The Gospels are full of stories about Jesus performing awesome miracles. He exercises control over sickness, death, demons, and the forces of nature. He shows His power to persuade people that He is the Son of God. The book of Acts is full of stories about His apostles performing awesome miracles. They also show power over sickness, death, demons, and nature to convince people that He is God’s Son.
A Harmful Trend
Preachers seem confused by these amazing stories about Jesus’ miracles. Take the story of Jesus calming the storm. They say, “Jesus calms the storms in your life.” Or take the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. They say, “God turns your little into plenty.” Or take the story of Peter and John healing a lame man at the temple gate. They say, “God turns interruptions into opportunities.”
How to Not Preach Jesus’ Miracles
Now don’t get me wrong – those “applications” are true. Jesus comforts us in difficult situations, God uses us in ways greater than we can imagine, and He gives us opportunities to do ministry at unexpected times. But that’s not why the Gospels and Acts record these miracles. Take a look at how the stories end:
After Jesus calms the storm, His amazed and scared disciples wonder what sort of man He is (Matt. 8:27; Mark 4:41; Luke 8:25). After He feeds the 5,000, the people declare Him to be the anticipated Prophet and intend to make Him king (John 6:14-15). When the crowds marvel at the beggar, Peter directs their attention away from himself and attributes the healing to Jesus’ name and power (Acts 3:16).
The miracle stories all end the same way. When Jesus performs a miracle (or a miracle is performed in His name), witnesses marvel at His power and are challenged to place their faith in Him as Messiah. Miracle stories emphasize His authority and establish His identity. Therefore, we should not take stories that are about Him, pull morals out of them, and preach them as if they are about us.
How to Preach Jesus’ Miracles
So how do we preach Jesus’ miracles? According to their inspired purpose – to produce faith in Jesus by emphasizing His authority and establishing His identity. First, emphasize His authority. Marvel at His mastery of the physical and spiritual realms. Tremble at the realization that no disease, death, demon, or destructive force is beyond His power. Wonder at His raw ability.
Second, establish His identity. His miracles demonstrate that He is God’s Son. They validate Him as the promised Messiah. They set Him apart from other religious leaders. They guarantee that faith in Him is well-placed. Jesus uses His miracles to both convince unbelievers of His identity and confirm it to believers (John 10:37-38; 2:11). We should adopt His model and utilize His methods.
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