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A brief Overview of the Gospels: A Bible Study - Part 3
Miracles of Christ
Jesus came performing miracles. The purpose of this was to validate His claim to be the Christ. In the days in which we live many people get excited about miracles. They seek out a statue that bleeds. They seek out "faith healers" that take their money and leave them broke.They cling to any false hope the devil may show them through supposed "miracles". Remember that the devil is an angel of light. He can appear as clothed in righteousness although in reality he is a ravening wolf. Does God still perform miracles today? Absolutely; just not the way He did in the Gospels.
Moses Parts the Red Sea
There were three main periods of miracles in the Bible. Moses ministry was characterized by extraordinary miracles. We see him turning the Nile River into blood. He draws water from a rock. He parts the Red Sea. The next season of miracles is during the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. Remember that Elijah stopped the rain, raised the widow's son, and fed her from a never ending supply of food as we read in I Kings 17:16 - "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." Although some counts may differ, Elijah performed a total of eight miracles. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah's power. You can count 16 of his miracles.
Thirdly, during the earthly ministry of Jesus, miracles abounded. All these were to validate the "miracle worker" as a man of God; to give them credibility. There will be yet one more period of miracles. This will take place during the tribulation, and will not be wrought by the hand of God, but rather by the devil. Realize he has power, too. In an effort to deceive, many supernatural events will take place during the tribulation.
The Gospels are dotted with the miracles of Christ. His birth was a miracle. “God with us” is a miracle. But the first miracle performed during His ministry was at Cana. We will not look at all the details of all the miracles He performed, but we will list them. Use them for a guide for your own lessons and study.
- Changing the water into wine (John 2:7-9)
- Healing the Nobleman’s son (John 4:50)
- Healing the demoniac (Mark 1:25; Luke 4:35)
- Healing Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:15; Mark 1:31; Luke 4:39)
- The great catch of fish (Luke 5:5, 6)
- Healing a leper (Matthew 8:3; Mark 1:41)
- Healing a Paralytic (Matthew 9:2, 6, 7; Mark 2:5, 10-12; Luke 5:20, 24, 25)
- Healing the Centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:13; Luke 7:10)
- Raising the widow's son (Luke 7:14)
Jesus Heals a Withered Hand
- Healing a withered hand (Matthew 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10)
- Raising a widow’s son (Luke 7:14)
- Calming the storm (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:24)
- Healing the demoniac of Gadera (Matthew 8:32; Mark 5:8; Luke 8:33)
- Healing a woman with an issue of blood (Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:20; Luke 8:44)
- Raising Jarius’ daughter (Matthew 9:25; Mark 5:41; Luke 8:54)
- Healing the two blind men (Matthew 9:29)
- Healing a dumb demoniac ((Matthew 9:33)
- Healing an invalid (John 5:8)
- Feeding the 5,000 (Matthew 14:19; Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16; John 6:11)
- Walking on the water (Matthew 14:25; Mark 6:48; John 6:19-21)
These miracles were all performed during the first year of Christ’s ministry. The second year brings the following:
20. Healing a gentile demoniac girl (Matthew 15:28; Mark 7:29)
21. Healing a deaf and speech impaired man (Mark 7:34, 35)
22. Feeding the 4,000 (Matthew 15:36; Mark 8:6)
23. Healing a blind man (Mark 8:25)
24. Healing the man born blind (John 9:7)
25. Healing a demoniac boy (Matthew 17:18; Mark 9:25; Luke 9:42)
The Raising of Lazarus
26, Catching a fish with a coin in its mouth (Matthew 17:27)
27. Healing a blind and dumb demoniac (Matthew 12:22; Luke 11:14)
28. Healing a woman with an infirmity (Luke 13:12)
29. Healing a man with dropsy (Luke 14:4)
30. Healing ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
31. Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43, 44)
31. Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43, 44)
The raising of Lazarus is only recorded for us in the Gospel of John. In chapter 11, the stage is set for one of the greatest miracles ever performed. In verse 4 and verse 6 we see that the purpose of Lazarus' sickness was for the sole purpose of glorifying God. Jesus deliberately waited until Lazarus had died before He comes to Mary and Martha.
By the time Jesus makes His way to Bethany we see that Lazarus has already been dead for 4 days (verse 17). By this time the body would have begun corruption or decomposition. Martha realizes this when she says in verse 39 when she says, ". . . Lord, by this time he stinketh . . ." What better way to describe the stench of sin? Are we think that our corruption and sin smell any better in the nostrils of God?
Dropping back to verse 25, we see Jesus as He makes his great declaration, ". . . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." This is one of the seven Great I Am's listed in the gospel of John.
In verse 35 we see an emotional Jesus. We see in this shortest verse in the New Testament - "Jesus wept" - the great compassion Jesus had for a world of lost sinners. Jesus wept not for Lazarus, but for those still alive that needed to be awakened to their spiritual condition. He already knew how He would handle the "Lazarus situation."
In verses 41 and 42 Jesus prays to His Father, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." With His prayer finished He gives the shout - "Lazarus, come forth.
32. Healing a blind man (Matthew 20:34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-19:28)
33. Destroying a fig tree (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14)
Healing Malchus' Ear
34. Restoring a severed ear (Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50; John 18:10)
35. Catching a great catch of fish (John 21:6)
What can we learn from these miracles? We can learn about man’s heart. We see his lack of faith revealed in miracles #2, #11 and #19. We see his wickedness revealed in miracles #5, #16, #17, #27, #28, and his ingratitude in miracle number #30.
Notice that Christ's miracles were performed anywhere - at weddings (#1), at funerals (#10, #14, #31), in boats (#5 ,#11), in graveyards (#12), in synagogues (#3, #8, #28), just to name a few.
The Prayers of Christ
As we take a comparative view of the Gospels, the next section we will look at is the section of Jesus’ prayers. The “Lord’s Prayer” is given in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. Actually this is not the Lord’s Prayer but rather the disciples’ prayer as Jesus taught them to pray. Truly, John 17 is the Lord’s Prayer. There is a total of 19 prayers given by Jesus mentioned in the Gospels.
- At His Baptism (Luke 3:21)
- Before His first preaching tour in Galilee (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42)
- After healing a leper (Luke 5:16)
- Before choosing the disciples (Luke 6:12)
- After feeding the 5,000 (Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46; John 6:15)
- Before Peter’s great confession (Luke 9:18)
- At the transfiguration (Luke 9:28, 29)
- At the return of the 70 (Matthew 11:25-27)
- After seeing Mary and Martha (Luke 11:1)
- 10. After calling the children (Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17)
- Before raising Lazarus (John 11:41, 42)
- When some Greeks desired to see Him (John 12:27, 28)
- Upon leaving the Upper Room (John 17:1-26)
- In Gethseme (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35, 36; Luke 22:41, 42)
- In the garden - 2nd time (Matthew 26:42; Mark 14:39; Luke 22:44)
- In the garden - 3rd time (Matthew 24:44)
- One the cross - 1st time (Luke 23:34)
- On the cross - 2nd time (Matthew 27:48, 49; Mark 15:34, 35
- On the cross - 3rd time (Luke 23:46)
I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” It is interesting to see how Jesus followed His own Scripture in regard to when He prayed. Notice the following:
- All night (#4)
- Just after midnight (#13, #14, #15, #16)
- At dawn (#2)
- Late afternoon (#18, #19)
It is also interesting to notice the positions in which Jesus prayed.
- Lifting up His eyes toward Heaven (#11, #13)
- Kneeling (#14, #15)
- On His face (#14, #15)
- While hanging between Heaven and Earth (#17, #18, #19)
He prayed for
- Little Children (#10)
- His enemies (#17)
- Himself (#12, 313, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19)
- His 70 disciples (#8)
Next time around we will look at the parables of Jesus and the women of the Gospels.Until then. . . keep at it!