But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
The importance which our Lord Jesus Christ attaches to His miracles.
He appeals to them as the best evidence of His own divine mission. He bids the Jews look at them, and deny them if they can. ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works.’
The mighty miracles which our Lord performed during the three years of His earthly ministry, are probably not considered as much as they ought to be in the present day. These miracles were not few in number. Forty times and more we read in the Gospels of His doing things entirely out of the ordinary course of nature – healing sick people in a moment, raising the dead with a word, casting out devils, calming winds and waves in an instant, walking on the water as on solid ground.
These miracles were not all done in private among friends. Many of them were wrought in the most public manner, under the eyes of unfriendly witnesses. We are so familiar with these things that we are apt to forget the mighty lesson they teach. They teach that He who worked these miracles must be nothing less than very God. They stamp His doctrines and precepts with the mark of divine authority. He only who created all things at the beginning, could suspend the laws of creation at His will. He who could suspend the laws of creation, must be One who ought to be thoroughly believed and implicitly obeyed. To reject One who confirmed His mission by such mighty works, is the height of madness and folly.
Hundreds of unbelieving men, no doubt, in every age, have tried to pour contempt on Christ’s miracles, and to deny that they were ever worked at all. But they labour in vain. Proofs upon proofs exist that our Lord’s ministry was accompanied by miracles, and that this was acknowledged by those who lived in our Lord’s time. Objectors of this sort would do well to take up the one single miracle of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead, and disprove it if they can.
*Excerpted from Day By Day With J.C. Ryle: A New Daily Devotional of Ryle’s Writings by J.C. Ryle (Christian Heritage, 2011).
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