Amazing Miracles: Supernatural Intervention in a Natural World
Amazing miracles are events in the natural world brought about by the intervention of supernatural agency. Throughout the Bible, miracles are used by God to visually represent His divine power and authority over man and nature. From time to time, God also empowered His followers to use miracles in order to authenticate their commission as teachers and writers on His behalf. In the Gospel accounts of the New Testament, Jesus used miracles to fulfill Old Testament prophecy and confirm His deity.
Amazing Miracles: Suspension of Natural Law is Not Unreasonable
Amazing miracles are represented by four Greek words in the New Testament of the Bible: Semeion (a "sign"), Erga ("works"), Dunameis ("might works"), and Terata ("wonders"). Since miracles fall outside material and mathematical explanation, man cannot take credit for them. Therefore, by definition, miracles declare the presence, authority, power and glory of a supernatural God.
The suspension (or violation) of natural laws involved in Biblical miracles is really no different than what we witness on a day-to-day basis. There are inherent natural forces represented by the laws of physics, chemical properties and mathematical formulae, and there are volitional forces that can interact or counteract the natural ones. For instance, the laws of gravity that hold a rock to the ground are not suspended (or violated) when a boy counteracts gravity by applying a greater physical force to pick up and throw the rock. The same logical concept is true when we witness Jesus walking on water or turning water to wine. He merely applies a volitional force outside what we know as the natural laws within our four material dimensions.
Basically, the laws and formulae that underlie the complex universe have been "interpreted" by men living within that same universe. The universal assumption of mankind is that the laws and formulae inherent in the universe have been created by, and are under exclusive control of, the natural universe itself. Once we establish the potential for a supernatural dimension beyond the viewable and knowable forces of nature, we comprehend the possibility (and ultimately, the reality) of phenomena such as miracles. Many scientists reject the Biblical miracles because they can't apply scientific tests such observation and replication. However, a miracle such as the resurrection of Jesus is by definition an unprecedented event. No scientist can reproduce this event in a laboratory. Therefore, "science" cannot be the final word as to the historical credibility of Biblical miracles.
Like all other historical events, the credibility of a Biblical miracle should be viewed in accordance with standard rules of evidence, weighing factors such as the veracity of the recorded account and the credibility of the eyewitnesses to the miracle event. With a bit of earnest investigation, we find the witnesses to the miracles of Jesus to be competent, and their testimony trustworthy. First, many of the witnesses were still alive when the written accounts were published and distributed. We now know that a fairly short period elapsed between Jesus' miracles and the writing of the gospel accounts. This period was not long enough to allow for the development of myths. Many eyewitnesses were still alive to correct any untrue or legendary miracle accounts. Second, the eyewitnesses to the miracles were simple men of character. The historical record shows that the apostles and many disciples were considered credible and reliable witnesses. More dramatically, all of these eyewitnesses were willing to give up their lives rather than deny their testimony. Third, there were many hostile witnesses to the life and miracles of Jesus. The record shows that none of the Jewish religious leaders disputed the miracles they saw. Rather, they saw Jesus' miracles as a threat, and focused on stopping Jesus' miraculous public ministry.
Amazing Miracles: Judge Them for Yourself
Amazing miracles cannot be dismissed as a scientific presupposition if we establish that the existence of a supernatural Creator is possible. Once we accept the possibility of God, each miracle event must be judged like any other historical event, based on standard rules of evidence and eyewitness testimony. The miracles of Jesus are contrary to 21st Century experience, but that does not establish that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them approximately 2000 years ago. Today, all of us believe numerous facts and events outside our experience, solely based on the reliable and trustworthy testimony of others.
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