Miracles have been seen throughout biblical history, but their greatest display appeared during the ministry of Christ. Those miracles served six strategic purposes:
1. To introduce a new era. The first purpose was to introduce the prophesied Messiah, who in turn announced the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good News (Mark 1:15). The miracles accompanied the Kingdom offer and substantiated that offer (Matthew 12:28).
2. To authenticate His messiahship. The second major purpose was to authenticate the messiahship of Christ. His works are a witness to His person as Messiah and Son of God (Yochanan 20:20-31). They are the insignia of His deity and messiahship.
3. To authenticate His message. As miracles were used to authenticate Messiah’s person, they also served to authenticate His message. Christ appealed to His miracles in John 10:38 to substantiate His message concerning His oneness with the Father. His message was certified authentic by the miracles He performed.
4. To instruct His talmidim. After the rejection of the Meshiach by the Great Sanhedrin (Mattityahu 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15-16; John 7:20), His miracles were no longer public and became agents of instruction for the benefit of His apostles (see En – Four Drastic Changes in Christ’s Ministry). The miracles instructed them concerning Messiah’s power (Mark 4:39-41, 5:1-20), trust in Jesus’ provision (John 6:3-6), prayer (Mark 6:46, Luke 5:16), and outreach to Gentiles (Matthew 15:21-38).
5. To reveal conditions in the future Kingdom. A special purpose for which Christ used His miracles was to reveal the conditions of the future messianic Kingdom. The miracles foreshadow in a brief display the removal of sickness (John 5:1-8), death (John 11:17-44), disease (Luke 14:1-6), and hunger (Mattityahu 15:32-38) in the Kingdom. The miracles also point to the joy and prosperity that will characterize the Kingdom (John 2:11) and that in the millennial Age, Satan will be restricted (Matthew 8:28-34).
6. To display mercy. One final purpose of Messiah’s miracles was to display mercy on suffering humanity. His mercy and compassion often moved Him to act (Mattityahu 14:14, 15:32; Mark 1:41; Luke 7:3). He often healed in response to pleas for mercy (Matthew 15:25, 17:15; Mark 10:47-48; Luke 17:13). Christ’s healing miracles outnumber all of His other miracles.
The miracles of Messiah had varying results: belief (John 2:11, 4:50), conviction (Luke 5:8), discipleship (Mark 10:52), emotion (Mattityahu 8:27, 12:23; Mark 7:37), worship (Mark 2:12; Yochanan 9:38), recognition of Christ’s uniqueness (Luke 7:16; John 6:14), and rejection (Matthew 12:24; John 5:16, 11:53).