Writings from the past record that miracles happened. This provides proof that there exists a Supreme Being who can function outside natural laws and do as he wishes. It also shows that this Being cares about us.
Some happenings may be miraculous but difficult to verify because of the incorporeal elements involved. In this post some emphasis will be on corporeal, on physical events that were experienced and/or observed.
However, the the main point of this post is not to concentrate primarily on just miracles, but to pursue the question whether God exists and does he concern himself with humans. That is the all important question.
Moses was born about 1393 BC and grew up as an Egyptian prince. The bible says he killed an Egyptian and in fear fled for his life and as a result became a shepherd for a while. Obviously, Moses did not always lead an exemplary life. The Hebrews at that time were worshipping other gods and Moses probably was doing the same. To get his attention God (Jehovah) created a burning bush which he, Moses, went to see. In the course of a short conversation with God Moses in effect asked who he was talking with. The answer was, “I AM Who I AM” . Because of this miracle burning bush Moses became a theist who worshipped only Jehovah. At a later point in Moses’ life, Miriam, his sister in-law, became leprous. Moses prayed for her and she was healed. (Numbers 12:13)
Naaman, in the Old Testament, an army commander suffered from leprosy but was healed.(2 kings 5:1-14). Job of the Old Testament suffered from a severe skin condition. He said, “My skin turns black on me and my bones burn with fever. (Job 30 : 30). Job 42:10-17, says he was healed of his affliction. In these situations and all other Old Testament miracles, Jehovah, God, was the source of the miracles. Jesus came to earth born as a man some 2000 years ago. At about age 30, before his crucifixion, he healed many people. The scriptures say he healed many more than those mentioned in the Gospels. Jesus sent out his disciples to teach the gospel and to heal the sick.(Luke 10:9). The disciples came back and said, “Even the devils are subject to us through your name”.(Luke 10:9). The book of Acts written after the crucifixion states that Jesus’ followers prayed for those with physical ailments.(Acts 3:6-8). All these things were happening because God cared about the people and their suffering. Christianity spread as followers of Jesus spoke of their faith. Many were martyred as a result.
Moving on, one comes to what is called the Early Church Fathers. This takes in the years from about 100 AD to 600 AD. These individuals lived in troubled times and a few were killed for their faith. A good number of them recorded what was happening in their time, including information about miracles. Even though they were leaders in the early church, their writings are not mentioned much in the churches of today. Several will be mentioned below regarding miracles.
Justin Martyr (100-165) was originally a philosopher who for a time embraced the teaching of Socrates and Plato. He later became a christian and wrote of men who, “… have healed and do heal”. He was killed for his faith during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
Irenaeus (120-200) wrote, “others again heal the sick by laying hands on them and they are made whole”. This he said was done by calling upon the “…name of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Tertullian (155-220) converted to Christianity about 190-195. Writing in 211 he makes reference to a number of sick healed by Christians.
Origen (185-253) said “not a few cures are brought about in the name of Jesus”.
Augustine (354-430) witnessed numerous miracles as recorded in his books, ‘City of God’ and ‘Retractions’. Augustine doubted that miracles occurred in his day but changed his thinking when in fact miracles occurred that he could substantiate.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1190 – 1153) spoke of miracles as did Martin Luther (1483-1546).
Mentioned above are some individuals, from the past, who witnessed miracles that God worked in the lives of people they knew. In their minds they were convinced that God had done the miracles. Does God work miracles in our modern times? The answer apparently is affirmative and will be discussed in a future post.
Underlying the miracles that God performs is his intent to indicate to people that he cares about them, both their physical well-being and more importantly about their spiritual well being, namely their souls. God wants you to establish a relationship with him and he with you.
Romans 10:9 says, ‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved’.
1 John 4:15-16 states, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us ….”
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