Can You Believe the Miracles Recorded in the Bible?
IF YOU were told an amazing story, would not the credibility of the person telling the story affect whether you believe that story or not? Such credibility would involve not only the way the person told the story but also his personal record of truthfulness. After all, if over the years he had always told you the truth and had never deliberately lied to you, you would have good reason to believe what he now told you.
The same is true of miracles recorded in the Bible. None of us were alive when those events occurred. But we can determine if the Bible’s story is credible—if it has the ring of truth. How? Here are some factors that add credibility to Bible accounts of miracles.
Many miracles were performed in public places. At times, they were seen by thousands, if not millions, of observers. (Exodus 14:21-31; 19:16-19) They were not performed in secret, away from the eyes of the public.
The miracles were marked by simplicity. There were no special props or flashy displays, and there was no trick lighting. For the most part, the miracles recorded in the Bible occurred in response to chance encounters and requests from individuals. (Mark 5:25-29; Luke 7:11-16) In such cases the events could not have been staged by the one performing the miracle.
The motive of those performing the miracles was not to gain fame, glory, and riches for themselves. Rather, it was to bring glory to God. (John 11:1-4, 15, 40) Any effort by individuals to gain wealth from such miraculous powers was condemned.—2 Kings 5:15, 16, 20, 25-27; Acts 8:18-23.
The variety of miracles recorded in the Bible indicates that they could not be merely the works of men. For instance, the sea and the wind were calmed, water was changed into wine, rain was stopped and started, sick people were cured, and sight was restored to the blind. All those miracles and many more show that a superhuman power that can exercise influence over all forms of matter must have been behind such miracles.—1 Kings 17:1-7; 18:41-45; Matthew 8:24-27; Luke 17:11-19; John 2:1-11; 9:1-7.
Opposers who observed the miracles did not question that they had occurred. When Jesus resurrected his friend Lazarus, Jesus’ religious enemies did not question that Lazarus had been dead. How could they? Lazarus had been buried for four days. (John 11:45-48; 12:9-11) Even centuries after Jesus’ death, the writers of the Jewish Talmud continued to acknowledge that Jesus had miraculous powers. They simply questioned the source of those powers. Similarly, when Jesus’ disciples were brought before a Jewish court, the question they were asked was not “Did you perform a miracle?” But they were asked: “By what power or in whose name did you do this?”—Acts 4:1-13.
So can you believe what the Bible tells us about miracles? From what we have just considered, it is clear that Bible accounts about miracles have the earmarks of credibility. There are other reasons for trusting these Bible accounts. For example, when the Bible relates an event, it often gives us the time, the place, and the names of the people involved. Even critics of the Bible have been amazed by the accuracy of the historical details found in the Bible. Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, even in the smallest of details. In addition, the Bible contains much advice about how to make human relationships happy—advice that has helped people of all ages and walks of life. When it comes to human relationships, the advice found in the Bible has proved to be without equal.
If you have not yet gained full confidence in the Bible, why not take the time to examine it more carefully? The more you get to know it, the more you will grow to trust it. (John 17:17) You will realize that you can trust what it tells you about the miracles that occurred in the past. Once you believe those accounts, you will have a good basis for trusting what the Bible says will happen in the near future.
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Jesus’ opposers did not question that Lazarus had been dead