Do miracles prove Jesus’ divine mission? Luke 16:31

The writer of Hebrews declared that God bore “witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Heb. 2:4).
On the other hand, it is evident that miracles do not work to confirm the divine message to those who do not believe. Jesus Himself admitted this fact in this passage when He said, “Neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). So, it would seem from these verses that miracles do not really work to confirm a divine mission.

Luke 16:31

ESV - 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'

Clarify Share Report Asked January 13 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Jesus intended the miraculous works that He performed to be a witness as to His divine identity, and He Himself indicated this is in passages such as John 14:11, where He told the apostles to believe the witness given by His miracles, even if the apostles (and, in particular, Philip, who had asked Jesus to show the Father to the apostles) could not comprehend His claim that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him, and, therefore, that anyone who had seen Jesus had seen the Father, as well. (I would also say that this same reasoning would apply with respect to people who do not yet believe in Him, just as the people in His day believed in His divinity because of the miracles that He performed, as indicated by verses such as John 7:31.)

January 13 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
The bible says that faith comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). As mentioned in the Hebrews 2:4 passage quoted in the question, the miracles, signs and wonders attest to the truth that Jesus is the Messiah, and the good news that His Mission would bring salvation for all people who believed. The miracles attracted people to listen carefully to Jesus' message to them.

There are over 300 prophecies of the Messiah's coming in the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled every one of them. Many of these fulfilments were miraculous because Jesus could not control the events (ie where he was born or grew up). The apostle Matthew does a great job of linking the events in Jesus’ life with the fulfilment of OT prophecies. The Jewish people knew what Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 said about the suffering servant, and they watched these words come to life during his suffering, death and resurrection.

The miracles confirm the authenticity of Jesus' mission - his person, his words and his life experiences. When John the Baptist was put in prison his faith began to waver and he doubted if Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus sent this message back to John:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me,” (Matthew 11:4-6).

Some of the leaders did believe because they saw the miracles and everything that Jesus said and did. Nicodemus and Joseph are two examples of leaders who did believe. The bible says that many priests in local synagogues became believers and they knew the content of these prophecies well. One synagogue ruler even believed that Jesus could raise his daughter from the dead and his faith resulted in the miracle. Jesus' own half-brothers were sceptical during his ministry but came to faith after his resurrection and James became a leader in the Jerusalem church. The miracle of Jesus' resurrection was the show-stopper that overcame the unbelief of many people.

The political leaders of the nation refused to believe because they were unwilling to give up their positions of power and authority over the people. Many of the Jewish people were so fixated with the theology that the Messiah would come as a conquering king that they could not see Jesus for who he really was. Their hearts were hardened so they wouldn't listen to his message. Their eyes were blind to the reality of what they were witnessing.

Miracles are always used by God to authenticate the mission of his Servants and to confirm the truth of their message. The apostle Paul performed many miracles during his missionary journeys. The miracles got the attention of the local people, so they listened to his message. The power of the Gospel Message brought them to faith in Jesus and established a local church in each community. In the centuries since, it is the presence of the local churches and the service of the Christian people that captures the attention of the local populace. When they come to the church, they hear the Gospel Message, come to faith in Jesus and share their experience with family and friends. 

God still uses miracles today to attest to the authenticity of his servants (Christians in the local church) and the truth of our message (the Gospel of Jesus Christ).

January 14 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
People who aren't open to God will hear only “thunder,” while those who are open hear the very voice of God (cf. John 12:27-29).


January 15 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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