How can I do miracles
Can only God work miracles?
My articles on the subject of "Doctrine of the Trinity" do not always meet with approval and recently I received another email with the note: "The very fact that only God can perform such miracles clearly proves that Jesus is God!" Followers of the doctrine of the Trinity also point out from time to time that the Jews of the time naturally believed that only God could perform miracles and that Jesus was therefore God. That inspired me to look into this "fact" in more detail and to take a closer look at some relevant statements in the Bible.
Is this statement a "fact" at all?
If such a statement is made and presented with the appropriate conviction, many people are inclined to accept what has been said as a "fact" quickly and without further consideration of their own. But is it a fact at all? Is this statement actually true or is it just a claim that may be false? In fact, anyone who is even a little familiar with the Bible should immediately recognize that this claim that “only God can perform such miracles” is inconsistent with the biblical testimony. ”Some biblical descriptions of miracles quickly prove that different people worked miracles .
Just remember the following very well-known situations:
- Moses not only divided the sea, but also brought plagues on Egypt
- Joshua divided the Jordan and let the sun stand still
- Elijah and Elisha performed things that can be described as miracles
- Elisha healed a leper and raised a dead boy
- Peter and John healed a lame man
- Apostles performed healings and cast out demons
Without going into further details, it is clearly clear that these biblical examples refute the assertion made and prove to be false. Or would someone seriously claim that Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha or Peter were all God or a person of a "multi-person deity"?
Now what does God have to do with miracles?
Even if we read in the Bible that the people mentioned in the reports worked miracles, it is also clear that people cannot even "just like that" accomplish such things by their own strength. If one reads these biblical accounts, one can see that these people performed the miracles by means of God's power and not by their own strength or their own abilities. God is very much involved in such miracles, but those who performed the miracles were not themselves and did not become God themselves.
The biblical accounts show that the miracles these people worked were possible because God was with these people, because He had endowed them with His power to work miracles in the first place. It was no different with Jesus, for he too worked the miracles that he performed, because God was with him, because God had anointed him with holy spirit and power. It was also clear to the superiors of the Jews, and to the Jews in general, that the miracles that Jesus performed did not mean that the Almighty, that God himself was standing before them, but that these miracles were proof that God with Jesus was.
[Nicodemus] came to Jesus by night and said to him, Master, we know that you are a teacher, come from God; for no one can do the signs that you do unless God is with him.
Note Nicodemus' choice of words with regard to Jesus: "came from God" and "God with him"!
Similar statements can be found in some other passages in which e.g. the healed man born blind or the apostle Peter talk about Jesus.
30 The man answered and said to them, It is astonishing that you do not know where he is from, and he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners; but he who fears God and does his will, he hears. 32 From the beginning of the world it was never heard of anyone opening the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If it weren't for God, he couldn't do anything.
The healed man knew "where he [Jesus] came from", that Jesus "is God-fearing and does his [God's] will", that Jesus was "sent by God".
Acts 2: 22-23
22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, shown out from among you by God through works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourself know - 23 this man who by the counsel of God and Providence was given up, you crucified and killed by the hands of the Gentiles.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with holy spirit and power; he went about doing good and healed all who were in the power of the devil, for God was with him.
Peter mentions that the miracles and deeds of Jesus were the evidence by which he was "expelled from among you by God", that "God worked through him [this man, Jesus]". Then in the house of Cornelius Peter refers to the fact that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with holy spirit and power" and that thereby "God was with him".
Jesus' miracles did not testify that Jesus was God, but testified that God was WITH HIM, that Jesus was sent FROM GOD. The works that Jesus did did not prove him to be God; rather, they were what God identified him as the Messiah.
To come back to and answer the question in the title of this little study: No, not only can God work miracles, but people who are sent by God and are empowered by God and endowed with His power can work miracles. Compare Jesus' own words on this:
36 But I have a greater testimony than John's; for the works that the Father gave me to complete, these very works that I do, testify of me that the Father sent me.
12 Verily, verily, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and he will do greater than these; because I am going to the father.
Copyright © 2020 by Wolfgang Schneider
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