The Miracles Jesus Didn’t Perform
While Jesus walked on the face of this earth, He performed many miracles. In fact, He did so many wonderful things that the apostle John said that he supposed the world itself could not even contain the books that could be written about them (John 20:25). The Scriptures do record many specific miracles of Jesus in order that we might know that He truly is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:30-31). But, not only can we learn wonderful things about Jesus through the miracles He did, we can also learn great things about Jesus through the miracles He did not perform. Consider a few examples.
1) Jesus did not turn stones into bread. Jesus had been led into the wilderness by the Spirit “to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). During His time in the wilderness, He fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:2). Afterward, he was hungry. Then, Matthew 4:3 says that the “tempter came to Him” and said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” As the Son of God, Jesus could have done this. But, in doing so, He would have given into the will of the tempter and failed to fulfill the purposes of God. Furthermore, Jesus did not perform miracles on earth to fulfill His own selfish purposes (i.e. like seeking physical food). Instead, His miracles were used to glorify God and bring about faith in those who saw and heard about them. Neither of these would be accomplished by turning these stones into bread. So, even though Jesus could have performed this miracle, He responded, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
2) Jesus did not call legions of angels to deliver Him. Throughout Jesus’ life, He knew that He was going to die – and how He would die (see Matthew 16:21-23). Whenever the time for His betrayal and arrest was drawing near, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed fervently to the Father that there would be another way to accomplish His purposes. But, if no other way would be provided, He would do the will of the Father (see Luke 22:39-46). No other way was provided. He would have to suffer and die in order to fulfill God’s plan of redemption. Whenever Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and His enemies arrested Him, Peter wanted to fight. However, Jesus instructed him to put his sword away, saying, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53)? So, even though Jesus could have performed a miracle to be delivered from suffering and death, He was focused on fulfilling God’s plan of salvation (Matthew 26:56).
3) Jesus did not take Himself off the cross. After being tortured prior, Jesus had nails driven through His hands and His feet, affixing Him to the cross. There He hung – suspended between Heaven and earth, struggling for each breath and awaiting His death. During this time, people were watching Him die and mocking Him. “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross’” (Matthew 27:39-40). The chief priests, scribes, and elders joined in the mocking, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:41-43). Even the robbers being crucified next to Him joined this mockery. Yet, Jesus gave Himself to die. Even though Jesus could have performed a miracle to take Himself off the cross, He loved you enough to die for you.
Yes, Jesus performed many great miracles that demonstrate Him to be the Son of God. But, there is also power in knowing that Jesus did not use His miracles for self-fulfilling purposes. His love for the Father and for all of mankind had precedence over His own desires!