Signs And Miracles Were For Confirming The Word
James E. Farley
Jesus and His apostles and prophets performed many signs, wonders, and mighty deeds. They were all for the primary purpose of confirming the Word: for proving that these men were who they said they were, and that their message was truly from God. (Mark 16:15-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). Jesus and the early disciples were compassionate people and were often moved by the sicknesses, death, and troubles of people of their day. Often the miracles worked by them benefited these people greatly: the blind received their sight, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk, people were raised from the dead, people were fed, etc. However, even when our Lord or His apostles worked beneficial miracles on behalf of hurting people, still the primary purpose of the sign or miracle was confirmation – to prove they were from God and were doing God’s bidding.
In Mark chapter two, we have the record of four faithful friends carrying their sick friend to Jesus and working very hard to get this “one sick of the palsy” to the Lord. When Jesus saw their faith (vs. 5), which was certainly evidenced by their actions (Compare James 2:14-26, especially verse 18), He said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Mark 2:5). Some of the scribes then reasoned in their hearts, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” They were right. Only God can forgive sins, and Jesus then proceeded to prove or confirm that He is God! He asked, “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?” He did not give them time to answer that question, but said, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” (Mark 2:9-12). Our Lord confirmed that He is who He says He is, and He did it with miracles. (Compare again Mark 16:15-20; Hebrews 2:1-4)
On another occasion, John’s disciples came from him asking Jesus, “Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?” (Luke 7:19-20). How did the Lord answer them? The Word says, “And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached …” (Luke 7:21-22). The answer? YES, I AM HE, AND THESE MIRACLES PROVE IT! Signs and miracles were primarily for confirmation. Peter says he was proven to be Messiah by “miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know …” (Acts 2:22).
Some men came to Ephesus claiming to be apostles, and the church of Christ there put these to the test as per 1 John 4:1. They proved with this trial that these men were not apostles at all, but were liars, and our Lord commended the church there for doing so. (Revelation 2:2) Have you ever wondered what that test might have been? We do not have to wonder, for Paul reveals it to us. When some were doubting his apostleship, Paul wrote, “I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” (2 Corinthians 12:11-12). What were the “signs of an apostle”? Miracles! They were primarily for confirmation. -1179 Mark Wayne Drive, Louisa, Kentucky 41230. firstname.lastname@example.org
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