This week we read about Jesus’ ministry in the Gospel of Mark. This is a review of the significance of some of the miracles he performed during his ministry. The Bible provides many accounts of Jesus publicly performing miracles but it is speculated that there were far more that are not recorded in the Bible.
The book of Mark mentions mostly miracles involving the healing of the sick. According to Mark Jesus had the power to heal all kinds of ailment and disease. One of the most remarkable things about this is the instantaneous effect. By doing very simple things Jesus could heal someone who had been sick for their whole life. No one who was there could deny this kind of miracle because those with infirmities have been beggars their whole lives presumably which would make them known in the town. To see someone lame or blind restored to health after years of bearing that burden would be more than shocking to the witnesses.
Yet another reason these healing miracles are remarkable is that in that day and time the medical world must have been extremely primitive. Most of these serious conditions were considered hopeless and the patient would be resigned to bearing that curse for the remainder of their life. The fact, that Jesus could simply lift his hands and cure something like that is incredibly significant.
Jesus did not only heal people, however. He performed many other feats which are out of the power of ordinary mankind. Twice He took just a few loaves and fishes and fed thousands of people by multiplying the amount of food to go around. This kind of miracle touches not one but a multitude of individuals in a very real, tangible way that would leave a lifelong impression. Mark emphasizes that Jesus did not perform his miracles in secrecy. He constantly had a crowd surrounding him.
Another time Jesus performed a different kind of miracle in the presence of his disciples by walking on water. Clearly, this is not a normal everyday thing but it is different from the other miracles in that it doesn’t seem as intentional or groundbreaking. I think Jesus did this simply to test the faith of his disciples.
Jesus was not always appreciated for his miracles. Naturally, He had enemies and skeptics as all nonconformists do. One famous miracle is the healing of the man with the unclean spirit which proved to be pretty controversial. This man had been living among graves high up in the hills far from the people nearby for they were all afraid of him. He was afflicted by not one but a legion of demons. Jesus calmly goes out to speak to him and offers to rid him of his demons. The man begs that Jesus throw the demons into a nearby swarm of pigs. The demons drive the pigs over the cliff to their death. The owners of the pigs have just lost a fortune and their livelihood and they beg Jesus to leave their coasts.
A somewhat surprising problem Jesus runs into during his ministry is the skepticism of his family and friends. Jesus can’t perform miracles in his own town because everyone He grew up with sees him as a simple carpenter. They don’t have the kind of faith in Him you would expect because his ministry only began when he was thirty but they knew Him long before that. He heals a few of the sick in his hometown but cannot spread his ministry there because of their lack of faith.