What is a miracle? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency” and its origin is Middle English via Old French from Latin miraculum “object of wonder”, from mirari “to wonder”, from mirus “wonderful” (https://www.lexico.com/definition/miracle).
The Easton’s Bible Dictionary lists the four Greek words in the New Testament that are principally used to designate miracles (https://biblehub.com/topical/m/miracle.htm):
- Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matthew 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
- Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
- Dunameis, “might works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Romans 15:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:9); of a new and higher power.
- Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20, 36).
Among the miracles performed by Jesus Christ (as recorded in the Gospels) were the casting out of demons from people; the healing of the sick from all kinds of diseases; the restoration of muscles, nerves, limbs, hearing, speech and sight; the stilling of a storm; the feeding of thousands by multiplying food; and the raising of the dead (see below under the heading “Scripture” for some examples from the Gospel of Mark chapters 1-8).
It is common today for modern people well-educated in science to disbelieve the supernatural, the unseen world and the possibility of miracles. The Christian faith, they say, is unscientific, irrational and a leap into the dark. But, as someone rightly pointed out to the contrary, believing in God is “a step into the light”. With faith comes understanding of ultimate reality. Such understanding will continue to elude us if we continue to exclude the possibility of miracles. You see, miracles are possible only if the God who created all things exists!
I believe in miracles. Because I believe in God.
Written by Ps Ivan Ho
The resources below have been specially put together to help you in your journey of thinking about miracles and the God of miracles. We encourage you to read, listen, reflect on and discuss with others who are likewise seeking to know the truth. May God bless you in your journey ahead.
ARTICLES & VIDEOS
“Can the Modern Man Believe in Miracles?”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBv-Ge668cc&gl=SG
(Pastor and church history professor, Andy Davis, shares his view in this 2-min video.)
“Am I a Christian, Pastor Timothy Keller?”: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/opinion/sunday/pastor-am-i-a-christian.html
(In this interview, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof questions Rev Dr Timothy Keller on the issue of miracles versus science, and whether a 21st century person can be a Christian and yet doubt miracles like the virgin birth or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pastor Keller’s answers are biblically insightful and intellectually significant for further reflection by both believers and unbelievers.)
“C.S. Lewis on Miracles”, by Art Lindsley: https://www.cslewisinstitute.org/webfm_send/633
(Renown Christian apologist Dr Lewis wrote the book, Miracles, providing philosophical arguments against naturalism. A summary of those arguments is set out in this article written by Dr Art Lindsley, a Senior Fellow of the C.S. Lewis Institute.)
“Miracles: Is Belief in the Supernatural Irrational?”, by John Lennox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kz4OgXsN1w
(Oxford Mathematics Professor John Lennox deals with this topic with persuasive rational arguments and humorous wit in this video recording of an 80-minute lecture he presented before an audience consisting of students and faculty at Harvard University.)
Miracles Symposium, by Craig Keener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn73J9A0SnU&feature=youtu.be&t=194
(New Testament scholar Dr Keener is arguably the leading authority on the subject of miracles, having done meticulous research spanning many countries and written a wide-ranging two-volume book, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts. His monumental study, which uses a multidisciplinary approach, is said to be the most thorough current defence of the credibility of the miracle reports in the Gospels and Acts. In this 45-minute lecture, Dr Keener presents some of his research.)
“The Resurrection Argument That Changed a Generation of Scholars”, by Gary Habermas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_Db4RwZ_M
(Christian apologist Dr Habermas is a leading authority on the subject of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The compelling evidence for Christ’s resurrection has convinced many skeptics over the past decades of the reliability of the biblical account. In this 80-minute lecture, Dr Habermas shares some of his research on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.)
“Miracles Then and Now”, by David Wenham: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/article/miracles-then-and-now/
(In this well-written theological journal article, Professor David Wenham discusses the topic of miracles in Bible times and today, citing numerous Scriptural references and making balanced conclusions.)
“Costi Hinn Exposes the Most Abusive Kind of False Teaching Today”: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/podcasts/tgc-podcast/costi-hinn-exposes-abusive-kind-false-teaching-today/
(In this 40-minute podcast by The Gospel Coalition, Pastor Costi Hinn exposes the false teaching of the prosperity gospel that is deceiving many people today with promises of health and wealth. Being a nephew of Benny Hinn, Costi had served in his uncle’s ministry for years before being convicted by God’s Word that what they were teaching people and doing to get people to donate money was wrong and against biblical teaching.)
The Testimony of Jason Ong and Judith Halim:
- https://saltandlight.sg/faith/if-you-heal-me-hallelujah-if-you-dont-heal-me-also-hallelujah-jason-ong-judith-halim/ (Part 1)
- https://saltandlight.sg/faith/i-am-moved-by-the-tears-of-your-wife-i-will-heal-you-jesus-told-this-dying-man/ (Part 2)
The Miracle of Sarah Lyn:
- https://saltandlight.sg/faith/the-resurrection-of-four-year-old-sarah-lyn-a-fathers-experience-of-the-life-giving-word/ (article)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9SNes47otE (video re-enactment, with Chinese subtitles)
“Uncertainty to Certainty”, by Rev Edmund Chan: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1558
“The Miracle Within”, by Rev Tan Kay Kiong: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/308
(Pastor Kay Kiong clearly and passionately expounds Ephesians 1:13-14 and explains that the greatest miracle that can happen to a person is what God will do within that person when he or she believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.)
“At the Cross (Love Ran Red)”, by Chris Tomlin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zev5tHjCB_s
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, by Kathryn Scott: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dISDGtEL00s
“Thank You for Loving Me”, by Tommy Walker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJnIW9ggi1s