Results of Christ's Signs
by Leland M. Haines
Christian Evidences points out the signs of Jesus as they occurred. From this study we see that the four Gospels specifically mention in detail some thirty-five miracles, briefly mention many more, and explain how many of the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled. These represent only a small portion of Jesus' miracles. As John wrote at the close of his Gospel, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (John 20:30). Some of these are contained in the other three Gospels, but many are not recorded. John wrote, there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25). When one consider the fact that the four Gospels record only a small fraction of approximately sixty days of Jesus' three year ministry (roughly 5% of the days), and that many, many books have been written on this ministry, it is evident that an innumerable number of books could be written about the rest of His life and ministry.
By presenting these proofs in their original settings we have shown that they occurred in very reasonable ways - ways which one could easily expect God to use. They were never done in a circus or in a magical atmosphere, but were always done openly with good purposes in mind. Thus one should easily accept the conclusion that the miracles point out that Jesus was the Christ sent from God.
The following Scriptures emphasize what results these signs had on those who saw them. The people who responded to these signs fall generally into two classes: the common people believed and the Jewish leaders rejected. We can see the common people's response in the following Scriptures:
The more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak. (Mark 7:36-37)
Many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did. (John 2:23)
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews ...[said] "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him." (John 3:1-2)
And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. (John 6:2)
Many of the people believed in him; they said, "When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?" (John 7:31)
How can a man who is a sinner do such signs? (John 9:16)
As the results of Lazarus' resurrection from the dead, "Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him." (John 11:45)
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31, cf. 21:25)
Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know - this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. (Acts 2:22)
He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed. (Acts 10:38)
It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will. (Hebrews 2:3-4)
But not everyone believed. This is seen in the following Scriptures:
He began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. (Matthew 11:20)
And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven....You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:1-4)
When the Pharisees heard it they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons." Knowing their thoughts, he said to them.... "if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:24-28, cf. Luke 11:15)
Herod ... was hoping to see some sign done by him. (Luke 23:8)
Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. (John 6:26)
I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me .... believe the works. (John 10:25, 38, cf. 32)
For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him. (John 11:47-48)
Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him. (John 12:37)
If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, "They hated me without a cause." (John 15:24-25, cf. Psalm 35:19)
I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world... Now they know that everything that thou has given me is from thee. (John 17:6-7)
In summary, one finds that the miracles of Jesus were overwhelmingly accepted by the common people but less so by the leaders. But even some of the leaders did not deny that Jesus had done the miracles but sought other explanations for them (Matthew 9:34, Mark 3:22). In coming to Jesus and asking for a sign, the leaders gave some indications they thought Jesus could do miracles. At least they must have gathered some idea that He could work miracles. If they thought Jesus could not do them, they would never have approached Him and asked for a sign (Matthew 16:1-4). We can also see that the Gentile king, Herod, appeared to accept the fact that Jesus could do signs because he was hoping to see some sign done by him (Luke 23:8). These testimonies by the common people and leaders, along with the fact that there is no evidence that Jesus did not work miracles and signs, gives us ample reason to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. But there is yet another even greater sign that needs to be considered, that of His resurrection.
from Christian Evidence, © copyright 1991 by Leland M. Haines
This book is available from Biblical Viewpoints.