Jesus’ Miracles, Signs of Divine Powers

As a last resort, non-believing critics try to refute Jesus’ nature miracles by dismissing them as myths or legends. However, the evidence is overwhelming. First, the acim youtube were done in groups of varying sizes, either the disciples (one can argue they are not objective) or a crowd of several thousands. Second, five of the nature miracles are recorded in multiple gospels, one even in all four gospels. Third, Jesus’ opponents never denied or even disputed his miracles.

They admitted Jesus performed miracles and tried to claim Jesus had teamed with the devil: “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons‘” (Matthew 12:24). Or they tried to destroy the evidence: “So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him” (John 12:10-11).

Among all miracles the astonishing feeding of a crowd of five thousand men plus women and children, likely a total of ten to twelve thousand or more people, stands out.

This may well be the most impressive nature miracle of all. Some see a symbolic link between Jesus as the “Bread of Life” and God’s gift of manna to the Israelites in the desert long before.

Second, it is the only miracle found in all four gospels. Each describes the events on that hillside near the Sea of Galilee: only five loaves and two fishes to feed the large gathering. Jesus broke the bread and the disciples handed out the food. There was enough for everybody and the leftovers filled twelve baskets. Comparing the four accounts is rewarding. As to be expected with eyewitness recollection, they all describe the same storyline, but each provides different details. For instance, Mark and John estimated “eight months of a man’s wages” would be necessary to feed all the people.

All gospels relate that the people were to be seated, but only Mark and Luke tell they sat in groups of “fifties and hundreds.” John mentions the Sea of Galilee, Mark and Matthew just mention a boat, and Luke adds that they are close to a town called Bethsaida. John also reveals it was a boy who had brought along the Barley loaves and fishes. John identified a number of disciples by name. Again there is a random pattern of details in the various gospels. Contrary to synoptic theory, Mark, supposed to be the briefest and simplest gospel, actually has the most extensive account with the most details. A total of four independent witness accounts to this remarkable event.

Third and last, this miracle is performed in the presence of five thousand men, not counting women and children. Nothing was done in secret. It was born out of compassion for the hungry crowd, but the number of witnesses is momentous. And at least three of the four gospels were written within a generation of this event, many of these witnesses were still alive as these accounts began to circulate. There were plenty of opportunities for someone to confirm or deny this miracle.

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