Miracles Show the Coming of the Kingdom?
Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III
Jesus’ deeds—especially his miracles—offer additional insights into how Jesus viewed himself. It’s not the fact that Jesus performed miracles that illuminates his self-understanding (especially since his own disciples, but what’s important is how he interpreted his own miracles.
Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). He’s not like other miracle workers who do amazing things and then life proceeds as it always has. No—to Jesus, his miracles were a sign indicating the coming of the kingdom of God. They were a foretaste of what the kingdom is going to be like. And that sets Jesus apart.
Jesus saw his miracles as bringing about something unprecedented—the coming of God’s dominion. He didn’t merely see himself as a worker of miracles; he saw himself as the one in whom and through whom the promises of God come to pass. That’s a not-too-thinly-veiled claim of transcendence.
—Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III
Taken from “What Did Jesus Understand About His Own Miracles?” by The Case for Christ Study Biblefrom Zondervan (used by permission).