The claim that Jesus rose from the dead is a central truth in Christianity. Much has been published and said about the evidence for this miracle. But what about today? When one reads the Bible, it is chalked full of miracles. This naturally causes one to aks “Why don’t we see miracles today?” While I am highly skeptical of some claims of miracles (such as the miracle healers at healing revivals, which have been demonstrably debunked as charlatans) there actually is solid evidence for miracles happening today. Today’s post explores the question: do miracles happen today?
Sean McDowell has recently spoken to this questions on this video:
The peer-reviewed medical journal article (pictured below) discussed in McDowell’s video is titled the “Case Report of Gastroparesis Healing: 16 years of a Chronic Syndrome Resolved After Proximal Intercessory Prayer.” The abstract for the article states:
For 16 years he was completely dependent on j-tube feeding. In November 2011, he experienced proximal-intercessory-prayer (PIP) at a church and felt an electric shock starting from his shoulder and going through his stomach. After the prayer experience, he was unexpectedly able to tolerate oral feedings. The g- and j-tube were removed four months later and he did not require any further special treatments for his condition as all symptoms had resolved. Over seven years later, he has been free from symptoms.
Craig Keener’s two-volume work titled Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Account (also mentioned in McDowell’s video) describes that “hundreds of millions of people today claim to have experienced miracles. . . . many miracle accounts throughout history and from contemporary times are best explained as genuine divine acts, lending credence to the biblical miracle reports.”
A video of Keener presenting on the topic of miracles in general can be found in the video below. He talks about modern miracles beginning at minute 9:15:
A good (and more accessible book in size) about miracles has been written recently by Lee Strobel: The Case for Miracles: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Supernatural. Strobel begins the book interviewing the skeptic Michael Shermer and then proceeds to interview Craig Keener as well as experimental particle physicists Dr. Michael G. Strauss and Detective J. Warner Wallace.
It seems evident that miracles can occur and do occur today. One more case to point out: Duane Miller
While Pastoring a church in 1990, Duane Miller lost his voice to an ordinary flu virus. Over the next 3 years he saw some 63 specialists plus their teams, over 300 professionals, who arrived at the conclusion that he would never speak normally again, and, the raspy whisper he had would not last past another 18 months.
GOD had another plan…
Given the evidence of miracles, one might still ask, “why don’t we see miracles happen as frequently as we read them in the Bible?” This question needs to be answered in light of the context of miracles in the Bible.
There are approximately 250 miracles recorded in the Bible. When we read them, it seems that every time someone turns around there is another miracle being recorded. But if the Bible covers about a 10,000 year time period, that is about a miracle every 40 years. On top of that miracles tended to be grouped around three periods of time: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, and in the time of Christ and the apostles. None of those periods lasted longer than a hundred years. There is a reason they tended to be grouped in those time frames:
Miracles Confirm the Message
Those three time periods that miracles are grouped around involve extraordinary messengers of God. Each of those periods was an outpouring of God’s revelation such as the law to Moses for the children of Israel and Jesus as the Son of God. The healing of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12 demonstrates this principle of the miracle confirming the message. Most remember that Jesus healed the paralyzed man when he was lowered to Jesus through the roof of the home, when in actuality Jesus said to him, “son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus went back to teaching and it wasn’t until the teachers of the law said, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” It was then that Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 1 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.
Notice that the reason Jesus performed the miracle was to confirm that he had the authority to forgive sins which only God could do. Miracles confirm the message. A think that is true today as well.