Post Author: Bill Pratt
I just finished a detailed study of the seven miraculous signs Jesus performed in the Gospel of John. If you don’t recall, they are:
- The Miracle of Turning Water Into Wine
- The Miracle of Healing the Nobleman’s Son
- The Miracle of Healing the Man at the Pool of Bethesda
- The Miracle of Feeding Five Thousand
- The Miracle of Walking on Water
- The Miracle of Healing the Blind Man
- The Miracle of Raising Lazarus from the Dead
The fascinating thing about these miracle accounts is how people reacted to them. There is a wide cross-section of responses. The way I would summarize the responses is in the following way:
- Some people responded by believing in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, and dedicating their lives to him, which is exactly the purpose John gives for writing his Gospel (see John 20:30-31).
- Some people responded by believing in Jesus, but only in a shallow way. These people would have eternal life, but their growth as followers of Jesus was static and stunted. They did not move beyond their initial belief.
- Some people responded by believing in Jesus as a political figure who could solve their earthly problems for them. They did not believe in him as the Messiah and Son of God.
- Some people responded in disbelief and outright hatred and rejection. These people felt threatened by Jesus’ growing popularity and his rejection of their traditions. Ultimately, some of these people had Jesus executed.
It is my contention that these miracles act like a mirror for each person that saw them. The miracles, for those who loved God and were willing, confirmed their hope for a true Messiah.
For those who wanted a political savior, Jesus’ miracles confirmed their hope in him as a “political Messiah.”
For those who wanted to retain their own autonomy and power, Jesus’ miracles did nothing but agitate them. There was no miracle he could perform that would convince them.
Where the heart is willing, evidence, such as miracles, can be quite convincing. Where the heart is not willing, no amount of evidence will do.
As an apologist, this frustrates me to no end. I have spent years amassing evidence for Christianity, which I think is thoroughly convincing, but many times I present that evidence to people who are completely unwilling to listen. I’ve just learned to roll with it, though, because I also present evidence to people who are willing to listen, and that always makes my day!
Which kind of person are you? Which group would you fall in? If you are someone who no amount of evidence can convince, then why is that?
Just some food for thought.