I was just wondering...
Are the miracles of Jesus real facts of history?
What is a miracle? One source defines a miracle as a “divine intervention into, or interruption of, the regular course of the world that produces a purposeful but unusual event that would not have occurred otherwise” (Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks, When Skeptics Ask, [Wheaton: Victor Books, 1990], p. 76). This does not mean that miracles are a violation of natural law. Rather, they have a cause which transcends nature.
Are miracles possible? Yes, if God exists. Obviously, you cannot believe miracles have happened without believing that a being powerful enough to do miracles exists. Besides, natural laws do not tell us what must happen all the time, only what happens under certain circumstances or at certain times. If there is an all-powerful God outside the universe who can change circumstances and conditions in the universe, then miracles are certainly possible. Furthermore, the timing and frequency of miracles is then God’s choice. He has chosen to intervene in nature at certain times for a purpose. One of those times was during the earthly life of Jesus to authenticate Him as God.
Because God doesn’t choose to do a miracle in my experience, then, it doesn’t mean miracles aren’t possible.
But are miracles credible? Since most people don’t experience a miracle, some people conclude that anyone who claims to have experienced a miracle is not credible. The error in logic here is that this view equates evidence with probability, that is, you can’t believe Jesus’ claim to have raised the dead because most people aren’t raised.
Under this view, you could never believe someone’s claim to have won the lottery because most people don’t win. In contrast, belief in miracles should be based on an open investigation of the eyewitness accounts of historical facts, not probabilities. They are events—and events can be investigated using legal evidence to determine their credibility, whether affirmative or negative.
To speak quite frankly, sometimes Christians are rather careless in their reference to “miracles” happening in their life and circumstances. Often, a miracle as defined above is not what is meant nor has one occurred. However, at times there are reported events even today which when investigated factually, prove to fit the definition of a miracle.
Furthermore, every person who has repented of their sin and confessed their faith in Jesus Christ has a miracle of new life created within them (John 1:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This experience affirms for them that miracles are not only possible, but actually happen today.