It’s almost inevitable that the christian will use miracles to back up his belief in Jesus. The pages of the new testament are filled with many miracles, be it healings, or exorcisms, transfigurations or food multiplication. In fact, miracles are supposed to be amongst the most significant things about their belief in Jesus, the resurrection being the most significant. Jesus is said to have told people to believe him because of his “works” i.e., his miracles. Even their man, Paul, said that if it wasn’t for the resurrection, he and his followers would be the most miserable of men.
Now this article isn’t a rebuttal to miracles. There’s nothing wrong with a miracle. But it questions the purpose of miracles.
I mean, think about it. If someone stands up and says “one of the reasons to believe in Jesus is because of the miracles that he did” or “the resurrection proves that Jesus was messiah or the son of God or God Himself” or “the virgin birth ensured his sinlessness” then a person is well within their rights to question if the miracle really has anything to do with what is claimed.
For example, let’s take the resurrection. Let’s pretend that Jesus really came alive after he was dead. Let’s pretend that certified doctors of the day checked his vitals and gave certification that this man was as dead as a dodo, and then after a few days, lo and behold, the dude is up and about walking around. Whether he claims God did it or he did it himself because he is supposedly God, the question has to be whether this resurrection validates anything.
First question: does the resurrection prove that he is messiah? Well, if we go through the Jewish Bible and look for passages that are clearly about the future promised anointed Davidic king, is one of his clear criterias that he should have a personal resurrection? The answer has to be no. There is not one passages that contextually is only referring to the future promised Davidic king which states that he must rise from the dead.
[ASIDE: I know people use songs like Psalm 16 to claim he did, but there is not one verse in that song which overtly says that it is specifically referring to the messiah. It’s just a song of and about the writer.]
So seeing that there is no verse that states that we will know that someone is the “messiah” if they should rise from the dead, then it is fair to conclude that the resurrection would prove nothing about his or his followers’ messiah claim.
Another question: does the resurrection prove that he was the son of God (whatever that’s supposed to mean)? Again we must ask whether the Jewish Bible states that we will know that someone is the son of God by the fact that that individual would rise from the grave. Once again, the answer is no. It is best to use God’s standards as shown in his Law and through his prophets to test someone’s claim, and the Jewish Bible tradition is what we have so … Once again, the resurrection doesn’t prove that a person is God’s son.
OK, one more question: would the resurrection prove that he is God Himself? Straight off the bat, the answer has to be no! Why? Because if we again use the standard of the Jewish Bible, God says that he lives forever and doesn’t change. So he can’t die in order to raise himself from the dead. But we can still ask the question: is it stated in the Jewish Bible that the way we can know a man is God is if he has a personal resurrection? Again, the answer is no.
So what exactly does the resurrection prove if we use God’s word in the Jewish Bible as a standard? Absolutely nothing, except that the guy can do great tricks. It doesn’t make him good or righteous, just a great magician. In fact, what is most notable is that the Jewish Bible doesn’t make miracle-making a criteria for accepting someone as messiah!
In fact the Jewish Bible invalidates using miracles alone as a sign that someone from God. The Torah states that even false prophets and magicians do miracles and signs. So miracles in and of themselves prove nothing.
Now I can sense what some may say. “But David, Jesus was already teaching and preaching with such authority so this miracle just adds to that.” Actually, whether Jesus was teaching and preaching correctly depends an awful lot on a previous knowledge of the Jewish Bible, which many christians throughout all of the history of the christian church lacked before they accepted the claims of Jesus. They even make much of the fact that Jesus recruited simple and unlearned fishermen who many times didn’t even understand Jesus’ claims a significant amount of times (which should make you question other things about their claims after he died).
It is in this ignorance that Jesus’ miracles are flaunted and advertised. The flashing lights of miracles which are meant to catch a person’s attention seem to detract from the actual substance of what is said to the point where people mainly see the miracles as if they mean something in and of themselves.
This is the main difference between the new testament and the Jewish Bible. Although the Jewish Bible has some miracles, the standard is obedience and knowledge of God’s law first. And that is what I love about Torah. For all the wondrous miracles, it’s not about the miracles. It’s about the content, the standard. Where the immature get caught up in the flashing lights of miracles, the Torah demands a standard and tells us to grow up and think about things, beyond those bright lights, and whether there is true substance.
Christians get caught up in resurrections and healings and transfigurations and forsake the standard. “Oh look, that dude did a big trick, said words that make sense to me, he must be God or the messiah.” That’s the thinking of idolatrous pagans who forsake thought and the standards of Torah, God’s law, for self-gratification.
OK, let’s me bring this all together. The resurrection of Jesus, whether it happened or not, proved nothing about Jesus’ messiah claim or his followers’ claim that he was divine. Miracles on a whole have nothing to do with whether someone’s messiah or not. Ignorance of Torah teachings and the criteria of what is a messiah and the use of miracles have been used to fool people into accepting Jesus, and once one devotes oneself to him it is hard to break out. Basically people are blinded by the lights and then hooked onto devotion. As a friend of mine, Terry Hayes said:
They are called fishers of men – you ever fished with a spoon a type of spinner bait? It is shinny and it spins in the water reflecting the light to attract the fish by its shinny reflection and when the fish bites, it has a hook on the end to snag the fish into the fisherman’s snare – its all trickery.
Then you have a popper, it makes a popping sound in the water. The sound attracts the fish and snares it. Then you have the baits that look like real fish but is artificial – you see the fisher of men throws their nets, and baits fish with artificial lures to snare and trick the fish into the fisherman’s well. This is totally what xtians do they cast their nets, make noises and uses flashy trickery or out right imitate the real so they can lure the unlearned and unsuspected into their boat. They are truly fisherman.