Read through the miracles of Jesus and what will you discover? Most times, Jesus was addressing a specific need. That was true in Bible times; It’s still true today. Jesus performs miracles that meets specific needs, and that is usually as far as we go in examining His motives. However, if that were His primary motive, it would be fair to expect Him to perform a lot more miracles. After all, there are a lot more needs.
So then—if meeting needs is not Jesus’ primary motive for performing miracles—what is? Could there be a deeper reason? Yes, there is:
The primary reason for Jesus to perform a miracle is to validate His identity and His message.
This can be seen in the Gospel of John: “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name” (John 20:30-31). John tells us of the miracles of Jesus so that we will understand who He really is and will believe in His life-saving message.
Earlier in the same gospel, John wrote, “This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). Referring to the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding banquet. John explains that Jesus did not perform the miracle only to save the bride and groom some embarrassment; He did it to reveal His glory. Even though it was performed at the request of His mother, that miracle confirmed His identity and solidified His relationship with His disciples. They believed Him and trusted Him after witnessing this miracle.
The character of Jesus is revealed to you through His miracles. Plus, your faith in Him can be strengthened by them. Thus, whenever you read about one of His miracles or experience one personally, you would be wise to ask these two questions:
“What does this miracle reveal about Jesus?”
“What does this miracle say to me today?”
This does not mean that Jesus is disinterested in meeting needs through the miraculous. Indeed, He cares deeply for you and about what is happening in your life. So when you have a need in your life, turn to Jesus as your first resort rather than your last. Invite Him to step in. Begin to expect miracles to happen. Though you hold no power over Jesus and He is under no obligation to you, He does care for you and does respond with compassion.
Jesus Himself explained this in Matthew 7: “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:9-11). Jesus—who is God—loves you more than you could ever comprehend. He wants to bless you, and He may be waiting eagerly for you to ask for His help.
When you do ask, remember to be persistent in your request. The Old Testament Book of Daniel (chapter 10) teaches that sometimes the answer to prayer is on its way but is simply delayed. In the New Testament, Jesus Himself encouraged persistence in praying for needs (Luke 18). Many times, He is ready to perform a miracle but is either never asked or the person praying is not persistent.
Whatever your immediate need is, remember that Jesus has already performed the greatest miracle of all. He traded hopelessness for hope. He exchanged sinfulness with forgiveness. He took the spiritually dead and He provided new life. Then He offered the benefits of this miracle to each and every person.
If you are a Christ-follower, then you have already experienced this incredible miracle. If not, then He is waiting to apply that miracle to your life. Choose to follow Him from this moment on, and experience the miracle of rebirth that He has waiting for you.