True Christians Can Perform Miracles
First an important note: The following is not to be viewed as don't see a doctor or stop taking medication etc... Those who tell you this don't know God. God provides in various ways; you must continue seeking medical help; the strength of your faith in God related to miracles has nothing to do with that. No, it is not a backup plan to miracles, it is God working in different ways.
The objective of this page is to highlight scripture that describes miracles. Then I provide further explanations based on observations of these verses.
Does medical help show lack of faith in God's miracles?
God works in different ways. He created us with intelligent brains to learn and explore and find ways to survive. Taking pills to remedy your illness is a form of God's way to keep us healthy, in the same way we eat food and drink water so we don't die!!
A miracle of making a cripple get up and walk for example, is something else. It is the kind that requires a strong faith, AND a lot of knowledge of God from the person performing it. And of course, also the faith of the crippled person! Yes, not easy, but any of us can do if we're true Christians and truly focused on God!
The Requirements to Performing Miracles
It is recommended that you first become mature in studying the Bible and the knowledge of God before performing miracles.
The following are based on observations of miracles in the Bible performed by Jesus, His disciples, and apostles. Starting with this reference where Jesus was replying to His disciples explaining to them why they could not perform a particular miracle:
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
According to the Bible, we need to possess these characteristics in order to qualify for performing miracles:
1st: Be Filled with the Holy Spirit - Be always renewed day by day through the Lord's Prayer - and as detailed in my page How to Be True Christians. We have to obey all of Jesus' commands, including the daily ones. Note, the Bible doesn't say we have to be sinless - the requirement is to be "righteous", which can only be achieved by having our sins forgiven through the Lord's Prayer. Then and only then we become "righteous" in the eyes of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, and we become capable of performing miracles.
2nd: Have Faith - Believe in your heart that what you're asking God in the name of Jesus, will happen without a doubt. If you start by thinking something like, "let me try if I can perform a miracle..." you've already failed. To perform a miracle, you go in as if the miracle already took place, that you're only doing the motions to complete it. Keeping your focus on God, not on the people around. Being new to miracles in this day and age, we can start with the low-hanging fruit type miracles like, calming a destructive storm, or helping an orphan child, say, who is crippled or blind. These types require only your own faith.
3rd: Forgive - Look at Verse 25 above. Jesus gives us the procedure for miracles. But no one bothered to notice!! Before the miracle, Jesus said when you stand praying, search yourself thoroughly. If you have even a hint of hate or grudge against anyone, clean it up, forgive them. Because besides asking for the Bread of life, the other key to receiving the righteousness of God and the Holy Spirit is by completely and unconditionally forgiving others. Then you've maximized your faith for the miracle.
4th: Have Confidence - the confidence of a person filled with the Holy Spirit, calm and collected. Remember, having fulfilled the 3 previous points, you're already filled with the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is touch the person according to Jesus. Not making a scene of it, waving crosses, panicking, begging God, or continuously reading from the Bible at the scene in front of people, even worse if you're reading it out-loud in old-English like a pompous. This would make you a disgrace for God; it is what unbelievers do.
5th: Refer to the various scenarios below - See the details in the miracles below and my explanations. Example in some cases, the people gathered around were told to leave the room. In other cases, Jesus for example took the blind man aside, away from people, and got him to focus on Him...
Also note, miracles happen when they are performed to glorify God, not for entertainment, showing off your own abilities, or financial benefits. As long as we keep this in mind, we can ask anything in Jesus' name, and He will do it. John 14:13-14 Jesus: And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it.
I know you're looking at this and thinking, so we can ask God for a crippled child in a wheelchair to get up and walk and he/she will walk? yes exactly! albeit something no human eyes have seen since the days of Paul, but yes, bringing back miracles the way Jesus intended!! If we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit as explained above, then we become always standing in the presence of God (Luke 1:19, 1Kings 18:15). Yes this genuine believer can perform miracles.
This is exactly what the disciples and apostles of Jesus did. These mere humans laid their hands on the crippled and made them walk and brought dead people back to life! In today's world, real miracles like make a cripple get up and walk, are out of the question. They are impossible in people's minds, and therefore are not happening. Miracles became more and more rare around the 2nd century, after the disciples of Jesus, the apostle Paul, and a few others from that generation died. Today it is almost unheard of.
What Would a Church Minister Say about Performing Miracles?
The standard answer is: "these signs were for that generation - for the disciples and apostles at that time to help them evangelize the region." A typical answer from a church leader who is supposed to be a role-model and be able to perform miracles, but can't. So they coined this standard answer to justify why they can't.
But the Bible is full of references that point to anybody on earth who is a true Christian believer, can!
Here are some strong references:
Mark 16:17 Jesus said: "And these signs will accompany those who believe..." Jesus was clearly explaining to His disciples how to recognize a believer from the crowd.
John 14:12 "...whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these...". He said "whoever believes in me". This applies to all people on earth (unless you're a Calvinist of course).
Mark 9:23 ...Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” That is, anyone! If you're a true believer, you can!!
And this indisputable one - anyone is capable if they choose to:
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
This is How Jesus Performed Miracles
Step 1: Faith ("when Jesus saw their faith...")
Step 2: Forgive sins
Step 3: Miracle
Mark gave us a glimpse of this in Mark 2:5-7 & 10-12. Without Steps 1 & 2, can’t do Step 3.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
[Jesus:] 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Notes: Closely examining these verses, we can learn the following:
Jesus clearly stated that the forgiveness of sins was a pre-requisite to the miracle - Verse 5.
The paralyzed man getting up and walking was the proof that Jesus indeed had the authority to forgive sins! Because forgiving that man's sins was the key to enable the miracle! What Jesus said in verses 10 to 12 meant in other words: Without first forgiving the sins, the miracle would have been impossible.
Of course, it goes without saying, the first pre-requisite was "faith" as in verse 5.
We can perform these steps ourselves according to Jesus. Our Step2 is the Lord's Prayer. Then the miracle happens when we call on His name. He told us that in John 14:12-14, Mark 16:17-18, Mark 9:39, Matthew 17:20, and Acts 2:17.
You may ask, "why do we not see these steps in other miracles in the Bible?" True, this detail was not always reported. In many other miracles, however, the Bible did mention Jesus praying first. Based on this story it is likely that part of His prayer was about forgiving that person's sins.
So, for us it is:
Step 1: Faith
Step 2: The Lord’s Prayer for forgiveness of sins
Step 3: In the name of Jesus Christ… miracle.
This is exactly what the disciple Peter did in Acts 3:2-8 detailed below. Peter who was already filled with the Holy Spirit, followed steps 1 and 3!
Let's pause for a moment. If you chuckled after reading these 3 steps, then you're not cut-out for the kingdom of God. You need not continue reading; you're wasting your time. The sad fact is, even the best "believers" out there today will likely chuckle when they see these 3 steps. This confirms the "wide gate"! Without faith nothing can be done. Even Jesus Himself could not perform miracles where there was no faith among people of that town.
... Jesus could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Most Christians today are "Philips", not thinking spiritually:
If we happened to be witnessing a bad situation, example an accident with someone severely injured, or came across a blind person, or a crippled in a wheelchair, etc., we never consider asking God to fully heal and restore this person. Even the most genuine believers out there who may consider we need a miracle here, usually think not my job, this is the job of a church minister or someone like that.
Here's an example of human-nature incapable of performing miracles even after Jesus showed them how, several times:
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
And this was Philip! one of His disciples who accompanied Him for some time and saw His miracles! People today are no better than Philip. After chatting with Philip, Jesus went on with His miracle of feeding the 5,000!
Most Christians today are Philips, not thinking spiritually!! The feeding of the 5,000 was not only because Jesus was there in person. We can do greater things anytime today, because Jesus is alive in the flesh, and is with us in Spirit (through the Holy Spirit within us).
No one today even considers miracles as an option - sadly just like Philip who was even a disciple of Jesus!
Go ahead, start praying the Lord's Prayer daily, with the "Bread" meaning the spiritual Bread of life for the forgiveness of sins. And pray it again in the presence of someone in need of a miracle. And don't freak-out when the miracle happens, it would show lack of faith. Jesus said we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20), and that we will do greater miracles than the ones He did! That's right, that's what Jesus said in John 14:12-14. But remember, not for video-taping or making a sensational show out of it. Jesus never performed miracles in front of important people like King Herod or in the temple. The majority of today's people are unbelievers and looking for sensational shows. So yes, a most difficult time to perform miracles.
Here Are Some Miracles from the Bible that Can Help Us with the "How To"
First some high-level notes. Looking at Jesus' miracles in the Bible, one observation I noticed is that sometimes He tells the person "Go home your request is granted", and other times He performs strange rituals, like spit in the eyes or spit on dirt, mix it, and rub it, etc. Here's my interpretation of these things, with wisdom from God:
Cases when the request is simply granted: If you look again at these cases, you'll notice that the person requesting makes an extra effort to reach Jesus and shows great faith with their answers to Jesus' questions. I can see Jesus thinking, "with all this faith, this is an easy one!"
Perform a ritual: And in these miracle cases, you'll notice the person requesting was either brought to Jesus by others, meaning the person himself may not have had faith to come on his own. Or is in an area occupied by known unbelieving people, or simply that Jesus sensed their unbelief. In these cases, Jesus performs these physical actions to increase their belief in order for the miracle to become possible. For the blind man for example, this man would be thinking something like, "oh He's performing something - He must be a prophet who really knows what He's doing." In these cases, Jesus' bigger objective was He wanted the people around to see and believe, and also His disciples to document in the scriptures for the rest of us to read about it.
One clear and consistent behavior from Jesus: In most miracles Jesus waited until they came to Him, and sometimes begged Him. And even then He asked them again, something like "what do you want me to do for you?" Why? A miracle involving people is only possible when those people are truly faithful in God, and are making the extra effort to get to Jesus for help.
Summarizing, Jesus, our God, possessed all the Holy requirements needed to perform miracles. But the questionable part was always the faith of the person receiving the miracle. Of course, calming the storm or the sea, was always no problem - God is in full control of nature. But humans? it depends on our faith, which is something within our reach if we're genuinely willing.
Peter walked on water, then sunk:
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Notes: What did Peter do? took his focus off of Jesus and turned and saw the violent scene around him! Jesus told him "why did you doubt?" We could have all the right elements in place. But if there is any hint of doubt then miracles will not happen.
The faith of the person receiving the miracle is also key:
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.
Notes: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus asked. Had they shrugged their shoulders, like the usual reaction from today's people, then no miracle! If you walk up to a person and decide you want to help him/her, a miracle may or may not happen, because it requires belief on both sides - you and them. A couple of exceptions to this rule: When the person in need of a miracle is either a baby or an unconscious person, and when the miracle is nature-related, like calm a destructive storm. In these two cases it is all our own faith. Another note about children, sometimes the faith of the parents standing around may also be needed.
A second observation from this, is that Jesus, our God, had to double-check with these people if they truly believed that He could do this!! It is all about our attitude towards God, our decision, and our belief.
A seizure example:
When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Notes: Two observations from this scripture:
Seizures might be a form of demon possession, which can be healed by a miracle when asking Jesus.
His disciples could not drive out the demon, but Jesus could. ...the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. How do we increase our faith? Focus more on God, and less on the world. Get to know more about God from the scriptures, which naturally translates to more belief. Look at the 5 points at the beginning of this page.
The same seizure story from Mark. Jesus here also said: “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Mark told the same story of Matthew 17:14-21 above - a man asked Jesus to drive a demon out of his son:
Mark 9:18-29 (excerpts from this reference):
18 ...I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?
22 [the boy's father:] ...if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
25 ...Jesus rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” He said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked...
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer." (Or prayer and fasting in some manuscripts)
Notes: In this version of this story, there was a slightly different response from Jesus in the part about "his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer."
So, we can actually use both versions of this story to learn a lot more. Jesus said:
Because you have so little faith (from Matthew)
“This kind can come out only by prayer." (or prayer and fasting in some manuscripts)" (from Mark)
So what does this mean to us? It means another key to increasing faith, is "proper prayer", the kind Jesus taught us. And fasting can also help as likely noted here by Jesus.
Persistence is another key:
...yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Notes: Jesus here is saying don't give up. Keep asking God in Jesus' name. Persistence may bother God to a point, that He'll answer you just to get you off His back, so to speak. But careful, this has to be done the proper way. If the miracle fails, then look again at my 5 points at the beginning of this page in case you forgot something. Then clear people out to focus on God, get on your knees next to the person, and pray more. Then put your hand on the person and ask in Jesus' name again. After several times, if no miracle, then you can leave, and go back to examining yourself and the situation you were in. From looking at Jesus' responses when His disciples failed, I can point out one or two possibilities: (1) You're not qualified per the 5 points at top of this page, or (2) the population of the area is mockingly unbelieving, as Jesus Himself faced similar situations at times and failed, example Mark 6:5-6.
Jesus had to repeat this miracle twice to get it to work:
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Observations from this miracle:
Here's an example miracle that Jesus had to repeat because it did not work the first time. Likely because of lack of faith of the blind man. And this is Jesus Himself!! If Jesus had to repeat twice, multiply by 10 times for us. Don't give up.
Another observation from this miracle, Jesus led the blind man outside the village first, why? Likely because Jesus saw their unbelief and wanted the man to keep his focus on Him in a private place, to maximize the chances of the miracle. Even then, He still had to do it twice!
A cripple walks - a miracle from the disciple Peter
Look at the specific details here, and remember Peter is a human like us:
Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
The Apostle Paul raised a man from the dead:
On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
Observations from this miracle:
Paul threw himself on the man and put his arms around him - maximum body contact because Paul knows he's filled with the Holy Spirit.
What Paul did is consistent with what Elijah (another human) did to raise a boy from the dead: 1 Kings 17:21-22 Then he [Elijah] stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Also notice the physical contact with the dead person in both cases, Paul and Elijah.
Paul clearly showed no doubt - (1) He assured the people around "don't worry he's alive". And (2) he didn't wait around to see if the miracle worked. He was so sure it did, because he just got up and went upstairs!!!!
And a word about the faith of the man that fell and died. Notice that before this man fell from the window, he was so dedicated to listening to the new Gospel, that he was there till midnight listening to Paul, despite the fact he was so tired and started falling asleep...
Peter raised a girl from the dead:
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha; she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Tabitha had made while she was still with them.
Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.
Observations from this miracle:
The girl was a "disciple" herself. Obviously, a Jewish believer doing good helping people etc. Already a strong starting point for bringing her back to life.
Peter here did it slightly different from Paul an Elijah in the last example. He cleared people from the room, then got on his knees and prayed. Then he just looked at the girl and told her to get up. And she opened her eyes!! No panicking from Peter, no waving of crosses and Bibles, no disgraceful scene demeaning to God!
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
One of the most significant miracles in the Bible:
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Notes: I purposely left this one to the end. I don't think this is one we should even attempt; "a person dead for 4 days". Some points to make:
This is Jesus, God Himself showing His Glory and magnificence to the people of that village. This I believe was Jesus giving it an extra push to get those people to strongly believe He was indeed the awaited Messiah. In other words, He was giving a strong start to Christianity. Here's why I say this: John 11:4-7 When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” - He purposely delayed more days, to make a super significant event of it!
I'm not saying it is impossible for humans to perform this miracle. I'm saying it is a difficult one, requiring the Holiness and faith level of Jesus.
For those wondering what happened to Lazarus after that. The Bible did not say anything about it. Therefore, we can only deduct that Lazarus lived a normal life and died of old age like other people.
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."
We are there now; much closer to the "last days" now, than they were back when Acts was written.
Other Bible references clearly saying, "anyone can perform miracles":
Jesus said: "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Jesus said: So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.