Did Jesus Perform Miracles?
The Gospels talk about Jesus performing miracles, but is there any reason to think that he actually did those things? Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that those were a result of legends that developed over time? What does history say?
Well, when we look into who Jesus actually was historically, there is actually good reason to think that he did things that many people thought were miracles. Now, notice I did not say that they were actually miracles. I only said that he did things that people thought were miracles.
There is actually good historical reason to think that Jesus did things that people thought were miracles. And, probably the best reason is that Jesus’ own enemies seemed to think that he was doing miracles. In Mark 3 (as well as Matt 12 and Luke 11), we find the religious leaders saying that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul, or Satan.
Think about that for a minute, and put yourself in the shoes of the people who were against Jesus. Jesus is doing things that are wowing everyone, and you want to stop the people from believing those things are legit. The best thing you could do would be to point out how they were fake, right? Then, Jesus would be exposed as a phony, and he wouldn’t be a problem anymore.
But, that’s not what they did. The religious leaders claimed that Jesus was doing these things by the power of Satan. In other words, they had to claim that the source of his power was bad. The only reason you would do that would be if he were doing something you couldn’t explain.
So, either Jesus was a magician who was way ahead of his time, or he was doing real miracles (whether by God’s power or Satan’s). No matter which of these options we might choose, we still end up with the fact that Jesus was doing things that many people thought were miracles. So, we cannot simply write these things off as legendary development.
That means that whoever you think the historical Jesus was, you have to include something about him being able to do things that many people thought were miracles.