Part 2: The Teachings, Works And Miracles Of Jesus Christ
Last month, we considered the unique character of Jesus Christ’s birth and personal life. We continue now with more remarkable points written about Him in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest teacher that human history has ever known. He taught us the truth about God and all about human destiny. Though His teaching was simple and clear, yet it was sublime, authoritative and pure. He spoke words of absolute truth, mixed with grace and mercy.
Jesus taught about God, that He loves man and wants to give him true happiness. God does not enjoy judging man; He wants rather to give him everlasting life. The apostle John wrote, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).
Jesus taught that God hears our prayers and that He knows all of our needs – physical as well as spiritual needs. He taught that God is our heavenly Father who loves His creatures; He even takes care of the birds and feeds them; and without His permission not one single hair can fall from our heads (Mt. 6:26, 10:29-31).
God welcomes the sinner who repents, just as a father welcomes his son who was lost (Lk. 15:11-32). “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:10).
He taught that in spite of God’s holiness and the fact that He hates sin, yet He is loving and merciful, calling sinners to repent so that He can forgive them. Then He gives them a new life with a nature that enables them to live a life of righteousness.
Jesus taught about man, that we have great value from God’s perspective. He also warned: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3). This means the lake of fire. But whoever repents and believes on Jesus Christ will have eternal life; he crosses over from death to life (Jn. 5:24).
He taught His followers, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who … persecute you” (Mt. 5:44). Be willing to sacrifice for the good of others. He also taught them to live a life of purity and honesty.
Jesus taught about Himself, that He came from heaven to seek and to save those who are lost (Lk. 19:10). God sent Him to be the “Savior of the world” (1 Jn. 4:14). He said about Himself: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness” (Jn. 8:12). He also said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6). He never turned away any sinners that were really sorry for their sins and believed on Him (Jn. 6:37).
Although He never sinned in thought, word or deed, He came to die for our sins. When evil men crucified Him He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Lk. 23:34).
Jesus often taught using parables, which are simple stories that have spiritual meanings. For example He told a story about a man who had two sons. The youngest son who rebelled and left home wasted his money on ungodly living. When he ran out of money and finally came to his senses, he felt bad about what he had done to his father and decided to return to his home. To his surprise, his father received him with great joy and welcomed him back. Jesus said that in the same way God welcomes sinners who repent and return to Him.
Teaching about the importance of listening to and obeying God’s Word, Jesus told a parable about a farmer sowing seed in his field. As he was planting, some of the seed fell on a path and the birds ate it up; some seed fell on rocky places and didn’t grow; but some fell in good soil and grew and produced a good crop. In the same way when we accept God’s Word (the seed) into our hearts and obey what it says, we also produce a good crop (life) for God (Mk. 4:1-20).
Jesus knew and taught about the future. He didn’t do it for money or for fame, but rather for the glory of God. He warned that just before He returns the second time there will be increasing earthquakes, epidemics and wars. It seems to us that His coming must be soon, although He never revealed exactly when it will be. The important thing is to be ready when He does come.
His Works and Miracles
About the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostle Peter said, “He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
The most important thing for Jesus was to do God’s will. In fact it was more important to Him than food. He said once, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn. 4:34). We often see Him spending much time in prayer – even all night long on certain occasions.
He also claimed to do only what pleased His Father (Jn. 8:29). No wonder God said about Him: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:17; 17:5). Jesus spent almost all of His time doing good. He comforted those who mourned. He reassured sinners of God’s love, telling them that He wasn’t anxious to judge them but rather that they should repent and believe in Him. He performed many wonderful miracles that no one else had ever done for the benefit of needy people.
Jesus healed the sick. He went through many villages and towns, teaching and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness (Mt. 9:35). In Mark 2:1-12 four friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus and He said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” This made the religious leaders angry because they said only God can forgive sins; of course, they didn’t believe Jesus was God. Then Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.” He was healed instantly and got up, picked up his couch and walked away. The people were amazed and praised God for what had happened. What did Jesus accomplish by doing this miracle: a very sick man was made well, people praised God for His mercy, and Christ’s ability to forgive sins was backed up by His power to heal. No ordinary man could forgive sins or heal a paralyzed man.
Jesus restored sight to the blind. It is a well-known fact that Jesus Christ is the only One who ever opened the eyes of blind people. One day He saw a man that was born blind and healed him. The blind man told everyone, “I was blind, but now I see!” (See John 9 for the whole story.)
Another time there was a blind man sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that Jesus was passing by he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people around him told him to be quiet, but Jesus heard him, came to where he was and restored the man’s eyesight (Mk. 10:46-52).
Jesus healed those with leprosy. People who had leprosy were not allowed to live with those who were healthy, according to the Law of Moses. They were to be isolated because of the contagious nature of this disease. One time He healed ten men who had leprosy all at the same time (Lk. 17:11-19). However, only one came back to thank Jesus for what He had done for him.
Jesus cast out demons. Many people were demon-possessed during Jesus’ earthly life. People suffered much from them, but with just a word Jesus expelled the demons. One day a demon–possessed man who lived in a cemetery met Jesus. He was a wild man and no one could tame him or even bind him with chains because he would always break loose. Jesus simply said, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Not just one demon but many came out of him. No longer wild, he was in his right mind. The man begged Jesus to go with Him but Jesus told him to go back home to his friends and tell them what great things the Lord had done for him. He obeyed (See Mk. 5:1-20).
Jesus raised the dead. His power wasn’t limited to healing sick people. He could even raise a dead person to life. One time He was entering a city called Nain with His disciples. Coming out of the city was a funeral procession. A widow’s only son had died. When He saw her crying, Jesus felt sorry for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He turned to the coffin and said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” The dead man sat up and began to speak. The people were amazed at His power and praised God. They recognized Him as a great prophet but He was much more than that. He was God who became a man! (Lk. 7:11-17).
Another time He raised up a man named Lazarus, who had been dead four days. This story is found in John 11.
Jesus has power over nature. One day Jesus was in a boat with His disciples and He fell asleep. Suddenly a windstorm came down on the lake and the boat was filling up with water. The disciples were frightened and awoke Jesus. He immediately rebuked the wind and the waves and they became calm. The disciples could hardly believe their eyes. “He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” they exclaimed (Lk. 8:25).
Another time Jesus was spending time in prayer and the disciples were crossing the lake in a boat. A strong wind was blowing against them while they were rowing. Jesus knew they were in trouble so He simply walked to them on top of the water. Of course, the disciples were frightened but when He got closer they realized that it was Jesus. When Jesus stepped into the boat, the wind suddenly died down. The disciples were amazed and worshiped Him exclaiming, “Truly You are the Son of God!” (Mt. 14:22-33).
Jesus fed thousands of hungry people. Great crowds often came to listen to Jesus preach. Once they were in a place were there was no food available. He said to His disciples, “I have compassion on the multitude … because they have nothing to eat.” His disciples told Him they only had seven loaves and some fish. Jesus took this food, gave thanks for it and had His disciples pass it out to the crowd. The Bible records that there were four thousand men plus women and children there! Now we know that seven loaves of bread and a few fish could never feed that many people. But all the people ate and were filled and the disciples gathered seven large baskets of leftovers (Mt. 15:32-39). Another time Jesus fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish (Jn. 6:5-14).
These are only a few of the miracles that the Lord Jesus Christ did when He lived on earth, and not all His wonderful works were written down according to John. “But” he writes, “these were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (Jn. 20:30-31).
In our last installment next month, we will consider His death and resurrection. Along with that, we will see the importance of faith in Christ Jesus.
By Rafique (edited)