that Peter would go fishing and find a coin in a random fish's mouth?

Luke 5:4-11 also gives an interesting account. Now, this was recently after Jesus had called his disciples. Simon Peter had been fishing all night long, and had not caught one thing. Jesus told him, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Peter replied that he was sure he would not catch anything, but since Jesus asked him, he did so. "When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink."

The disciple John, the one who was "beloved" and was shown the future - the End Times - tells of a food miracle. Aside from John 6:1-15, which recounts the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (found in Matthew 14:15-21), John 21:3-11 tells of a miracle that happened after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As aforementioned, this was after Jesus had risen.Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples had gone out to the Sea of Galilee to fish. That night, they caught nothing. In the early morning, a man on the beach called out, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" The told the man that they had not. So the man said, "'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

It was then, when they knew that the man on the shore was Jesus. He called out for them to bring the fish in - he had already made a fire, and they sat and talked with him. John's account wraps up shortly afterwards. Now, what of the Water and Weather miracles of Jesus? Matthew 8:23-27 provides our first miracle, of two:

Jesus and the disciples got into a boat to travel to Gerasenes. (It was there that Jesus encountered "Legion.") A "furious storm came upon the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping." The disciples cried out, fearing that they would drown. The woke Jesus, who said to them, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" He stood and "rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." Even the weather obeys this man, truly he was the Son of God!

After Jesus had fed the five thousand, he hurried the disciples to the boat as he dismissed the crowd. Then he went to pray. The boat was already out into the lake. Matthew 14:25 says, "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake." Wow. They were frightened at first, but Jesus called Peter to come over to him, and Peter started walking towards Jesus. But when he lost focus, frightened from the wind and waves, he began to plunge in, but Jesus immediately grabbed his hand and caught him.

These are the miracles of Jesus. From healing, to driving out demons, from raising the dead to multiplying food, and even walking on water - and making it so that someone else could walk on the water, his miracles show us one thing: He is the Christ, Jesus. The Messiah. In the last entry, we will cover three miracles I feel we should take a look at.

Troy Hillman

Last entry in series: The Miracles of Jesus (Part Four)
Previous entry in series: The Miracles of Jesus (Part Two)

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