By Ray KonigPublished: Dec. 5, 2023
As explained in the book Jesus the Miracle Worker, the Gospels record about 46 occasions in which Jesus performed miracles of healing and miracles that showed his divine authority over nature. There also were miracles in which Jesus was the subject or recipient, such as his miraculous birth, resurrection and ascension.
Below is a summary of the 46 miracles that Jesus performed during his public ministry, about 2,000 years ago, as recorded in the Gospels of the Christian Bible, followed by miracles in which Jesus was the subject or recipient.
The miracles are listed in a proposed chronological order that is based on A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life of Christ, by Archibald Thomas Robertson.
Near the beginning of his public ministry, about 2,000 years ago, Jesus attends a wedding in Cana with his mother Mary and with his newly selected disciples. Mary informs him that the wedding hosts have run out of wine, which would be the cause of great embarrassment. At the urging of his mother, Jesus miraculously transforms water into wine. This might be the least of the more than 40 miracles that Jesus would perform throughout his public ministry, which is often estimated to have lasted three-and-a-half years, ending in about A.D. 30. But, it spared the wedding hosts of embarrassment, it gave his disciples a gentle introduction his miraculous powers, and it undoubtedly made his mother happy.
After John writes about the water-to-wine miracle in Cana, he explains that Jesus visits Jerusalem for Passover, clears the Temple grounds of vendors and money changers, and performs miraculous signs. John does not describe the miracles but does say that many people came to believe in him. Jesus receives a nighttime visit from Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee, who refers to the signs and seeks teachings. Jesus responds:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16, WEB)
A royal official from Capernaum travels to the town of Cana in the hopes of finding Jesus and securing a miracle for his son, who is deathly ill with fever. He finds Jesus and begs him to come to Capernaum. Jesus declines the invitation and notes that even during this early phase of his public ministry, people already are seeking him for miracles rather than teachings. The man persists, perhaps showing his faith that Jesus can heal, and Jesus tells the man that his son will live. The royal official believes Jesus, begins his journey back home, and learns that his son has indeed been healed. This is an instance in which Jesus heals someone from a distance.
Early during his public ministry, Jesus promotes some of his disciples to be evangelists. To that end, he performs a miracle involving the catch of a large number of fish. Some of his disciples were fishermen who plied their trade in the Sea of Galilee. After a night of catching nothing, Jesus instructs Peter to cast a net into the sea. Peter obeys and the yield of fish overwhelms him to the point that he drops to his knees in amazement. Jesus uses the miracle to call Peter and others to be evangelists, as in fishers of people. Jesus performs a similar miracle, shortly before his ascension into heaven, to remind Peter and others to serve the Christian church and preach the Gospel.
As Jesus was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, a demon-possessed man begins shouting at Jesus, "Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God! (Luke 4:34b)" Jesus commands the demon to leave, the man is healed, and news of the miracle travels quickly throughout the region of Galilee in northern Israel. Hours later, people from the Galilean town of Capernaum would swarm Jesus with requests for miracles. Chronologically, this appears to be the first exorcism that Jesus performs. Some scholars suggest that demon possessions sharply increased during the time of Jesus' public ministry as an ill-fated attempt to disrupt or derail his work.
After Jesus healed the possessed man in the synagogue, he and his disciples went to the home in Capernaum where Peter and Andrew were residing. They learn that Peter's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. Jesus takes her by the hand, helps her up, and she is instantly healed. This home might have belonged to her, as Peter and Andrew were from Bethsaida (John 1:44). Jesus based much of his public ministry in Capernaum, perhaps staying at this home.
At sunset, during the same day that Jesus healed the demon-possessed man and Peter's mother-in-law, people from the town of Capernaum swarm around the house where Jesus was staying. They bring with them sick relatives and friends, and Jesus heals them of various illnesses and of demon possessions. During the exorcisms, the demons cry out that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and Jesus commands them to be silent.
A Bible scholar named Victor Prange offers a reason for this:
"Jesus did not want the witness of these evil spirits. They witnessed from evil intent and with the purpose of undermining the true purpose of Christ's mission. Too easily people would come to think of the Messiah only as a miracle worker and not as the Servant of God come to redeem sinners from eternal death and hell." - Prange, Victor H.: Luke. Milwaukee, Wis. : Northwestern Pub. House, 1988 (The People's Bible), S. 52.
After a series of miracles in Capernaum, Jesus begins his first missionary tour through the towns of Galilee, preaching about the Kingdom of God. In one of those towns, a diseased man, covered with leprosy, falls at the feet of Jesus and begs for a miracle. The man addresses Jesus as "Lord" and expresses his faith that Jesus can heal him. Moved by compassion, Jesus reaches out and touches the man, and the man is instantly healed.
While Jesus is teaching at a house in Capernaum, a group of men bring a paralyzed man in the hopes of getting him healed by Jesus. The problem, though, is that Jesus is inside the house and the house is overflowing with people. So the men climb onto the roof, move whatever thatch and boards are in the way, and lower the paralyzed man so that he is in the presence of Jesus. Their faith, persistence -- and creativity -- pay off. Jesus heals the man and he is miraculously able to walk.
During a time when Jesus is in Jerusalem, he goes to the Pool of Bethesda, which was believed by many to have healing powers. There, a man who had been disabled for 38 years is trying to get into the water, but other people keep cutting in front of him whenever a spot becomes available in the pool. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed. He then instructs the man to get up and walk and suddenly he is miraculously able to do so. The man did not know who Jesus was and learns of his name later when the two meet at again, at the Temple.
For the second time, Jesus performs a miracle on a Sabbath in a synagogue, by healing a man with a withered hand. This time, though, religious opponents are in attendance, hoping to accuse Jesus of violating the rules, as they interpret them, for honoring the Sabbath. Jesus confronts them with the moral question of whether it is lawful to do good on a Sabbath, and the question is met with silence. Jesus then heals the man with the withered hand.
After Jesus heals the man with the withered hand, he withdraws to the Sea of Galilee, when it is revealed that Pharisees are plotting to have him killed. During this retreat, Jesus continues his public ministry without interruption, healing people of disease and demon-possession within a crowd that follows behind him.
Despite the increasing danger that religious leaders pose for Jesus, he continues his public ministry by traveling, preaching, teaching and performing miracles. His popularity grows. As people from all over Israel gather before him, as he descends a mountain in Galilee, they reach out to touch Jesus and are miraculously healed of their ailments.
During a time when Jesus is back in Capernaum, a centurion asks him to heal his servant, who was deathly ill. This centurion, who has command over 100 soldiers, feels unworthy to approach Jesus himself, so he sends messengers. And, he feels unworthy to have Jesus come to his home, where the servant is. Jesus praises the remarkable humility and faith of this centurion, heals the servant from a distance, and prophesies that many Gentiles, like this centurion, will enter the Kingdom of God. In Matthew's summary, he appears to rely on an ancient tradition of equating messengers with the person who sent them. Luke, however, focuses on the humility of the centurion and notes the involvement of messengers.
While traveling through Galilee, Jesus and his disciples approach the town of Nain as a funeral procession leaves the town's gates. The mourners carry the coffin of a deceased young man who was the only son of a widow. Jesus takes compassion on the widow and tells her not to cry. He then touches the coffin and instructs the deceased son to arise, which he does. He sits up, begins speaking, and is reunited with his mother. This is the first of three detailed miracles in which Jesus raises the dead.
When John the Baptist had been imprisoned by Herod Antipas, a son of King Herod, he sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah or if there is someone to come after him. Jesus responds to John's disciples that they already know the answer, that they have already witnessed Jesus performing miracles and preaching the Gospel, which means good news, to the poor, in fulfillment of Messianic prophecies, such as those in Isaiah 35:4-6 and Isaiah 61:1-2. John might have been wrestling with doubts during the final days of his life before his execution, or perhaps he wanted his disciples to see for themselves that Jesus is the Messiah and that they should be following him.
During a time when Jesus is surrounded by crowds, people bring to him a demon-possessed man who is blind and mute. Jesus heals the man and some witnesses ask whether Jesus is the "son of David," a title that refers to the promised Messiah. Religious leaders, however, accuse Jesus of getting his power from Satan (Beelzebul). Jesus indicates that it is by the Holy Spirit that he exorcises demons and notes the absurdity that Satan would grant the power to defeat himself.
On one of the many occasions in which Jesus and his disciples sail over the Sea of Galilee, a fierce storm arises and swamps their boat with water. The wind and waves are strong enough that the disciples fear that they are going to die. They awake Jesus, who was sleeping in the stern. Jesus questions their faith and commands the storm to cease, which it does. The fear among the disciples is replaced with awe.
After Jesus calms the storm, he and his disciples land in the region of Gadarenes (also referred to as Gerasenes or Gergesenes) on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. They encounter a man possessed by a legion of demons. He was known by locals to be violent and unrestrainable, able to break free of the chains that had previously bound him. Jesus casts out the demons, sending them into a nearby herd of pigs, which then race into the sea and drown. The pigs might have been part of a commercial herd that was tended by local Gentiles. After learning of the fate of the pigs, the locals demand that Jesus leave the area.
A woman, who had suffered for 12 years with internal bleeding, sees Jesus getting out of a boat and being swarmed by people who recognize him. She seeks not to draw attention to herself. She follows behind Jesus, as he is mobbed by people, and touches his clothing, believing that if she did so, she would be healed. She did and she was. Immediately, she could sense the healing, as could Jesus, who turns his attention to her and informs her that she found healing because of her faith.
Just before Jesus heals the woman with internal bleeding, a community leader named Jairus drops to his knees and begs Jesus to come to his home and heal his 12-year-old daughter who is dying. On their way to the house, the woman with internal bleeding is healed. Before they arrive at the house, Jesus and Jairus learn Jairus' daughter has died. Jesus enters the home, instructs the mourners to leave, and restores life to the young girl, showing again that he has power over death itself.
After the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Gospel of Matthew describes a miracle in which two blind men call Jesus the "son of David," which is a phrase that grows out of Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. They ask for mercy and a miracle. Jesus asks them if they believe that he can heal them, perhaps as a test of whether they were being sincere in calling him the Messiah. They respond affirmatively, Jesus touches their eyes, and they are able to see.
Immediately after Matthew writes about the healing of two blind men in Galilee, he describes a miracle in which Jesus heals a demon-possessed man who was mute. Witnesses are amazed when the healed man begins speaking. Religious leaders again try to counter Jesus' growing popularity, which overshadowed them, by accusing Jesus of getting his power from Satan, even though the miracle itself expresses his divine power over Satan.
Jesus visits Nazareth, the Galilean town in which he was raised, and teaches at a synagogue. The reaction is mixed. People are amazed at his wisdom but question how he gained such insight. They are amazed by the reports of his miracles, but question how he could perform them. Because of their lack of faith, he heals only a few people on this occasion, by placing his hands on them.
During a dangerous and fatiguing time for Jesus and the apostles, they sail across the Sea of Galilee to a remote area near Bethsaida in search of solitude. Instead, they find thousands of people who hurried by land to intercept Jesus. Rather than leave the now-crowded area, and continue the search for solitude, Jesus takes compassion on the crowds, teaches them about the Kingdom of God, and heals them of their ailments.
After it is revealed that Herod Antipas has killed John the Baptist and is looking for Jesus (Luke 9:1-10), Jesus and the apostles sail to east side of the Sea of Galilee, to a remote area near Bethsaida, which is outside of Antipas' jurisdiction. Thousands of people learn that Jesus would be going there and they rush by land to intercept him. Jesus teaches them, heals them, and then miraculously feeds them, as they are stranded in a remote area and will need nourishment to get back home. This miracle begins with a paltry amount of food and ends with 5,000 men and their families being miraculously fed, with food leftover. This miracle is recorded in all four Gospels.
After the miraculous feeding of 5000, Jesus instructs his disciples get into a boat and go ahead of him to the west side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus then goes up a mountain to find solitude and to pray. Later, Jesus rejoins his disciples by walking on the Sea of Galilee to get to their boat, which is now stranded in the middle of the sea, begin battered by strong winds and waves. The disciples are terrified when they mistakenly think they see a ghost walking on the water. After realizing it is Jesus, the profess their faith that Jesus truly is the Son of God.
Soon after the walking-on-water miracle, Jesus and his disciples land their boat at the shore of Gennesaret, on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. There, residents recognize Jesus and race into the countryside to inform others that Jesus has arrived. Word spreads quickly and soon the marketplaces are filled with people in need of miracles. These people knew, perhaps from hearing about a previous miracle involving the woman with internal bleeding, that healings can be obtained merely by touching Jesus' clothing. The people reach out to touch Jesus and are healed by Jesus.
After a series of confrontations in Galilee with religious leaders who oppose Jesus, Jesus and his disciples begin a long journey that will take them to the edges of Israel. As Jesus is in or near the region of Tyre and Sidon, which is north of Israel, a Canaanite woman approaches Jesus and begs for a miracle. Her daughter is demon-possessed. After a conversation in which Jesus appears to be testing her sincerity and faith, she proves herself on both accounts. Jesus miraculously heals the daughter and praises the faith of the Canaanite woman, who is a Gentile of Syrophoenician origin.
After healing the Canaanite woman's daughter, Jesus travels south and east to the region of the Decapolis, which is each of the Sea of Galilee. There, people bring to him a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment, indicating that this man suffered an injury or sickness that caused him to be deaf. Jesus miraculously heals the man and witnesses are astounded. News of the miracle apparently travels fast as thousands soon would gather before Jesus with miracle requests.
During a time when Jesus is traveling along the edges of the land of Israel, he finds himself surrounded by large crowds on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, in or near the Decapolis, a largely Gentile area. Even so, people know who he is and they bring forth their ailing friends and relatives, who are then healed by Jesus.
After healing people who had gathered before him in or near the Decapolis, Jesus again performs a miracle in which thousands are miraculously fed. This time, the crowd consists of 4,000 men and their families. Feeling compassion for the crowd, Jesus takes seven loaves of bread and a few fish, gives thanks, breaks up the bread, and hands the food to his disciples to distribute. The people eat until they are full and there is more food left over than there was at the start of the miracle.
Jesus returns to Bethsaida, where people bring to him a blind man for healing. Jesus takes the blind man out of the village, puts saliva on the man's eyes and touches him. Jesus asks the man if he can see. The man indicates that he can, but only partially. Jesus puts his hands on the man's eyes again, and his sight is fully restored. This is the first time in which a miracle is carried out in stages. Jesus appears to be using the miracle to teach his apostles that seeing things clearly, and understanding things clearly, can take time and happen in stages.
After the Transfiguration in which Moses and Elijah appear beside Jesus on a mountain, Jesus, Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and are met by a distraught father who pleads with Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son. The disciples at the base of the mountain had tried to cast out the demon, but failed. Jesus rebukes the demon and the boy is instantly healed. When his disciples ask why they were unable to cast out the demon, Jesus informs them: "Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17:20b-21, WEB)
During a time when Jesus is back in Capernaum, collectors of the Temple tax approach Peter and ask him if Jesus pays the Temple tax, which was a voluntary tax. Jesus agrees to pay the tax and instructs Peter to cast a fishing line into the Sea of Galilee, informing him that the first fish he catches will have a coin in its mouth to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. This is the second of three miracles involving the catching of fish.
During a visit to Jerusalem, Jesus meets a beggar who had been born blind and heals him, giving him the gift of sight. Religious leaders become enraged upon learning of the miracle. They accuse Jesus of being a sinner, because he performed the "work" of a miracle on a Sabbath, and they accuse the healed man of being an imposter. They question his parents, who confirm that the man is their son and that he had born blind. And they question the now-healed man, who testifies that the man who healed him must be a prophet sent by God.
The Gospel of Luke describes a miracle in which Jesus casts a demon out of a possessed man who was unable to speak, and the healed man begins speaking. The miracle draws mixed reactions, with some witnesses expressing amazement and others accusing Jesus of getting his power from Satan, even though the miracle shows that Jesus has divine power over Satan. Some also ask Jesus to produce a sign from heaven, presumably to show that he is sent by God, even though the miracle shows that he is.
While visiting and teaching at a synagogue, perhaps somewhere in Judea, Jesus notices a partially disabled woman. She is unable to stand upright, and had been for 18 years. Jesus places his hands on the woman, instantly freeing her from her affliction and she responds by praising God. The ruler of the synagogue, however, speaks out against Jesus, incorrectly stating that performing the "work" of a miracle violated the rules for honoring the Sabbath. Jesus denounces the ruler, as well as others who agreed with the ruler, as hypocrites, because their faulty interpretation of Sabbath rules would allow them to show kindness to an animal but not to one of their own sisters.
During an event that has the outward signs of a trap, Jesus is invited to the home of a prominent Pharisee to share a meal. We are told that Jesus is being watched, that it is a Sabbath, and that a man in obvious need of healing is seated directly across from Jesus. Pharisees and other religious leaders had previously accused Jesus of violating the laws of Judaism by performing miracles on Sabbath days. But, on this occasion, it appears that these Pharisees were sympathetic to Jesus and wanted to secure a healing for a man who suffered from dropsy, or edema, a condition that involves abnormal swelling. Jesus heals the man and teaches about compassion.
Sometime after Jesus brings his public ministry to the region of Perea, which is east of the Jordan River, he learns that his friend Lazarus of Bethany, which is near Jerusalem, had died. By the time Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus visits the tomb of Lazarus, along with many other people. The stone that covers the tomb is rolled away. Jesus speaks to God, addressing him as "Father," and commands Lazarus to come out of the tomb. Lazarus, who is covered with the cloth that his body had been wrapped in after his death, rises and exits the tomb. The public reaction is profound and many people come to believe in Jesus. Religious leaders, however, take the view that Jesus' popularity is a threat to the nation and commit themselves again to having Jesus killed (John 11:45-57).
As Jesus and his disciples travel along the border of Samaria and Galilee, a group of lepers call out to Jesus, pleading for mercy. The men, afflicted with skin disease, are living as outcasts, isolated from their home communities. Jesus responds by telling them to show themselves to the priests (in Jerusalem), which is something that Judaism required of lepers if and when their symptoms went away. The men realize that they had been miraculously healed, even though Jesus seemingly had done nothing more than give an instruction. One of the healed men, a Samaritan, breaks away from the others, approaches Jesus, praises God, and lowers himself to the ground before Jesus. Jesus then praises the faith of the Samaritan, and notes that he is the only one of the healed men to express gratitude.
As Jesus and a crowd of followers travel to Jericho, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, addressing him as the "son of David," which is a Messianic title. People within the crowd rebuke the beggar, telling him to be silent. The beggar persists and again calls out to Jesus, again addressing him as the Messiah. Jesus, who knows that he soon will be rejected by many as the Messiah and put to death, calls out for the beggar. The beggar tosses his cloak and rushes forward. Jesus miraculously heals the beggar, who now can see the man whom he had addressed as the Messiah. Jesus tells the healed man to go on his way and the man chooses to follow Jesus.
During the final days of Jesus' public ministry, he visits the Temple in Jerusalem, chases vendors and money changers off of the Temple grounds, and heals people who are blind and lame. By chasing out the vendors and money changers, whom he accuses of turning his Father's house into a den of robbers, he purifies the Temple grounds. And by healing the lame and the blind, he releases these people from the afflictions that denied them full access to the Temple.
Shortly before Jesus would be rejected in Jerusalem and executed, he curses a fig tree that bore no fruit, even though it was sprouting leaves. The next morning, the disciples are shocked to see that the tree has already withered from its roots. This miracle might have been intended to foreshadow the destruction of Jerusalem, which soon would reject and kill the Messiah sent by God. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah speaks of a withering fig tree in a prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem, for rejecting God (Jeremiah 8:5,13). Jesus uses this event to teach his disciples about faith, prayer and miracles:
22 Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. 23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. (Mark 11:22-25, WEB).
On the night that Jesus is betrayed by Judas Iscariot, he and 11 of his apostles are encamped at the Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem, where Jesus prays and his apostles sleep. Judas appears with a crowd of men, who are armed with clubs and swords, to arrest Jesus. One of Jesus' followers pulls out a sword and swings at one of the men who had come to arrest Jesus, severing his ear. Jesus admonishes his follower and miraculously heals the injured man's ear. Jesus then is taken back into Jerusalem, where he soon would be put on trial, sentenced, executed and resurrected.
After the resurrection, Jesus appears to his apostles and others intermittingly during the 40 days before his ascension into heaven. On one occasion, Jesus appears on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and instructs his apostles, who had spent the night fishing but catching nothing, to cast a net to the right side of the boat. They do so and the catch of fish is too heavy to lift into the boat, so they keep it in the water and drag it to the shore. Jesus uses the miracle to reinforce that his apostles are to serve the Christian church, as evangelists, as fishers of people.
In the Bible's New Testament, Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ) who was promised by the Bible's Old Testament prophets. Jesus is fully God and fully human. God allowed himself to be born as a person, to live among people and to teach people about God's plan of salvation and to die for our sins. Because Jesus also is human, he can be called the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus was born to a woman named Mary about 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, Israel. Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus. The miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus is recorded in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke.
During the middle of his public ministry, Jesus and three of his apostles go to the top of a mountain and Jesus is miraculously illuminated by rays of light. Two figures appear beside him. One is the Old Testament prophet Elijah and the other is Moses. The voice of God then proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God and that he should be listened to. This event is called the Transfiguration and is described in Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36 and 2 Peter 1:16-18. Some scholars believe that John 1:14 also refers to the transfiguration.
After Jesus was crucified - nailed to a cross made of wood - he died and was buried in a tomb. On the third day, he was resurrected, meaning that God had restored Jesus to life. In 1 Corinthians 15, which is part of the New Testament, the significance of the resurrection is explained. It says that Jesus died for our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:3). It also says that our faith would be meaningless if there had been no resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:17). And it proclaims that Jesus was resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20). 1 Corinthians was written by Paul who was one of the people who encountered Jesus after the resurrection. Paul traveled more than 10,000 miles by land and by sea, telling people about Jesus, his resurrection, and the promise of eternal life in the presence of God for those who have faith in Jesus.
Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after he was resurrected. During those 40 days he appeared intermittingly to his followers, continued to teach them, and gave them instructions to preach the Gospel to people throughout the nations of the world. At the end of those 40 days, Jesus and his disciples were walking near Bethany when Jesus stopped, blessed them, and was taken up into heaven.
© Ray Konig.
See also a map of many of the sites where Jesus performed miracles: Map of Jesus' Miracles
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