Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, ...even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." These miracles may be categorized into four groups: cures, exorcisms, resurrection of the dead and control over nature.
In the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), Jesus refuses to give a miraculous sign to prove his authority. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is said to have performed seven miraculous signs that characterize his ministry, from changing water into wine at the start of his ministry to raising Lazarus from the dead at the end.
To many Christians and Muslims, the miracles are actual historical events. Others, such as some liberal Christians, may consider these stories to be figurative. Certain Christian scholars present arguments for the historicity of miracles.
Types and motives 
In The Miracles of Jesus, H. Van der Loos discusses two main categories of miracles by Jesus: those that affected people, e.g., the Blind Man of Bethsaida and are called "healings", and those that "controlled nature", e.g., Walking on Water. The three types of healings are cures where an ailment is cured, exorcisms where demons are cast away and the resurrection of the dead. Among these miracles, the Transfiguration of Jesus is unique in that the miracle happens to Jesus himself.
One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the Gospel accounts is that he delivered benefits freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment for his healing miracles, unlike some high priests of his time who charged those who were healed. In Matthew 10:8 he advised his disciples to heal the sick without payment and stated: "freely ye received, freely give."
The miracles are outlined in this section and a visual representation, with a link to the each miracle's own page, appears in the gallery of miracles below. The structure and separation of miracles mostly follows Robert Maguire's "The miracles of Christ", John Clowes' "The miracles of Jesus Christ", and H. Van der Loos' "The Miracles of Jesus" listed in the references section.
The largest group of miracles mentioned in the New Testament involve cures. The Gospels give varying amounts of detail for each episode, sometimes Jesus cures simply by saying a few words, at other times employs material such as spit and mud. Generally they are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels but not in the Gospel of John.
The Blind 
The Gospel of Matthew
The Jesus cleansing a leper miracle appears in , and . Early in Jesus' ministry, he healed a leper, whom he then instructed to offer the requisite ritual sacrifices as proscribed by the Deuteronomic Code and Priestly Code. Jesus instructed the ex-leper not to tell anyone who had healed him; but the man disobeyed, increasing Jesus' fame, and thereafter Jesus withdrew to deserted places, but was followed there.
In the Cleansing ten lepers miracle, states that while on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent ten lepers who had sought his assistance to the priests, and that they were healed as they went, but that the only one that came back to thank Jesus was a Samaritan.
Healing the paralytic at Capernaum appears in , and . The Synoptics state that a paralytic was brought to Jesus on a mat; Jesus told him to get up and walk, and the man did so. Jesus also told the man that his sins were forgiven, which irritated the Pharisees. Jesus is described as responding to the anger by asking whether it is easier to say that someone's sins are forgiven, or to tell the man to get up and walk. Mark and Luke state that Jesus was in a house at the time, and that the man had to be lowered through the roof by his friends due to the crowds blocking the door.
A similar cure is described in the Gospel of John as the Healing the paralytic at Bethesda
The Cure of a bleeding woman miracle appears in , and , along with the miracle of the Daughter of Jairus. The Gospels state that while heading to Jairus' house Jesus was approached by a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for 12 years, and that she touched Jesus' cloak (fringes of his garment) and was instantly healed. Jesus turned about and, when the woman came forward, said "Daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace".
Healing the mother of Peter's wife. The Synoptics describe Jesus as healing the mother-in-law of Simon Peter when he visited Simon's house in Capernaum, around the time of Jesus recruiting Simon as an Apostle (Mark has it just after the calling of Simon, while Luke has it just before). The Synoptics imply that this led other people to seek out Jesus.
Jesus healing an infirm woman appears in . While teaching in a synagogues on a Sabbath, Jesus cured a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years and could not stand straight at all.
Healing a man with dropsy is described in . In this miracle, Jesus cured a man with dropsy at the house of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath. Jesus justified the cure by asking: "If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?"
In the Healing of the man with a withered hand miracle, the Synoptics state that Jesus entered a synagogue on Sabbath, and found a man with a withered hand there, whom Jesus healed, having first challenged the people present to decide what was lawful for Sabbath—to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill. The Gospel of Mark adds that this angered the Pharisees so much that they started to contemplate killing Jesus.
The Healing the deaf mute of Decapolis miracle only appears in the Gospel of Mark.
The Healing the Centurion's servant miracle is reported in and . These two Gospels narrate how Jesus healed the servant of a Roman Centurion in Capernaum. has a similar account at Capernaum, but states that it was the son of a royal official who was cured at a distance.
Jesus exorcising a mute, Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.also reports that after the miracle of
According to the three Synoptic Gospels, Jesus performed many exorcisms of demoniacs. These incidents are not mentioned in the Gospel of John. Jesus pointed to his ability to cast out devils as a sign of his Messiahship, and he empowered his disciples to do the same in his name.
The seven major exorcism accounts in the Synoptic Gospels which have details, and imply specific teachings, are:
- Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum, where Jesus exorcised an evil spirit who cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!".
- Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac, where people had tried to chain up a demoniac but he had escaped, and lived in tombs, and roamed the hills, crying and cutting himself. Jesus asked the man's name, and was told by the man/devils that his name was Legion, "...for we are many". The devils asked to be expelled into a group of swine, which Jesus allowed, and thereafter the swine fell into the lake and drowned. The swine keepers told the townsfolk what had happened, and when the townsfolk saw that the man was sane, they besought Jesus to leave "for they were taken with great fear". The man, on the other hand, informed the whole of the Decapolis what had happened. There are some discrepancies about this particular exorcism; both Mark and Luke only mention one man who was possessed. Matthew saw two men whom Jesus freed from demoniac possession.
- Exorcising the Canaanite woman's daughter, appears in Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30. The woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter, but Jesus said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel". The woman replied, "Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table", whereupon Jesus told her that her daughter was healed, and when the woman returned home she found that this was true.
- Exorcising the blind and mute man, appears in , , and . Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, so that he could both talk and see. People were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" But the Pharisees said that it is only by Beelzebul, that he drives out demons, but Jesus rebuked them.
- Exorcising a boy possessed by a demon, appears in , , and . A boy possessed by a demon was brought forward to Jesus immediately after Jesus' transfiguration. The boy was said to have foamed at the mouth, gnashed his teeth, become rigid and involuntarily fallen into both water and fire. Jesus' followers could not expel the demon, and Jesus condemned the people as unbelieving, but when the father of the boy questioned if Jesus could heal the boy, Jesus said "everything is possible for those that believe", so the father said he believed that the boy could be healed, and Jesus healed him.
- The miracle of Jesus exorcising at sunset appears in the Synoptic Gospels just after healing the mother of Peter's wife, in , and . In this miracle Jesus healed people and cast out many devils who knew he was Christ.
- The miracle of Jesus exorcising a mute appears in immediately following the account of the miracle of Jesus healing two blind men. A man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the devil was cast out, the man who had been mute spoke.
There are also brief mentions of other exorcisms, e.g.:
- Jesus had cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene. ( , )
- Jesus continued to cast out devils even though Herod Antipas wanted to kill him. ( )
Resurrection of the dead 
Control over nature 
|Part of a series on|
The Gospels include eight pre-resurrection accounts concerning Jesus' power over nature:
- Turning Water into Wine—at a wedding, when the host runs out of wine, the host's servants fill vessels with water at Jesus' command, then a sample is drawn out and taken to the master of the banquet who pronounces the content of the vessels as the best wine of the banquet.
- The miracle of draught of fishes
- The Feeding of the 5000 and of the 4000 men—Jesus, praying to God and using only a few loaves of bread and several fish, feeds thousands of men, along with an unspecified number of women and children; there are even a number of baskets of leftovers afterward.
- Walking on water—Jesus walked on a lake to meet a boat.
- Transfiguration of Jesus—Jesus climbed a mountain and was changed so that his face glowed.
- Calming the storm - during a storm, the disciples woke Jesus, and he rebuked the storm causing it to become calm. Jesus then rebukes the disciples for lack of faith.
- Finding a Coin in the fish's mouth is reported in Matthew 17:24-27.
- The Cursing of the Fig Tree—Jesus cursed a fig tree, and it withered.
Post-resurrection miracles attributed to Jesus are also recorded in the Gospels:
- A similar miracle to the miracle of draught of fishes—also called the catch of 153 fish, to distinguish it from the account in Luke—is reported in the Gospel of John but takes place after the Resurrection of Jesus.
Setting and Interpretations 
Cultural background 
Miracles were widely believed in around the time of Jesus. Gods and demigods such as Heracles (better known by his Roman name, Hercules), Asclepius (a Greek physician who became a god) and Isis of Egypt all were thought to have healed the sick and overcome death (i.e. have raised people from the dead). Some thought that mortal men, if sufficiently famous and virtuous, could do likewise; there were myths about philosophers like Pythagoras and Empedocles calming storms at sea, chasing away pestilences, and being greeted as gods, and similarly some Jews believed that Elisha the Prophet had cured lepers and restored the dead. The achievements of the 1st century Apollonius of Tyana, though occurring after Jesus' life, were used by a 3rd-century opponent of the Christians used him to argue that Christ was neither original nor divine (Eusebius of Caesaria argued against the charge).
The first Gospels were written against this background of Hellenistic and Jewish belief in miracles and other wondrous acts as signs - the term is explicitly used in the Gospel of John to describe Jesus' miracles - seen to be validating the credentials of divine wise men.
Traditional Christian interpretation 
Christians in general believe that Jesus' miracles were actual historical events and that his miraculous works were an important part of his life, attesting to his divinity and the Hypostatic union, i.e., the dual natures of Jesus as God and Man. Christians believe that while Jesus' experiences of hunger, weariness, and death were evidences of his humanity, the miracles were evidences of his divinity.
Christian authors also view the miracles of Jesus not merely as acts of power and omnipotence, but as works of love and mercy: they were performed not with a view to awe men by the feeling of omnipotence, but to show compassion for sinful and suffering humanity. And each miracle involves specific teachings.
Since according to the Gospel of John
"Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
In Christian teachings, the miracles were as much a vehicle for Jesus' message as were his words. Many of the miracles emphasize the importance of faith, for instance in Cleansing ten lepers,
"Rise and go; your faith has saved you."
Christian authors have discussed the miracles of Jesus at length and assigned specific motives to each miracle, e.g., authors Pentecost and Danilson suggest that the Walking on Water miracle centered on the relationship of Jesus with his apostles, rather than their peril or the miracle itself. And that the miracle was specifically designed by Jesus to teach the apostles that when encountering obstacles, they need to rely on their faith in Christ, first and foremost.
Authors Donahue and Harrington argue that the Daughter of Jairus miracle teaches that faith as embodied in the bleeding woman can exist in seemingly hopeless situations, and that through belief, healing can be achieved, in that when the woman is healed, Jesus tells her "Your faith has healed you".
Liberal Christianity 
Liberal Christians place less emphasis on miraculous events associated with the life of Jesus than on his teachings. The effort to remove superstitious elements from Christian faith dates to intellectual reformist Christians such as Erasmus and the Deists in the 15th–17th centuries. In the 19th century, self-identified liberal Christians sought to elevate Jesus' humane teachings as a standard for a world civilization freed from cultic traditions and traces of pagan belief in the supernatural. The debate over whether a belief in miracles was mere superstition or essential to accepting the divinity of Christ constituted a crisis within the 19th-century church, for which theological compromises were sought.
Attempts to account for miracles through scientific or rational explanation were mocked even at the turn of the 19th–20th century. A belief in the authenticity of miracles was one of five tests established in 1910 by the Presbyterian Church to distinguish true believers from false professors of faith such as "educated, 'liberal' Christians."
Contemporary liberal Christians may prefer to read Jesus' miracles as metaphorical narratives for understanding the power of God. Not all theologians with liberal inclinations reject the possibility of miracles, but may reject the polemicism that denial or affirmation entails.
Other views 
Bart Ehrman states that what makes science possible is the assumption of the uniformity of the laws of nature, but given that miracles are by definition events that go against the usual way nature works, historians are virtually unable to confirm or refute reports of Jesus' miracles. On the other hand, Christian scholars have presented present arguments for the historicity of miracles.
According to the Jesus Seminar Jesus probably cured some sick people, but described Jesus' healings in modern terms, relating them to "psychosomatic maladies." They found six of the nineteen healings to be "probably reliable". Most participants in the Jesus Seminar believe Jesus practiced exorcisms, as Josephus, Philostratus, and others wrote about other contemporary exorcists, but do not believe the gospel accounts were accurate reports of specific events or that demons exist. They did not find any of the nature miracles to be historical events.
Harmony of miracles in the four Gospels 
Over the centuries Christian authors have reviewed, discussed and analyzed the miracles attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. In most cases, authors associate each miracle with specific teachings that reflect the message of Jesus. Miracles performed by Jesus are mentioned in two sections of the Quran (suras 3:49 and 5:110) in broad strokes with little detail or comment.
The exact number of miracles depends on how miracles are counted, e.g., in the Daughter of Jairus miracle a woman is cured and a child is resurrected, but the two events are narrated within the same paragraphs of the Gospels, and are usually dealt with together, and the fact that the child was 12 years old and the woman had been ill for 12 years has been the subject of various interpretations.
It is not always clear when two reported miracles refer to the same event. For example, in the Healing the Centurion's servant, the Gospels of Matthew
Supernatural events such as the Annunciation reported in the Gospels prior to the start of the ministry of Jesus, and events following his Resurrection are generally not included in the list of miracles by Jesus, and neither is the use of "supernatural knowledge" such as in the case of the Woman at the well.
It should be noted that the Gospel of John
A sample Gospel harmony for the miracles based on the list of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels is presented in the table below. For the sake of consistency, this table is automatically sub-selected from the main harmony table in the Gospel harmony article, based on the list of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels.
List of miracles found outside the New Testament 
Accounts of Jesus performing miracles are also found outside the New Testament. Later, 2nd century texts, called Infancy Gospels, narrate Jesus performing miracles during his childhood.
|Rich young man raised from the dead||Secret Gospel of Mark 1|
|Water controlled and purified||Infancy Thomas 2.2|
|Made birds of clay and brought them to life||Infancy Thomas 2.3|
|Resurrected dead playmate Zeno||Infancy Thomas 9|
|Healed a woodcutter's foot||Infancy Thomas 10|
|Held water in his cloak||Infancy Thomas 11|
|Harvested 100 bushels of wheat from a single seed||Infancy Thomas 12|
|Stretched a board that was short for carpentry||Infancy Thomas 13|
|Resurrected a teacher he earlier struck down||Infancy Thomas 14-15|
|Healed James' viper bite||Infancy Thomas 16|
|Resurrected a dead child||Infancy Thomas 17|
|Resurrected a dead man||Infancy Thomas 18|
|Miraculous Virgin Birth verified by midwife||Infancy James 19-20|
Gallery of miracles 
The Blind man Bartimaeus in Jericho
At the Synagogue in Capernaum
Resurrection of the dead 
Control over nature 
See also 
- Chronology of Jesus
- Jesus in Christianity
- Life of Jesus in the New Testament
- Ministry of Jesus
- Parables of Jesus
|Find more about Miracles of Jesus at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Media from Commons|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
- Miracles are those acts that only God can perform, usually superseding natural laws. Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible defines a miracle as "an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God." It goes on to add that a miracle occurs to show that the power behind it is not limited to the laws of matter or mind as it interrupts fixed natural laws. So the term supernatural applies quite accurately. Elwell, Walter A., ed. (2001). Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible. Baker Academic. ISBN 978-0801022562.
- John Clowes, The Miracles of Jesus Christ published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK, 1817, available on Google books
- H. Van der Loos, 1965 The Miracles of Jesus, E.J. Brill Press, Netherlands, available on Google books
- Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. p. 72-73., , , . Cited in
- Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" p. 302-310
- "Islamic beliefs include many miracles of healing and of resurrection of the dead." Heribert Busse, 1998 Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, ISBN 1-55876-144-6 page 114
- See discussion under Liberal Christianity and miracles.
- Graham H. Twelftree, Jesus the miracle worker: a historical & theological study ISBN 0-8308-1596-1 page 19
- Gary R. Habermas, 1996 The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ ISBN 0-89900-732-5 page 60
- Karl Barth Church dogmatics ISBN 0-567-05089-0 page 478
- The Miracles of Jesus by Craig Blomberg, David Wenham 1986 ISBN 1-85075-009-2 page 197
- , and .
- , and
- , ,
- ; ; ; ; ;
- , ,
- , ,
- Henry Rutter, Evangelical harmony Keating and Brown, London 1803. page 450
- Wendy Cotter, "Miracles in Greco-Roman antiquity: a sourcebook" (Routledge, 1999) pp.11-12, ff.
- Wendy Cotter, "Miracles in Greco-Roman antiquity: a sourcebook" (Routledge, 1999) pp.37-38
- Wendy Cotter, "Miracles in Greco-Roman antiquity: a sourcebook" (Routledge, 1999) pp.50-53
- Everett Ferguson, Michael P. McHugh, Frederick W. Norris, "Encyclopedia of early Christianity, Volume 1", p.804
- Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard, "Mercer dictionary of the Bible" (Mercer University Press, 1991) p.61
- Catholic Encyclopedia on Miracles
- Lockyer, Herbert, 1988 All the Miracles of the Bible ISBN 0-310-28101-6 page 25
- William Thomas Brande, George William Cox, A dictionary of science, literature, & art London, 1867, also Published by Old Classics on Kindle, 2009, page 655
- Bernard L. Ramm 1993 An Evangelical Christology ISBN 1-57383-008-9 page 45
- Author Ken Stocker states that "every single miracle was an act of love": Facts, Faith, and the FAQs by Ken Stocker, Jim Stocker 2006 ISBN page 139
- Robert Maguire 1863 The miracles of Christ published by Weeks and Co. London page 133
- Warren W. Wiersbe 1995 Classic Sermons on the Miracles of Jesus ISBN 0-8254-3999-X page 132
- The emergence of Christian theology by Eric Francis Osborn 1993 ISBN 0-521-43078-X page 100
- Berard L. Marthaler 2007 The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology ISBN 0-89622-537-2 page 220
- Lockyer, Herbert, 1988 All the Miracles of the Bible ISBN 0-310-28101-6 page 235
- Pheme Perkins 1988 Reading the New Testament ISBN 0-8091-2939-6 page 54
- Dwight Pentecost .The words and works of Jesus Christ. Zondervan, 1980. ISBN 0-310-30940-9, p.234
- John R. Donahue, Daniel J. Harrington. The Gospel of Mark. Zondervan 1981. ISBN 0-8146-5965-9 p.182
- Linda Woodhead, "Christianity," in Religions in the Modern World (Routledge, 2002), pp. 186 online and 193.
- Burton L. Mack, The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins (HarperCollins, 1993), p. 29 online.
- The Making of American Liberal Theology: Imagining Progressive Religion 1805–1900, edited by Gary J. Dorrien (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), passim, search miracles.
- F.J. Ryan, Protestant Miracles: High Orthodox and Evangelical Authority for the Belief in Divine Interposition in Human Affairs (Stockton, California, 1899), p. 78 online. Full text downloadable.
- Dan P. McAdams, The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 164 online.
- Ann-Marie Brandom, "The Role of Language in Religious Education," in Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience (Routledge, 2000), p. 76 online.
- The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900-1950, edited by Gary J. Dorrien (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), passim, search miracles, especially p. 413; on Ames, p. 233 online; on Niebuhr, p. 436 online.
- Ehrman, Bart D.. Jesus, Interrupted, HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN 0-06-117393-2 page 175: "We would call a miracle an event that violates the way nature always, or almost always, works ... By now I hope you can see the unavoidable problem historians have with miracles. Historians can establish only what probably happened in the past, but miracles, by their very nature, are always the least probable explanation for what happened"
- Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. p. 566.
- Funk 1998, p. 531
- Funk 1998, p. 530f
- Craig A. Evans, 2001 Jesus and his contemporaries ISBN 0-391-04118-5 pages 6-7
- George W. Braswell, 2000 What you need to know about Islam & Muslims ISBN 0-8054-1829-6 page 112
- Warren W. Wiersbe 1995 Classic Sermons on the Miracles of Jesus ISBN 0-8254-3999-X
- John Clowes, 1817, The Miracles of Jesus Christ published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK
- H. Van der Loos, 1965 The Miracles of Jesus, E.J. Brill Press, Netherlands
- Clowes, John, 1817, 'The Miracles of Jesus Christ' published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK
- Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar, 1998 The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of Jesus. Polebridge Press, San Francisco. ISBN 0-06-062978-9
- Kilgallen, John J., 1989 A Brief Commentary on the Gospel of Mark, Paulist Press, ISBN 0-8091-3059-9
- List of Jesus' Miracles and Biblical References
- Lockyer, Herbert, 1988 All the Miracles of the Bible ISBN 0-310-28101-6
- Maguire, Robert, 1863 The Miracles of Christ published by Weeks and Co. London
- Miller, Robert J. Editor, 1994 The Complete Gospels, Polebridge Press, ISBN 0-06-065587-9
- Rageh Omaar 2003 The Miracles of Jesus BBC documentary
- Trench, Richard Chenevix, Notes on the miracles of our Lord, London : John W. Parker, 1846
- Van der Loos, H., 1965 The Miracles of Jesus, E.J. Brill Press, Netherlands