Did Jesus perform miracles because He was compassionate? This is the typical reason given by many. Possibly influenced by the popularity of the “social gospel” in modern Christianity, it’s often assumed that Jesus performed miracles purely as an act of compassion. Indeed, Matthew records at the feeding of the five thousand that Jesus “had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:141). Of course, Jesus was compassionate! But did Jesus perform miracles during His time on earth due to compassion?
How Scripture answers "Why did Jesus perform miracles?"
Jesus did have compassion seeing the crowd1, but it was because of their spiritual condition2, not their physical plight. In fact, in the full accounting of the feeding of the 5,0001,2,3, we see that Jesus refused to feed them a second time3 due to their unbelief.
Over and over again, we see Jesus perform miracles (or “signs and wonders”) for the express purpose of confirming the gospel message4,5,6,11,12. Specifically, the miracles confirmed that Jesus was who He said He was (the Son of God)4,5,7,8,9,10,11. When Jesus’ own explanations for His miracles don’t connect them to “healing the world“7,11, or when He doesn’t do “many miracles” when belief isn’t happening3,12, we must conclude Jesus didn’t do them based on any physical state. Rather, Jesus’ mission on earth was purely spiritual2,3,6,12.
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