Mini Study Mondays: Miracles

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Miracles defy the normal rules of existence in order to make changes to our reality. The Bible is full of examples of paralyzed people being healed, food lasting longer than it should, and even people being raised from the dead. It is these miracles that we look to as signs of who the Messiah is and when he’s scheduled to return. It is also the witnessing of these miracles that further solidifies our faith.

Words Worth Knowing

Reading Selection

When the Israelites left Egypt, they began to complain and lose faith in Moses and God when they ran low on food. After speaking with God, Moses told the people that it would rain manna and quail. It is the miracle of manna that causes some debate. In scripture, manna is called the bread of angels, but pop culture Christianity teaches that angels don’t eat because they don’t need to eat.

“I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” – Exodus 16:12-15

When the prophet Elijah was hungry and thirsty, he asked a poor widow to get him something to eat and drink. She was honest and told him that she only had a little bit of food, but she was willing to share what little she had. Because of that, the Lord blessed her so that her food and oil didn’t run out until the end of the drought. Before Elijah’s arrival, she was prepared to eat the last bit of her food and die with her son.

“And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.” – 1 Kings 17:12-16

The book of John is the only gospel that records the wedding party at Cana. What we learn in the story is that it is the first miracle performed and also offers several insights. Mary, the mother of Christ new that he was able to turn water into wine before she asked, indicating that it may not have been the first time he’d done it. He also made six stone pots worth of wine for the party. According to the text, each pot contained two to three “firkins”, which is roughly equal to 11 gallons per ferkin. This is equal to 72 – 198 gallons of wine. We know based on the context of what the governor said that it was alcoholic wine and not grape juice as some ministries teach.

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” – John 2:1-10

In the Old Testament we are given signs to use in order to recognize the true Messiah when he came. It is these signs that Christ gives to John the Baptist in order to answer his question about who he was. Christ’s answer to John also gives us insight into why he performed certain miracles when he did.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” – Matthew 11:1-6

The biggest miracle in the Bible is the resurrection of Christ. It was the single miracle that truly identified who he was and that he fulfilled all of the signs from the Old Testament. Prior to Christ, all other resurrections had been done by a living person. Christ was the first dead person to get up under his own power, and bring other people with him.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.” – Matthew 28:1-7

Quick Fact

Most of the miracles in the Bible were performed by prophets in the Old Testament, while most of the miracles in the New Testament were performed by Christ. As one of the signs of the end of the age, Christ told his disciples to be careful not to fall for fake miracles performed by false prophets. It is a commonly accepted belief that both the false prophet and false Christ will use miracles to deceive followers of Christ into following the Antichrist.

The Breakdown

While miracles aren’t as visible as they once were in many cultures, there are many older tribal cultures in which miracles still occur. We do occasionally get to witness firsthand people being cured of seemingly incurable diseases without explanation. It is these miracles that give many the faith to continue believing in a higher power that is not only in control, but also cares enough to take notice on humanity and intervene on occasion.

Questions For Group Study

  1. What is the definition of a miracle?
  2. Who performs the most miracles in the Bible?
  3. Are there more miracles in the Old Testament or the New Testament?

Next Mini Study Monday: Salvation

The Awakening Library

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By Black History In The Bible

"And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." - John 8:45-47

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