The importance of Jesus’ miracles in the book of Mark

In the biblical book of Mark (an abbreviation of The Gospel According to Mark), Mark records many miracles that Jesus did. Most of these miracles were healing certain people of their illnesses or disabilities. Jesus used miracles to help others and to reinforce the message He was preaching.

Not everyone appreciated the miracles Jesus did. The Pharisees, who were religious rulers of the day, criticized him for doing miracles on the Sabbath day, among other things. The Sabbath day was a holy day of rest observed by the Jews. On the Sabbath, people would rest from work and would worship God. When Jesus healed sick and disabled people on the Sabbath, the Pharisees criticized him because they considered it to be work. They also burdened the people with many detailed rules they made for the Sabbath in addition to the law of Moses. They didn’t care about the people Jesus was helping; they cared about following the rules they had made for themselves and their interpretation of the law.

One example of this is the account Mark gives of the man with the withered hand. In the account, Jesus went into a synagogue on the Sabbath and saw a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees watched Jesus to see if he would heal the man, so that they could accuse him of his actions. Jesus said, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?” This silenced the Pharisees, and they said nothing. Then Jesus looked at them with anger because of their hard hearts, and then healed the man. As a result, the Pharisees teamed up with their enemies, the Herodians, and consulted with them on how they could kill Jesus.

Jesus also did many other miracles that were not miracles of healing. In Mark chapter 6, Jesus was preaching to a large crowd of people. In this crowd were 5000 men, not counting women and children. Jesus commanded his disciples to feed them, but they only had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus blessed the food and told them to give it out anyway. They divided the food among the crowd, and all of them ate enough and were filled. After they had finished eating, the disciples gathered twelve baskets of loaves and fish of leftovers. Jesus also was recorded calming the sea in a boat with his disciples, curing a man of leprosy, curing a paralysed man, and healing the daughter of the chief of the synagogue.

Jesus’ miracles attracted large crowds, who either wanted to hear his teaching or to get healed from their ailments by Jesus. Jesus didn’t do all of his miracles in the dark. Many of his miracles were done in the open, with thousands of people watching Him. If Mark was trying to fake Jesus’ miracles in his gospel, then many people could have come up and said, “That never happened!” and his whole case would have been disregarded. The Hebrew people in his time obviously believed that miracles were possible. Jesus is an actual historical figure, and few scholars today would say that he didn’t exist. Jesus wanted his miracles to support his message, and in this he was successful.

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