Why Does Jesus Perform Miracles?
Jesus has very important reasons why He performs each and every miracle. God is not performing great miracles just to “love us”. Well, sure He does everything to “love us”. But He is not just showing His love because He wants to make us happy on earth or just to do what we ask of Him. There is a MUCH bigger reason for all He does.
A lot of us like to think God performs miracles for us since we are of great faith. Well, that isn’t always the case. Frankly, most of the time, that is not at all the reason.
Same Reason as in Biblical Times
Jesus is performing miracles for the same reasons today as He has done in biblical times… reasons far greater than us just experiencing His love and help… or because we believe we are of “great faith”.
What a shame it would be to have Christ perform miracles for us or another and for us to not even gain the true blessings He intended for us.
Let’s learn why God performed some of the miracles that He did in biblical times since the same struggles they had and why they needed the miracles are the same for us today. Then we can make sure we have implemented His lessons into our lives for they are needed for the salvation of our souls.
Jesus’s Biblical Miracles:
1. Jesus Ate Nothing for 40 Days:
Before Jesus began His ministry, he went into the desert and fasted for 40 days. Many of us do not see this as a miracle of Christ, but it most certainly is. We cannot go without food for 40 days without serious organ and body damage or death. Yet, Jesus was just “famished”.
Even though Jesus was a man, made of the same flesh that we have, “He ate nothing” (Luke 4:2) for 40 days to prepare for His ministry.
This miracle like all of Christ’s other miracles is to help us obtain salvation (a saving faith and then perfect sanctity). Jesus did this to show His power (to have divine assistance) and as an example for us… not because we should starve ourselves for 40 days, since, for the most part, we do not have the miraculous powers of Christ even though a few saints have had such miracles done through them too.
Yet, from this miracle, Jesus is telling us that we should fast–deny ourselves of what we want (remove some food to a lesser non-miraculous extent), to open ourselves up to accept grace (from seeking God and not food) to become strong with grace, so we can go and do God’s will, with God–His grace–moving us. Then we will not wind up doing bad thinking it is good.
“Then [after He fasted] Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit [grace], returned to Galilee, and… He began to teach in their synagogues” (Luke 4:14-15).
How many of us fast, in a big way, before we do a large work for God? How many of us are always doing God’s work, always living with some kind of fast (some kind of intentional self-denial of what we want), to allow God and not the desires of our flesh to drive us? Perhaps, we need to change, so grace can actually move us.
2. The Great Catch of Fish:
Another miracle, most do not even recognize, is when Jesus was calling Simon to follow Him. To capture Simon’s heart, since preaching alone, as his brother Andrew experienced, was not enough to move Simon, Our Lord chose to perform a miracle for him. To really convince Simon, even after his brother told Him “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41), who maybe even heard Jesus’s preaching or perhaps knew John the Baptist said that Jesus was the “Lamb of God” (John 1:36), Jesus told Simon, who was fishing, to “put out [your boat] into deep water and lower your nets for a catch”, so he could experience a miracle.
But Simon, still not having enough belief in Jesus but having enough humility to respect Him said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” After that, he caught a “great number of fish”. Then from experiencing God’s power and realizing (to some degree) that Jesus was the Lord, he chose to follow Him.
But before he chose to follow Him, with contrition and humility, not feeling worthy, Simon said “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Luke 5). Yet, God reassured him that his sinfulness was not a problem. He would heal him of his love of sin and make him fishers of men, saying “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” After that, Simon gained enough grace (faith) and believed enough in Jesus and “left everything and followed him” (Luke 5).
Then for three years and even beyond Jesus’s resurrection, Jesus was converting and converting Simon Peter (and everyone), helping them grow in their belief, so they could grow into a faith that could actually catch (save) men.
How many of us have heard God’s calls for us? Have we left everything to follow Him? Or did we not respond to His call? Or did we half-heartedly try to follow Him… not really leaving everything as we still cling to plenty of things in this world as our good… as the way to our happiness?
And if we did leave it all to follow Him, how far have we grown in our faith? Have we followed Him all the way to a saving faith (detachment from not only the world but our own pride)? And then have we continued to grow into becoming saints like Simon Peter and are now ready to enter into Heaven when we die? Or are we not really growing since our faith is actually dead?
Do we need to return wholeheartedly to Jesus, so He can save us?
3. Miracle at the Wedding in Cana:
Jesus’s first miracle in the book of John, which was the “beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee”, was performed at His Mother’s request at a wedding. Even though He told His Mother, “My hour has not yet come” for His glory to be shown in Galilee. But since His Mother asked for such a favor, Jesus gladly made water into wine, and “His disciples believed [a little more] in Him” (John 2:11).
Please know, no person in the wedding party had anything to do with Jesus performing this miracle, His Mother did. Jesus clearly wants us to know she can intercede for us to obtain help (worldly and spiritual assistance), for the main purpose of why God does everything, which is of course to help us grow in our faith in Him and His Mother to help us for the salvation of our souls.
For if we see the Mother of God provide us with even worldly assistance, we can trust she will help us in our much greater need, our spiritual assistance, so we can grow from some faith in Jesus into true belief in Jesus as Lord.
Do we have faith and trust in Jesus’s Mother to go to her Son on our behalf, with far greater prayers than we have (since she is perfect and His mother), to obtain us the grace we need to grow in faith? Perhaps, we need to spend some time humbly (knowing we need help/a saving faith) and seek Her for assistance.
4. Healing the Royal Official’s Son:
The healing of the Royal Official’s son was like the other miracles Jesus had done. It was done to help people believe, since from their pride, Jesus’s preaching of The Truth was not enough to even begin to convert their hearts.
The royal official obviously did not have a saving faith in Jesus when he sought Christ to heal his son, since Our Lord said “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will never believe.” But he must have had some belief that Jesus could at least heal, or he would not have run after Jesus asking Him to heal his son.
But we do know after the miracle “he and his whole household believed [at least, more than they believed before]” (John 4:48). So, the miracle was not in vain. Hopefully, they continued to believe and change and seek to follow Christ perfectly to Heaven, as we are called to do.
5. Healing a Paralytic at Bethesda:
The healing of the paralytic is a miracle showing how Christ comes to us, unmerited, without us even asking for help, to heal us, if we want it. We see Christ walking by a paralytic, who most likely knew nothing about Jesus. This man did not ask to be cured. Jesus went to him, asking him if he wanted to be well. And when the paralytic showed a desire to be well, then Jesus cured him. Again, this was done so the paralytic and others could grow greater belief in Jesus as The Way to Heaven.
Please know, God always makes the first move to come to us, and we have the chance to respond and accept His grace (to grow in faith) or reject it. But if we say yes, then, with whatever grace we accept, we can come to know Him–believe in Him at least a little. And from that knowledge of God, we can continue to seek Him for more and more assistance (grace) to help us grow in faith so we can gain a true love for Him/true hatred for our sins (a saving faith of detachment for all and attachment to Him).
But it is also important to note in this miracle that this man was a paralytic (not well) and needed healing as a consequence of his sinfulness. For God told him after he cured him “Do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14).
God clearly told the former paralytic that it was his sins that brought upon his suffering and if he chooses to live in sin again, something even worse might happen to him. Hopefully, that fear of suffering (serval fear) moved that man to look into his life to see his sins. Then he could strive with all his heart to stop offending God to avoid earthly punishments/suffering (as a motive) that can lead to the salvation of His soul (true hatred for sin/true love for God… a saving faith). Hopefully, we follow this example.
6. The Healing of a Centurion’s Servant:
Out of all the miracles, the Centurion is the only man who displayed contrition for his sins when seeking healing, not for himself or even his child, but for his servant by saying, “Lord, I am not worthy [I am a horrible sinner] to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Then, Jesus, from seeing this man’s selfless love for his servant, his recognition that He is Lord and not just some “healer”, his trust in Him, and his sorrow for his offenses against Him, replied “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matthew 8:5-13).
The Centurion must have gained some faith in Jesus before his need for God to heal his servant. Then when the need arose, he approached Jesus for healing and received it, which I’m sure helped to increase his faith even more. Even though fear of suffering (his servant dying) can move one to really want God, which can cause us to accept much grace and give us much faith. The Centurion most likely gained faith from hearing Jesus’s preaching and/or witnessing His miracles.
Nonetheless, Jesus did not complement the centurion, so he would go off puffed up in his pride thinking how “holy” he was because he has greater faith than all the poor lost sheep. But rather, Jesus told him that so he and us would realize it is by humility (knowing one’s sinfulness and contrition) that he has great faith to understand He needs Jesus to not only heal his servant but heal himself of his desire for sin as well.
Do we need to grow in our humility and contrition so that when we seek Jesus for help (grace) it is done from a heart that can grow in faith?
7. Feeding of the 5,000:
The feeding of the five thousand is a miracle of what trust and obedience to Christ can bring, which also led to the unfathomable miracle of Christ putting His own Body and Blood into bread and wine for us to eat and Live.
This miracle started when Christ went to pray in a deserted place after the death of John the Baptist. But instead of finding solitude, He was followed by a vast crowd. God being perfect love, did not become angry when He was followed and now without the solitude He desired, but upon seeing the crowd, “his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.”
The crowd of people must have had enough belief in Jesus to be able to help them, which is why they followed after Him. Then God, from having pity for them (for their faith was poor… like sheep without a shepherd), healed their sick.
God does not pity those who are doing well… just the broken. For those with crosses, who are strong in faith, there is no need for pity. The cross is bringing them to Christ. But for those of weak faith, who are suffering in vain, there is a great need to pity and help.
However, after He healed them, it was late in the day. His disciples wanted to dismiss the crowd of people to get food, but Jesus said, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” This direction from Jesus seemed impossible for His disciples to carry out since they did not have enough food to feed the vast crowd of people. They did not understand when you have true faith in Jesus, you just obey Him and do what He says, even giving all you have when it does not seem to be enough, believing, when and how God wills, He will do the impossible.
So, to help the crowd and His disciples grow in faith, He performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000 with just “five loaves and two fish”, satisfying them all and even giving them more than they had before in return. “They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full” (Matthew 14). This clearly shows God provides, if we trust in Him, even more than we need.
Yet, the following day after this great crowd heard Christ preach “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”, most did not just believe in what He said as having to be the truth (even though it sounded crazy), since Jesus (the great preacher and healer… the Messiah) said it. Horribly, “the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?'”(John 6:52). Sadly, the first thing the crowd did not like or understand since their faith was so little, they left Him.
Yes, unbelievably, even after all the preaching, the miracles, and God’s great efforts to give them more faith, their pride deceived them into thinking they must understand the wisdom of God to follow and believe in Him (His Words as being The Way to Heaven). So, instead of just trusting in Jesus, seeking The Truth, and believing in Jesus from all they heard and saw, they thought they must understand all He says, so they left the Truth for their pride. They rejected God’s grace (the grace that gives more and more faith), and “many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” (John 6:66).]
But for those, who were humble and didn’t think they needed to understand everything to believe Jesus, they remained with Him. They believed that it must be the truth since Jesus said it. They had enough belief to know He had “the words of eternal life” because, from all they heard and saw, they have “come to believe and are convinced that you [Jesus] are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).
Therefore, they trusted that God would teach them what it truly meant when and how He willed (if He willed it). Therefore, it was their humility, not needing to understand everything but simply trusting, obeying, and believing, that allowed them to embrace God’s grace. This grace gave them enough faith to stay with Jesus despite not understanding… despite Him saying they needed to do something that seemed horrific–eat His flesh and drink His blood–to have everlasting life.
Then eventually (when it was God’s will), they came to understand that Christ was talking about transubstantiation, during the Last Supper (a miracle spoken about later), when God put His body and blood into bread and wine for us to eat and Live.
This miracle shows us that no matter what God does or says, if we do not have humility (the ability to stop trusting in our own understanding), we will still not have enough faith to accept God’s grace to lead us to a saving faith… and we could wind up leaving the faith altogether, even right after God has done such great marvels for us.
8. Healing of a Boy with a Spirit:
Jesus healing a possessed boy shows how He is perturbed about His disciples and everyone’s lack of faith, yet still helps cure a boy to help them grow in faith. On top of that, this miracle shows how some miracles can be performed by “faithless” people, and for others we need faith.
After the transfiguration, when Jesus was coming down from the mountain someone approached Him and said, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”
The disciples could not cast out the demon, since they did not have the faith to do so. Seeing his disciples still lacking faith perturbed Jesus into responding “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” Jesus spoke to the man’s father about the boy’s condition and he asked Jesus, “If you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
Jesus shocked that he still doesn’t believe He (the Son of God) can do anything replied to the man, “If you are able! [of course, I am able]—All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
This man did not have enough faith for grace to work through him to heal his son, but at least he was honest (humble) and knew he did not have enough belief. Then, of course, Jesus, who had enough belief, cured the boy.
After the healing, His disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer [faith… for prayer without true faith is of little good].”
Hopefully, from this man’s humility, he was able to grow in grace through this miracle… and actually became to believe in Jesus as Lord, and then sought Him to grow even more in faith until he truly lived for loving Him (the only true God) and obtained a true faith that could save.
9. Jesus and Peter Walk on Water:
This is a test of faith miracle. Countless times Jesus is testing our faith, so we don’t live blind (thinking we have greater faith than we do). Many times, He tests us so we can see our reaction to life events (our tests), so we can see our sinfulness (poor response to challenges/lack of grace) or faith (positive response, grace, preventing us from sinning).
Much of the time, we think we have a greater belief in Jesus (greater grace, greater hatred for sin/love for God) than we do. God tests us, so we can live honestly with ourselves (with our faith or need of it) and see if we have in fact grace moving our actions or sin.
The disciples were constantly tested by Jesus. One moment they would do well, but from lacking grace (not with true or perfect faith) the next moment only a lack of faith was displayed. These tests were to show them how frail and incomplete their faith was, so they would not live deceived and could, with the proper humility, continue to seek and seek Mercy for help.
Look at Peter. One moment he is literally walking on water trusting in God. “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” “Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.” But when things got tough, the waves looked a little scary, instead of having faith and focusing on Jesus and trusting, he had negative thinking, doubted, and began to sink (losing grace/faith), crying “Lord, save me”(Matthew 14:22). At least he had enough faith to know who could save him from his lack of faith and imminent danger.
It is by looking into our responses to life’s events (our tests) to see how we respond that will allow us to see our faith (grace responding through us) or lack of faith (lack of grace, sin responding). Remember, all respond well when things go well. The test is how we respond when people insult us, hurt us and things just go wrong. How we respond to those events shows our success (grace) or failure (lack of grace) with our tests.
How much faith (grace) do we really have?
10. Cleansing of Ten Lepers:
As Jesus was entering a village, ten lepers, who must have heard about Jesus, the great healer, and had enough belief to think Jesus could heal them said, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when Jesus saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” They did not doubt Jesus’s command and went to show themselves to the priests.
As they were going, they were cleansed. “And one of them, realizing he had been healed [who obtained faith], returned, glorifying God in a loud voice.”
That leper had accepted enough grace to realize it was God who had healed him and wanted to thank Him. We know, he was a Samaritan and probably felt less entitled and dignified (less proud) than the Jews. So from greater humility–feeling even less worthy–than the Jews, the Samaritan was able to accept grace from God and grew in faith (belief in Jesus as Lord).
But Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner (the one humble and able to accept my transforming grace) returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
We do not know if this leper received enough grace to obtain a saving faith of continuous true love for God and true hatred/contrition for his sins from this healing.
But considering the context and all 10 being healed, Christ most likely meant his faith (the grace he accepted from this healing) has saved him by giving him the desire to seek and seek Jesus to save him (to grow into a saving faith). Then from this grace, the leper could spend his life seeking Jesus to remove his desire for sin and give him a true hated for all his sins/love for God.
Whereas, the other nine did not accept grace (gained no faith) and did not seek Jesus. They were just healed. But that healing did not lead them to salvation (a saving faith in Jesus). They simply took Jesus’s healing and left, changing nothing but their skin… not advancing towards salvation (not growing in belief).
11. The Healing of the Blind Beggar:
The blind beggar, Bartimaeus, a man with conviction, calls out to Jesus even when he is told to be quiet. He wants to be healed and believes Jesus can do it as he calls out, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus then asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” then “immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way” (Mark 10:46-52).
Now again, just because Jesus said “Your faith has saved you” does not mean the blind man instantly obtained a saving faith and is now saved. The blind man didn’t ask God for a saving faith… he did not ask Him to be forgiven… even though he did call Him the Messiah (Son of David), and we know after he was healed he “followed him on the way”, which is more than we know about others who were healed.
Therefore, it is possible from being healed that he received so much sight (grace), he not only saw with his eyes but saw with his heart how horrible of a sinner he was and grew in great contrition and knew he needed Jesus to save Him that he allowed Jesus at that moment to transform him completely from desiring sin into truly desiring God alone as the only good.
But the most likely reason Jesus said “Your faith has saved you” is because he was saved from his physical blindness and because he obtained enough grace to move him to follow Jesus, which led him towards being saved by Christ, progressively growing in grace to obtain a true love for God/true contrition for his sins that could embrace the forgiving mercy Jesus was going to die to give him.
This is how most of us, who decided to sincerely follow Christ, will be saved. It will be from a progressive growth in faith if we continue to seek Jesus to change us.
12. Healing the Man Blind from Birth:
One of the reasons this blind man is healed of his ailment is so God can teach His disciples that not all ailments are a consequence of sin, like the paralytic at Bethesda. Some illnesses are “so that the works of God [His power to heal] might be made visible through him”, which is what this particular illness/miracle was for.
Even though God is not saying the blind man is without any liking for sin and not in need of Jesus to save Him (to remove his liking for sin and give Him true love for God). But the intention for that particular illness/miracle is just for His glory to be shown to help souls grow in faith.
There is a different reason for every illness, problem, and really everything we experience. But all the reasons for everything are for us to learn and grow from them to help with the salvation and perfection of our souls. For God wants us in Heaven and allows everything for that purpose.
We see in the healing of this man, who was an outcast–for all thought his ailment was the result of his or his parent’s sin (as was the only understanding at the time)–a man of great humility. From him being an outcast (feeling less than others), he obtained humility that allowed him to acquire much grace. For “God gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). The arrogant reject it.
From his humility, he was willing to be hated and rejected all the more, since he chose to defend the One who healed him (even though he did not know who He was), rather than care for/protect himself. And when he heard that The Son of God healed him, his humility even allowed him to accept enough grace to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and he “worshiped him” (John 9).
Hopefully, he continued to worship God and desired to follow Him to Heaven like we need to do.
13. Raising of Lazarus:
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of Christ’s last miracles. This miracle shows that even after Jesus spoke great words of Truth and performed fantastic miracle after miracle, how His disciples still had such little faith in Him. They simply did not have the humility (let go of their pride and will) to accept enough of His grace to grow into true belief in Him.
Jesus was so bothered by this, He became utterly dismayed (perturbed) that the ones, who should after all their time with Him have enough faith to truly believe in Him, still did not.
When Christ finds out that Lazarus is sick, He clearly tells His disciples what is going to happen. He tells them “This illness is not to end in death.” Then He tells them the purpose for his illness “is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Wanting to fulfill the will for Lazarus’s illness, Jesus waited until Lazarus dies before He goes to him. Then He can raise him from the dead, and He (being the Son of God) may be glorified through it (His power as the Son of God may be shown), so others may more greatly believe in Him.
But neither poor Martha nor Mary nor His disciples had enough grace (faith) to understand. Even though they did have some belief that He was Lord. They did not have enough to truly live the faith nor even understand that He can do anything.
After two days Jesus was ready to go to Lazarus. He tells His disciples, “Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there [to make him well], that you may believe.”
Oh, the poor disciples still after three years of being with Jesus need miracles to help them believe. You would think they had seen enough to grow into true belief… but Jesus does not lie. They need more belief.
Christ’s miracles do not make one truly believe… they just help move our poor faithless souls into greater belief… that is if we can accept some grace through them.
When Jesus and his disciples arrived where Lazarus had died, poor Martha, distraught over her brother’s death, not with trusting faith in Jesus (in all He allows as meant for good) said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Yes, she like the other disciples were lacking belief.
Then to help bring her peace, Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” But Martha, from her lack of faith, did not have the grace to understand what he really meant, so she said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” But Jesus was trying to tell her that He was going to raise him now from the dead. But apparently, she did not even have the faith to understand that Jesus, being the Son of God, can do anything.
Yet, to help give her the faith she needed to really believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God He told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever [truly] believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives [in the faith] and [truly] believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She, thinking she had true faith, said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” But despite her profession of faith, her actions clearly showed she lacked many principles of true belief, such as being attached to her brother and not Her Savior, lacking trust in God’s will and wanting her own, and not believing in God’s power that He was really the Son of God, who can do anything.
Then Mary came to where Jesus was and she fell at his feet and repeated the same complaint that her sister said to him, saying “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping [attached to her brother, wanting her will and not God’s] and the Jews who had come with her weeping [all from a lack of faith], he became perturbed and deeply troubled [at their disbelief]. Then He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
Then “Jesus wept [He was crying from His sympathy for them, seeing how sad and broken they were from their attachment to Lazarus (and not to God and His will); so from Jesus’s grief over their sins and pity for their weakness, He bewailed their sins, so more grace could be sent to help them obtain pardon for their sins].”
“The Savior weeping for the death of Lazarus… Behold how our God loves men… Jesus wept and offered to His Father His tears to obtain us pardon for our sins. ‘These tears,’ says St. Ambrose, ‘washed away my sins;’ by His cries and tears He implored mercy for us who were condemned to eternal death.” St. Alphonsus
Who is so cold to not “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), surely not the Son of God. Oh, He might not be weeping for the same reasons as the sinner, but a person’s grief always moves hearts of love to suffer with them and cry in compassion for them, striving to help them.
Yet, Martha and Mary’s friends who went to comfort them “the Jews [with such little grace and great confusion] said, “See how he loved him” [thinking Jesus was crying over the loss of Lazarus when Jesus clearly knew He was about to raise him from the dead]. But some of them [to show what little faith they had] said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”
“So Jesus, perturbed again [at so many with so little faith], came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister [showing she still did not understand nor believe that Jesus was the Son of God, who could do anything, despite what she had professed], said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.”
“Martha said this from weakness of faith, thinking it impossible that Christ could raise her brother, so long after death.” St. Aquanas
Then Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” [But sadly, she did not truly believe… yet to help her grow in her belief] they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said [out loud], “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may [grow to truly] believe that you sent me [that I am truly the Son of God].” Then He raised Lazarus from the dead and His glory was clearly shown.
However, we know even with all the other miracles and the raising of Lazarus, all His disciples, except John and the three Marys, abandoned Jesus when He was arrested and put to death. They still lacked faith and did not want to give up everything to love Him. So even after seeing such marvels of great love and hearing great words of Truth, they still did not accept enough grace to truly believe so to love Jesus above loving themselves… just like we are suffering from today.
We, like Martha and Mary, might make great proclamations of faith and really feel we have great faith, but we can clearly see our great lack of faith when we display our lack of the basic principles of true belief in Jesus too, especially as we get upset or fret when things do not go our way (as we seek our will and not God’s). Then we can see our trust in our will and not in Jesus’s, as if we know what is best, as if we are God and know what is needed for our salvation (what we need to have occurred in our lives to help us grow into a saving faith).
The very first principle of true belief that we must have to obtain all the rest is to REALLY BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God (The Apostles Creed):
- who can do anything (Ephesians 3:20),
- whom we need to let go of everything we love in this world for Him, so we can truly love Him; for we need to detach from everything, so we can attach to the only true good, the only true source of happiness, the only true God (Matthew19:29-30),
- whom we need to follow, His words and example of what is truly good, by way of the cross, so we can leave (detach from) all we love that does not love Him (Matthew 16:24) to grow into true and then perfect love with Him, and
- who wants us in Heaven and allows all for the good of our souls–to lead us to salvation, that is, if we can trust in Him and learn, grow, and change from all He allows (1 Timothy 2:4).
We must believe these things are true and needed (frankly, all of The Word) if we are ever going to really obtain them in our hearts.
Without truly possessing this belief as true and needed, our faith cannot grow into true detachment from all sin, our will, and the people, power, and pleasures we seek for happiness that we are attached to in this world, so we can desire God alone and become attached to Our Savior, by gaining a saving faith of true love for Him/true contrition for our sins.
“[If you] desire nothing but me, if you despise all things [that you seek as good and for happiness] for my sake – not only your children and relatives [how they have pulled your heart from Me], but also honor and riches [how they have glorified you and not Me] – I will give you the most precious and lovely reward [of Eternal Life, for you will be attached to Me and not to sin, yourself, or the world]! Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
Transubstantiation, when Christ changed bread and wine into His True Body and Blood to assist us (to give us grace) on our journey towards salvation and perfection, is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, miracle. It is in a close first with His resurrection. Nonetheless, when Jesus “took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many” (Mark 14:22-25). This was to be His continuous sacrificial gift of love for us.
And the apostles, who stayed with Jesus after he fed the 5,000 and said “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you” (John 6:), got to witness this unfathomable miracle of Jesus as another manna. But not just bread to sustain us in the wilderness, but Bread of Life to sustain us for salvation. “For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood [with true faith in Me] remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread [with true faith in Me. I will sustain and you] will live forever” (John 6).
After the apostles witnessed this miracle eventually, they grew to fully believe in the true presence of Christ in the Bread and Wine. After Christ educated them, I’m sure they had some belief, but their full understanding was probably was not right away. It most likely occurred after Jesus’s resurrection. Perhaps when He broke the bread with them again, or when He was teaching them how to run His Church or after Pentecost (when they received the grace to truly live the faith).
But after they gained a true understanding of the faith (correct wisdom), which came from grace, they went to teach that “this is my body” and “this is my blood” in the form of bread and wine. All the saints went off to teach this fact and miracle that is performed during every Mass.
“Let no one be misled… [for all will be] subject to judgment if they do not believe in the blood of Christ. Let the one who can [has the grace to] accept this accept it… The Eucharist is the flesh of our savior Jesus Christ” (St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was taught directly by the apostle John, who had correct wisdom, Letter to the Smyrnians, Ch. 6, 110 A.D.).
Then through obedience to God, seeking to live the true faith, the true disciples of Christ did as God commanded and went to “do this [celebrate the last supper and give out Holy Communion (My Flesh and Blood)] in memory of me” (Luke 22:19) during every Mass after Pentecost.
15. Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead:
Jesus’s greatest miracle is His own resurrection from the dead. However, sadly some of His disciples, even after God rose from the dead still did not believe this miracle was real, just like a lot of us respond when we hear of a miracle. It was not until they saw with their own eyes the risen Lord that many believed.
But even after that, sadly, they still doubted in their faith. “The eleven disciples went to Galilee [after the resurrection], to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted” (Matthew 28:16-17).
All the miracles, even Him raising from the dead, was not enough to give them the faith they needed to TRULY believe in Christ as Lord. Frankly, miracles do not give faith. ONLY GRACE DOES. The miracles only help one open up their heart… they give one a desire for faith.
It was not until the disciples received great grace from Pentecost, that they finally had the faith (grace) to truly believe in Jesus as Lord, not just in word or with a belief that was not willing to suffer to love God, but with a faith that was willing to give up everything (all their sins, their will, and all worldly pleasures they sought for happiness) for Him. That grace gave them the desire to only do what would help them know, love and serve Him. Then they were able to live The Way (live the faith they said they believed in), as they counted their life as nothing, and trusted in Him and His will as the only good, the only God. He finally became their everything. That was when they had TRUE BELIEF IN JESUS AS LORD… a saving faith, and would rather shed their own blood than sin, than offend God (do anything that was not His will), whom they wanted to perfectly love (Hebrews 12:4).
Receiving that great grace was the beginning of everything, but it took a lot of experiences and humbling to obtain it. Then, from there, they went off to live the faith, atone for their sins, and became the saints God called them to be. Praise God!
Yet from living in the time of great darkness, we live very deceived like the disciples, but worse. Most think we are walking around in a state of grace, with a saving faith, when we haven’t even gained the smallest humility (knowing one’s lack of faith/sinfulness) to be able to obtain any transforming grace from God. We live proud, thinking we are of great faith or at least with enough faith to be saved when Christ is speaking clearly to us when He has said, “O, you of little faith” (Matthew 8:26). I tell you, we greatly need to seek Jesus to humble us into reality like He did for His disciples so we can obtain the grace we need. For He “gives grace [faith] to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Then we can grow in real faith (a faith that leads to salvation), as we let go of all that is keeping us from Him, every sin, our entire will and all we seek for happiness in this world (our idols), for the true God, for the salvation of our souls.
Of course, these are only a few of the documented and countless undocumented miracles. Yet God is performing so many miracles for us today just like in biblical times. Sadly, there are so many that we do not even see like the great catch of fish, which was given to us, so we can grow in faith to really follow Him and come to TRULY believe in Him. But we took no notice, or perhaps gave praise to chance or to something else, but we did not see the gift from God or if we did, we did not leave all to truly follow Christ… the giver of all good gifts, who gives all gifts to lead us to salvation.
Are you seeing all God’s miracles He has given to you? Are you responding positively to them and growing in faith from them? Or have you been deceived into just taking God’s love and then doing little to nothing to amend your life—leaving all that offends God… all that is not His will but your own–to become a perfect saint (what one does who truly believes).
Are you not growing into true belief like the disciples, since like them, you are lying to yourself, saying you have faith greater than you have since you feel because God has done great things for you, and through you, you are surely with a great faith? Has your pride also blinded you from obtaining a saving faith in Christ?
Are you really allowing Christ to DAILY teach and change you through His miracles and all life events (since God is constantly coming to you), so you can obtain salvation? Or do you focus on the gifts God has given to you thinking that is proof of faith? Have you really become deceived into being complacent with the faith you have, remaining in your sins, whatever they may be, still thinking they won’t harm you (or God)?
Despite how great your knowledge, works and relationship with Jesus may seem, are you still rejecting Jesus (the only good) for some fruitless idol: something else you see as good, your source of happiness, whether it is a sin, your will, or a pleasure of this world (from pride boosting complements, to love of success, to endless possessions, and many other allurements), and still greatly need Jesus to help you grow in faith so that you will truly want nothing but Him and His will (the only God)?
Please know, we can be as close to Jesus as the disciples, but still be very far from Him. Without honestly, humbly acknowledging that we need Jesus to save us, our pride will blind us–as “faithful” as we think we are–all the way to our doom.
Without allowing Jesus to enlighten and change you–to strengthen you to leave all (detach from sin, your will, and the world) for Him, the true God, through His miracles (and really through anything)–you will not grow in grace to a saving faith… you will never obtain true contrition for offending God, for you will still cling (not hate) some worthless sin.
You NEED Jesus to save you. Nobody is born with this kind of faith. We obtain it by seeking and following Jesus. Jesus, His grace, gives us a faith that can save us. If we neglect to embrace His grace, we will not have a faith that can accept His saving forgiving mercy He died to give us since we still do not truly love Him from still wanting another god, lacking true contrition for our sins.
Yet, just like in biblical times, Jesus is trying and trying to enlighten us, to get us to grow in our belief. See His help. Cry out with humility to God, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” Embrace His grace and begin to change.
Please do not just take Jesus’s love (His help/miracles given to us) and then do nothing with them. We must learn from them and work to change and change, seeking and seeking Him for more grace… grace like the disciples received at Pentecost. Sure, we received that same grace at our baptism, but unlike them, we lost it through love of sin. Yet, that same grace can be rekindled again, but see all the means God is coming to us, like He did for His disciples, and grow in our belief. We must be humbled enough (surrender to God) to be able to accept it. Then we will not remain with a dead faith, but we can grow in faith to TRULY believe in Christ as Lord and become attached to Him, Our Savior.