The Miracles of Jesus: List of Every Jesus Miracle (IN ORDER)


Marko Marina Author Bart Ehrman

Written by Marko Marina, Ph.D.

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Author |  Historian |  BE Contributor

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Date written: February 20th, 2024

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily match my own. - Dr. Bart D. Ehrman

The miracles of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, stand as cornerstone events that have shaped the course of religious thought and human history alike. Unlike the divine interventions attributed to gods like Aesculapius, Jesus' miracles were woven into the fabric of his life and mission. 

As we embark on this exploration of Jesus’ miracles, our focus will not be to tread the well-worn path of theological debate or religious affirmation. Instead, we’ll delve into the historical context of these miracles, presenting them as the Gospels report, to paint a vivid picture of their significance in Jesus' ministry. 

In other words, this article seeks to list and explore the miracles attributed to Jesus, particularly emphasizing those chronicled in Luke's Gospel, while also highlighting notable miracles from the other Gospels. Our approach is scholarly, prioritizing historical analysis over religious interpretation. 

We do not endeavor to verify the truthfulness of these miracles but rather to offer a detailed account and explanation, situating them within the historical and cultural milieu of the time.

Through this lens, we invite our readers to journey with us back to the ancient world, to explore the stories of healing, transformation, and wonder that continues to fascinate and inspire to this day.

The Miracles of Jesus List of Every Jesus Miracle

Miracles in the Ancient World: Context and Overview

In the tapestry of the ancient world, stories of miracle workers and divine healers are interwoven with the cultural and religious fabric of societies, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries. 

Notable among these figures is Apollonius of Tyana, a 1st-century philosopher and mystic whose life, as chronicled by Philostratus, was marked by miraculous healings and supernatural feats, drawing parallels to the narratives surrounding Jesus. Similarly, the Roman Emperor Vespasian was attributed with performing miracle healings in Alexandria. 

Within the Jewish context, figures such as Hanina ben Dosa, a rabbi known for his piety and miraculous healings, illustrate the presence of miracle workers within Jesus' own cultural and religious milieu.

These stories, circulating within the Jewish communities, highlight a tradition of divine intercession through faithful individuals, setting a precedent for the reception and interpretation of Jesus' miracles among his contemporaries.

Bart Ehrman notes: “We know from the tantalizing but fragmentary records that have survived that numerous other persons were also said to have performed miracles, to have cast out demons and raised the dead.” 

The miracles of Jesus, therefore, emerge not in isolation but within a world already primed with stories of divine intervention and extraordinary acts. By presenting them against the backdrop of other ancient miracle workers, we gain insight into the common human longing for connection with the divine, for hope and healing beyond ordinary means.

Yet, in the specificity of Jesus' miracles and their embeddedness in his broader message, we also discern a distinctive narrative that resonated deeply with the world of ancient Jewish apocalypticism.

The Nature and Scope of Jesus’ Miracles

In embarking on a survey of Jesus’ miracles as detailed in the Gospel accounts, it's essential to clarify from the outset that our discussion doesn’t venture into the realm of authenticating these events. 

We aim to present a broad, objective summary of the types of miracles that Jesus allegedly performed, according to these historical texts. This approach allows us to appreciate the narratives within their context, understanding them as integral aspects of the Gospels' portrayal of Jesus' life and ministry.

The miracles of Jesus can broadly be categorized into several types, each reflecting a facet of his purported capabilities and mission.

#1 Healing Miracles

They are perhaps the most frequently recounted, with Jesus described as curing a wide array of ailments—blindness, leprosy, paralysis, and long-term diseases—often with a simple touch or command.

#2 Exorcisms

Exorcisms constitute another significant category, where Jesus is shown casting out demons from individuals, thereby restoring them to mental and physical health.

#3 Miracles of Nature

They present a different dimension of his miraculous acts, including calming storms, walking on water, and multiplying loaves and fish to feed thousands.

#4 Miracles of Resuscitation

Lastly, there are miracles of resuscitation, where Jesus is said to bring the dead back to life, most notably in the cases of Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, and the widow's son at Nain. 

These varied accounts collectively portray a figure with profound control over physical and spiritual realms, aimed at demonstrating compassion, authority, and the breaking in of a new divine order.

Having explored the diverse array of miracles attributed to Jesus as depicted across the Gospel narratives, we now turn our attention specifically to the Gospel of Luke. In what follows, we will present, in chronological order, each miracle as recorded by the author of this Gospel. So, let’s take a look at the list of Jesus’ miracles!

How Many Miracles Did Jesus Perform? The Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke is distinguished by its particular emphasis on themes such as compassion, social justice, and the importance of caring for the marginalized and poor. Luke portrays Jesus not only as a healer and miracle worker but also as a figure deeply concerned with the plight of the downtrodden, and the outcast.

Below, we present the miracles of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke in chronological order, quoted from the New International Version (NIV) translation:

#1 Driving out an impure spirit (Luke 4:33-35)

“In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 'Go away! 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!' 'Be quiet!' Jesus said sternly. 'Come out of him!' Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him."

This miracle occurred early in Jesus' public ministry, marking a significant moment that showcases his authority over evil spirits. It’s situated shortly after Jesus' temptation in the wilderness and his return to Galilee, where he begins teaching in the synagogues, gaining recognition for his teachings.

Joseph Fitzmyer notes this miracle story “concretely illustrates Jesus’ teaching and power over evils that beset unfortunate human beings. In the Lucan context authority and power are rooted in Jesus’ anointing with the Spirit.”

#2 Healing Simon’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39)

“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.”

The healing of Simon's mother-in-law also occurs at an early stage in Jesus' public ministry, immediately following his teaching in the synagogue and the exorcism of a demon-possessed man. This sequence of events underscores the diversity of Jesus' miraculous acts, extending from authority over demonic forces to the power to heal physical ailments.

#3 Catching a large number of fish (Luke 5:4-6)

"When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.' When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break."

This miracle of Jesus also takes place at the outset of his public ministry. This event occurs by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee) - a significant location for Jesus’ early ministry and the backdrop for many of his teachings.

The miraculous catch that follows not only demonstrates Jesus' mastery over nature but also serves as a metaphor for the mission he bestows upon his disciples: from that point forward, they would be "fishing for people," spreading the message of the Kingdom of God.

#4 Healing many sick in Capernaum (Luke 4:40-41)

"At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, 'You are the Son of God!' But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah."

This event follows closely on the heels of his teachings in the synagogue and the healing of Simon's mother-in-law, signaling a critical moment where Jesus' reputation as a healer and miracle worker starts to solidify among the people.

Joel B. Green explains: “As before, healing and exorcism are paired and, as before, demons are rebuked and silenced with the consequence that they come out of many persons. Before departing, though, demons shout that Jesus is the "Son of God," a title Luke immediately collates with a second, "Messiah." 

#5 Healing a man with leprosy (Luke 5:12-13)

"While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' And immediately the leprosy left him."

The healing of a man with leprosy happened at the time Jesus’ fame as a healer and teacher was beginning to spread throughout Galilee. This miracle is particularly poignant given the severe social and religious implications of leprosy at the time. 

As noted by Francois Viljoen, leprosy was not just a physical ailment but carried with it a profound social stigma, rendering those affected by it ritually unclean and necessitating their exclusion from the community. In this context, the leper's plea to Jesus for cleansing was not only a request for physical healing but also a desperate cry for social reintegration and restoration of dignity.

Jesus' response to the leper's request is both radical and revealing. By choosing to touch the man, Jesus consciously violates the Levitical law that mandated separation from lepers to maintain ritual purity.

#6 Forgiving and healing a paralyzed man (Luke 5:17-20, 24-25)

"One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus...Then he said to the paralyzed man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat, and go home.' Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on, and went home praising God."

This scene vividly illustrates the growing popularity and recognition of Jesus as a healer, drawing large crowds that included not only those in need of healing but also religious leaders from every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. 

The presence of these Pharisees and teachers of the law indicates the widening scope of Jesus' influence and the beginning of scrutiny from religious authorities, setting the stage for future conflicts.

Furthermore, this story illustrates another important aspect of Luke’s portrayal of Jesus’ miracles. Namely, his emphasis that Jesus must not be disobeyed. Paul J. Achtemeier observed that unlike Mark, Luke “specifically adds the detail that the cured man did return to his own home - as Jesus commanded him.”

#7 Healing the man with a withered hand (Luke 6:6-11)

“On another Sabbath, he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, 'Get up and stand in front of everyone.' So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, 'I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?' He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He did so, and his hand was completely restored.”

This miracle of Jesus is performed in a synagogue during the Sabbath, a setting that highlights the alleged tension between Jesus' actions and the Pharisaic interpretation of Sabbath laws. The Pharisees and teachers of the law are depicted as seeking an opportunity to accuse Jesus, indicating a growing opposition to his ministry.

However, E. P. Sanders gives a more historically nuanced analysis: “The healing of the man with a withered hand on the Sabbath doesn’t constitute a breach of Sabbath observance, since the healing was done without work, but only by a word.”

#8 Healing the centurion's servant (Luke 7:1-10)

"When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant… He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: 'Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word and my servant will be healed…When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, 'I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.' Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well."

The healing of the centurion's servant unfolds shortly after Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, as he continues to manifest his healing ministry in the town of Capernaum. This miracle is distinctive because it involves a Roman centurion, an officer in the occupying Roman army, thus introducing a cross-cultural element to Jesus' ministry.

This story not only illustrates the expanding reach and acceptance of Jesus' message beyond Jewish audiences but also showcases the importance of faith. As Joseph Fitzmyer notes: “The main point in the Lucan story is not so much the worthiness of this particular Gentile but rather his “faith”.

#9 Raising the widow’s son (Luke 7:12-15)

"As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, 'Don’t cry.' Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!' The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother."

This miracle of Jesus occurs shortly after he heals the centurion's servant, further illustrating the diversity and depth of Jesus' miraculous ministry. This event is particularly poignant because it showcases Jesus' compassion towards a widow, a figure who represents one of the most vulnerable members of society.

Additionally, Juraj Feník suggested that this miracle story is part of several Lucan passages involving children. He contends that “Jesus’ actions of giving the children back to their parents after a temporary exitus through death or a period of demonic possession assimilate him to God in the capacity of child-giver. As such, these actions function as a means of evoking Jesus’ divine identity.”

#10 Calming the storm (Luke 8:22-25)

"One day Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.' So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Master, Master, we’re going to drown!' He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, 'Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

The calming of the storm occurs as Jesus transitions from teaching parables to demonstrating his authority over nature, a significant aspect of his ministry. This event happens after a series of profound teachings and miracles, notably when Jesus decides to cross the Sea of Galilee with his disciples.

His rebuke of the wind and the waves, resulting in an immediate calm, serves not only as a demonstration of his divine power but also as a pivotal teaching moment for his disciples about faith and trust amid fear and uncertainty.

#11 Healing the Gerasene demon-possessed man (Luke 8:29-35)

"For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places...The people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid."

This miracle of Jesus marks a significant and somewhat unsettling episode in Jesus' ministry, taking place as he ventures beyond the familiar confines of Jewish Galilee into the predominantly Gentile region of the Gerasenes.

It’s also notable for its dramatic depiction of demon possession and Jesus' authority over a legion of demons, highlighting his power not only over physical ailments and nature but also over the spiritual realm.

#12 Healing a woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:42-48)

"As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 'Who touched me?' Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.' But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.' Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.”

The healing of the woman with an issue of blood, set within a period of Jesus' ministry characterized by increasing public engagement and miraculous activities, exemplifies what Joseph Fitzmyer describes as "The progressive manifestation of Jesus' power."

Fitzmyer's phrase captures the essence of this miracle as part of the broader narrative of Jesus' ministry in Luke's Gospel, highlighting the unfolding revelation of his divine authority and compassion, which reaches out to the marginalized and offers them restoration and peace. 

#13 Raising Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-55)

“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. 'Your daughter is dead,' he said. 'Don’t bother the teacher anymore.' Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, 'Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.'...He took her by the hand and said, 'My child, get up!' Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.”

The miracle of raising Jairus' daughter occurs during a critical phase of Jesus' ministry, marked by a series of profound demonstrations of his power over death and illness. This event directly follows the healing of the woman with an issue of blood, further amplifying the themes of faith and Jesus' authority over life and death.

Furthermore, this miracle not only solidifies Jesus' mastery over death but also serves as a powerful sign of the inbreaking of God's kingdom, where death doesn’t have the final say.

#14 Feeding the 5000 (Luke 9:12-17)

"Late in the afternoon, the Twelve came to him and said, 'Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging because we are in a remote place here.' He replied, 'You give them something to eat.' They answered, 'We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.'...They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over."

Apart from the resurrection, the feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels! It marks an important moment in Jesus’ public ministry, underscoring not only the miraculous provision but also the depth of Jesus’ compassion for the multitudes following him. 

Wilson C. K. Poon, reflecting on the placement of this miracle within the Gospel of Luke, notes: "This miracle in Luke immediately leads to Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ. The long track of material in Mark and Matthew between these two incidents is notably absent. This 'great omission' suggests that Luke wants to couple the Feeding miracle very directly to the issue of Jesus' identity."

Poon's observation underscores Luke's narrative strategy, emphasizing the immediate connection between the demonstration of Jesus' miraculous provision and the revelation of his identity as Christ.

#15 Healing a boy with an impure spirit (Luke 9:37-42)

"The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. A man in the crowd called out, 'Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child...Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father."

This miracle of Jesus occurs shortly after the Transfiguration - a pivotal moment where Jesus’ divine nature is revealed to a select group of his disciples.Furthermore, the disciples' inability to heal the boy highlights their limitations and the necessity of Jesus' presence for deliverance and healing. This event emphasizes the ongoing theme of faith, as Jesus addresses the crowd's and the disciples' lack of faith, which contrasts with the father's desperate plea for help, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

#16 Driving out a demon that was mute (Luke 11:14-23)

“Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, ‘By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons’... Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall… But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

The miracle of Jesus driving out a demon that was mute occurs amidst a broader phase of his ministry characterized by increasing public engagement and miraculous deeds, alongside growing skepticism and opposition from some segments of the Jewish population. 

Moreover, this episode is illustrative of Luke's nuanced portrayal of Jesus' message concerning the Kingdom of God. While Mark's Gospel, considered the earliest, emphasizes the imminent arrival of God's Kingdom as a future event, Luke presents instances where Jesus suggests the Kingdom is already manifesting through his actions.

This shift signifies a subtle toning down of the apocalyptic urgency found in Mark, as noted by Bart D. Ehrman in his studies “Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet”, and "Heaven and Hell."

#17 Healing a man with dropsy (Luke 14:1-4)

"One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?' But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way."

The healing of a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, as depicted in Luke 14:1-4, unfolds within a Lucan context charged with the tension between Jesus and the Pharisees over interpretations of the Law, particularly Sabbath observance. This miracle happens during a meal at the house of a prominent Pharisee, a setting that underscores the social and religious scrutiny Jesus faced from Jewish leaders.

However, E.P. Sanders observes that once again “Jesus didn’t transgress the Sabbath law. The matter is quite simple: no work was performed… Laying on of hands isn’t work, and no physical action of any kind is reported” in this story.

#18 Restoring sight to a blind beggar (Luke 18:35-43)

"As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging...He called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'...Jesus said to him, 'Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.' Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God."

This miracle story takes place as Jesus is approaching Jericho - on his final journey towards Jerusalem before his passion.

This event is significant within the Gospel narrative, as it not only highlights Jesus' compassion and power to heal but also serves as a symbolic act illustrating spiritual awakening and recognition of Jesus' messianic identity.

#19 Cleansing ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19)

"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!'...When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed."

This miracle of Jesus occurs as he is traveling towards Jerusalem, passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee. This setting is significant, highlighting the journey towards the culmination of His ministry and His final destination, where the events of His passion, death, and resurrection will unfold.

Jesus’ healing of ten lepers stands out because it breaks the social and ethnic barriers. We mentioned before that leprosy was a condition that rendered individuals ritually unclean and socially ostracized. 

Additionally, the inclusion of a Samaritan among the lepers further underscores the theme of inclusivity, as Samaritans were generally despised and avoided by Jews due to deep-seated ethnic and religious animosities.

Only one of the ten, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus, illustrating the Gospel's recurring theme that faith and gratitude are not confined to the expected boundaries of ethnicity or religious tradition.

#20 Restoring a severed ear (Luke 22:50-51)

"And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, 'No more of this!' And he touched the man’s ear and healed him."

The miracle of restoring the severed ear occurs in the context of Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. This event marks a critical juncture in Jesus' ministry, immediately preceding his trial and crucifixion. It’s a moment charged with tension and confusion among Jesus' followers, who are confronted with the imminent arrest of their leader. 

The act of one disciple, traditionally identified as Peter in other Gospel accounts, drawing a weapon and striking the servant of the high priest, reflects the disciples' misunderstanding of Jesus' mission and the nature of his kingdom.

Moreover, some authors, such as Reza Aslan, have interpreted the disciples carrying weapons as evidence of Jesus' intention to initiate a political revolt against Roman authority. However, this interpretation has been widely criticized by scholars (e.g. Dale Martin) for its speculative nature and lack of substantiation from early Christian sources.

Bart D. Ehrman, in particular, has addressed Aslan's claims, pointing out the numerous flaws in his theory and emphasizing a more nuanced understanding of the historical Jesus. This miracle of Jesus, rather than inciting violence, demonstrates his commitment to peace and his rejection of active violence as a means to achieve his ends.

With our journey through the miracles of Jesus as depicted in the Gospel of Luke now behind us, we shift our focus to a selection of remarkable miracles from other Gospels. These accounts further illuminate the emphasis on Jesus’ identity as a miracle worker.

how many miracles did jesus perform

Miracles of Jesus: Notable Examples Outside of Luke

#1 Turning water into wine (John 2:1-11)

"On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.' 'Woman, why do you involve me?' Jesus replied. 'My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.' Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water'; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.' They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine… What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him.”

As a self-proclaimed wine aficionado, it's hard not to favor the miracle at Cana. It's not just any miracle; it's one that saved a wedding celebration from disaster and, frankly, could make any wine lover nod in approval, thinking, "Now that's a miracle after my own heart!"

This event is significant as it’s described as the first sign through which Jesus revealed his glory, setting the stage for his ministry's unfolding. Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, which imply Jesus’ public ministry lasted around a year, John's Gospel suggests a more extended period, spanning multiple years, as evidenced by the multiple Passovers mentioned throughout.

Craig A. Keener provides different opinions about the meaning behind this miracle of Jesus: “Some scholars read this pericope as a portrait of the obsolescence of Judaism or Jewish ritual. Others, pointing to the new application of the pots and purifying of the temple, argue that this chapter supports a renewal within Judaism, rather than its repudiation. Still, others see both tendencies, suggesting both Judaism’s fulfillment and its destruction.”

His summary highlights the multifaceted interpretations surrounding Jesus' actions at Cana—whether as a critique of existing Jewish practices, a symbol of renewal within Judaism, or as embodying both the fulfillment and transformation of Jewish tradition.

Additionally, the use of jars designated for ceremonial washing in creating wine could, for the author of this Gospel, symbolize the inauguration of a new covenant, transcending traditional rituals with deeper, spiritual significance.

#2 Walking on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up to a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified… Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

The miracle of Jesus walking on water occurs shortly after the feeding of the 5,000, a time of intense ministry and miraculous provision. Jesus sends his disciples ahead on the Sea of Galilee while he retreats to pray, later joining them by walking on the turbulent waters. 

This event is for Matthew deeply emblematic, showcasing Jesus' mastery over nature and revealing his divine authority. The disciples' initial fear and subsequent recognition of Jesus as the Son of God highlight the growing understanding of his identity among his followers.

Interestingly enough, early commentators (from Origen to Jerome) not only accepted the historicity of this event but also imbued it with rich metaphorical meaning. To paraphrase Dale C. Allison Jr., they found history and symbolism at the same time. 

#3 Healing the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-12)

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it’s day, we must do the works of him who sent me. The night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 'Go,' he told him, 'wash in the Pool of Siloam' (this word means 'Sent'). So, the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

As our final example of the miracles of Jesus, the healing of the man born blind stands out not only for its miraculous nature but also for the profound theological dialogue it sparks.

This event occurs as Jesus is navigating through a period of his ministry marked by increasing confrontation with Jewish authorities, set against the backdrop of his teachings and actions that challenge societal norms and religious expectations.

Jesus’ healing of the blind man happens in Jerusalem, a central stage for many of Jesus' most significant interactions and teachings.

Ernst Haenchen captures the essence of this miracle:

"The basic thought of this story, what it is designed to teach, is this: the miracle never before heard of, restoring sight to a man born blind, proves that Jesus is 'from God'. Whoever doesn’t accede to that is blind."

The Miracles of Jesus: Concluding Remarks

In exploring the miracles of Jesus, from the detailed accounts in Luke's Gospel to the notable examples in other Gospels, we have journeyed through a landscape where the divine intersects with the human in profound ways.

These stories, transcending time and culture, invite us to ponder not just on "how many miracles did Jesus perform?" but on the significance and meanings behind these miraculous acts.

Each miracle, whether it was the healing of the sick, the restoration of sight to the blind, or the calming of a storm, emphasizes aspects of Jesus' identity as a miracle worker, his compassion for the marginalized, and his challenge to the social and religious norms of his time.

For those intrigued by the historical underpinnings of the New Testament and the complex figure of Jesus as portrayed within its pages, there's a compelling opportunity to delve deeper. Dr. Bart Ehrman, an acclaimed scholar and New York Times Best-Selling Author, offers an insightful online course titled "Jesus the Secret Messiah - Revealing the Mysteries of the Gospel of Mark."

Marko Marina

About the author

Marko Marina is a historian with a Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Zagreb (Croatia). He is the author of dozens of articles about early Christianity's history. He works as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Zagreb where he teaches courses on the history of Christianity and the Roman Empire. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and spending quality time with his family and friends.

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