Confirming the Message
Week 2, in a multi-part series
By Buddy Dawson
Through a supernatural encounter with Jesus Christ and faith to receive Him, I had become what John 3: 3 calls “born again.” At this point, I knew nothing about His Word and even less about Him. I had no previous Bible teaching and very little time logged in church pews.
After that encounter, miraculously I began to make up for lost time, spending hours in His Word, devouring Christian books and listening insatiably to recorded teachings. Since I had no previous doctrine to influence my thinking, I could approach His Word with no preconceived ideas.
The first thing that caught my attention was the miraculous signs and wonders that Jesus and His disciples continually performed. Far from being some smoke and mirror sideshow, His miracles were an integral part of His ministry, and their implications still resound to this day. Even a casual reading of the four gospels reveals that these miracles drew multitudes, they swarmed Him continually.
I believe it would be safe to say that without the miracles, signs and wonders, Jesus would not have had any public ministry at all. The signs and wonders also confirmed to some that He was who He said He was. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” (John 4:48 NKJV).
Perhaps just as importantly, the miracles demonstrated the true nature of God. Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14: 8,9 NKJV).
The nation of Israel for decades had known only the Law of Moses. All they knew about their God and heavenly Father was judgment and wrath. They had never seen His true nature, therefore they could not recognize Him when He was in their midst. Jesus demonstrated the true nature of God through His hands-on, unrelenting compassion and love.
“… How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38 NKJV).
Even to a new believer like me, it became obvious in scripture that miracles, signs and wonders were a vital part of the ministry of Jesus. He then commissioned His 12 disciples to carry on that same ministry (Matthew 10:8). The 70 were later sent out with the same ministry mandate (Luke 10:17) and last but not least, all who believed on Him were to take these attesting signs into the world to confirm their message (Mark 16:17-20).
After a careful study of the Book of Acts, it was clear that the New Testament Church of Jesus Christ grew and flourished through constant demonstrations of His power and love. Not only administered through the hands of the Apostles, but through ordinary men like Steven and Phillip (Acts 6:8, Acts 8:6).
Buddy and Maude Dawson are the founders and directors of the River of Life Worship Center, 3504 Carolina Beach Rd., Wilmington, NC. firstname.lastname@example.org