Did Jesus really walk on the water or did he use nearby sandbars where people “thought they saw something mystical” take place? Did Jesus actually multiply bread and fish to feed 5,000 men, women, and children, or did he merely hypnotize them into thinking He did?
I’ve heard those questions from skeptical and cynical college students and professors for decades. They start from the premise that miracles are not possible, therefore it had to be magic or mass hallucination that enabled Jesus to do what has been attributed to Him. When I asked the same students and professors why they argued that the supernatural was possible in some areas “like UFO’s or horror movies,” they meekly responded that it just was.
From many conversations I have had, it seems a lot of people cannot set aside their personal beliefs to examine the Biblical record of miracles done by Jesus with an open mind. If so, they can come to a conclusion that Jesus could not have tricked people into believing they had witnessed a miracle.
One of my favorite stories of such a turn-around came from lawyer Frank Morison. He is best known for writing the book, “Who Moved the Stone?” It was first published in 1930 in England and has been translated into several languages. The book analyses his review of biblical texts about the events related to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
The strangeness of the Resurrection story had captured Morison’s attention, and, influenced by skeptic thinkers at the turn of the century, he set out to prove that the story of Christ’s Resurrection was only a myth. His research and reading of the resurrection accounts of Jesus led him to discover the validity of the biblical record in a moving, personal way. It is a well-researched book that is as fascinating in its appeal to reason as it is accurate to the truthfulness of the Resurrection.
Read John 10:22-42.
Many who actually saw Jesus’ miracles in real time refused to believe that He was the Anointed One – God on two human legs. They were ready to execute Him for claiming to be God (John 10:30-31). Jesus responded by saying, “If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the miracles, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (v 37-38).
The miracles of Jesus authenticated Him as the Son of God, the Savior who had come to give His life for the sins of men and women. His works and resurrection were not tricks or illusions, but miracles of grace, truth, and love.
In the 1987 version of “Who Moved the Stone?” author Lee Strobel wrote, “I owe Morison a great debt of gratitude. His book was an important early link in a long chain of evidence that God used to bring me into his kingdom. Morison’s stirring intellectual exploration of the historical record proved to be an excellent starting point for my spiritual investigation.”
Serve globally. Believe in God and you can believe in miracles. Believe in His Son and you’ll experience one. Like Strobel and Morison, you can pass on your story as further evidence.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz