By David Faust
Jesus’ actions backed up his words. He said, “I am the bread of life,” and he fed the 5,000 to prove it. He said, “I am the good shepherd,” and he laid down his life for his sheep. He said, “I am the way,” and his direction never wavered. He said, “I am the truth,” and he never lied. He said, “I am the life,” and he rose from the dead. He said, “I am the true vine,” and his blood flowed like scarlet juice from crushed grapes.
Acts 2:22 says Jesus was “accredited by God . . . by miracles, wonders and signs.” His miracles weren’t wild, random events—mere magic tricks to impress the crowd. They were purposeful acts intentionally designed to establish his credentials as the Son of God.
John’s Gospel highlights how the Lord backed up his words by performing “signs” to demonstrate that his messianic claims were true. Turning water into wine was “the first of the signs” that “revealed his glory” (John 2:11). Nicodemus told Jesus, “no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (3:2). John summed up his Gospel by explaining that the signs the Master performed were written so “you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20:30, 31).
John chapter 9 tells about one of Jesus’ most impressive signs: healing a man who was born blind.
This miracle was a sign of Jesus’ sovereignty over science. The sense of sight is a marvel, requiring complex interactions of retina, lens, pupil, optic nerve, rods and cones to respond to light and distinguish colors and shapes. In his book Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin admitted, “To suppose that the eye
. . . could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Yet he insisted that his naturalistic theories could explain the design of the eye. To me it’s more reasonable to believe that the all-wise God designed our marvelous eyes; and the one who created them has the power to heal them as Jesus did with the man born blind. Science brings us many benefits, but it must bow at the feet of King Jesus.
Healing the man born blind also was a sign of Jesus’ sympathy for the suffering. The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They sought to assign blame; Jesus sought to bring blessing. In an out-of-focus world blinded and broken by sin, it’s not always possible to understand why a particular person suffers. The Lord insisted, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned . . . but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (9:1-3).
Most of all, the blind man’s healing was a sign of Jesus’ status as the Savior. He said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (9:5). What better way could he prove he’s the light of the world than by opening the eyes of a man who had never seen the light of day?
Jesus’ deeds always backed up his words. He demonstrated unfailing integrity, and a world groping in darkness could use a lot more of that.
1. What do you consider Jesus’ most significant miracle?
2. Do your actions back up what you believe about Jesus?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
The Lookout’s Bible Reading Plan for November 10, 2013
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
2 Peter 2:17–22
2 Peter 3:1–9
2 Peter 3:10–18
Ezekiel 20, 21
1 John 1:1–4
Ezekiel 22, 23
1 John 1:5–10
1 John 2:1–11
Ezekiel 27, 28