This last quarter of 2019, I am teaching a Wednesday night series of classes on Jesus and His Miracles. The series is entitled The Wonder Worker, with the subtitle of “The Miracles of Jesus… and What They Really Tell Us About Him.”
Having been a preacher and teacher for almost 50 years now, I unconsciously draw on a large amount of previous reading, study, lessons taught and messages heard which have impacted my thinking. But I also have collected some other resources, old and new, to use as I prepare these classes. Here are some I would recommend, though, as with all works of mere men, there are surely things in them with which I might disagree.
The Work No One Else Did, The Miracles of Jesus, 2019 Florida College Annual Lectures (printed), Florida College Press, Temple Terrace, Florida. © 2019. Reading this series of lectures recently presented at the school where I received my Bible training was my inspiration to prepare the study series I am now teaching. I especially was moved by the chapter on the resurrection of Jesus.
A Harmony of the Words & Works of Jesus Christ, by J. Dwight Pentecost, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. © 1981. Purchased at a recent used book sale in our school library, this is invaluable in keeping track of which stories and events involving miracles in the Gospels are either parallels or separate events.
Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith, by Jon Bloom, Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois. © 2013. While this book covers a number of stories in both Old and New Testaments, the chapters devoted to Jesus’ miracles make it well worth the purchase. Take for example this quote from Chapter 26 describing the man born blind in John 9.
“THERE HE SAT, THE scum of society, on the footstep of heaven on earth. A sorry piece of work begging the condescending mercy of pious passersby going in and out of the temple. Enough mercy today and he could eat. This man was blind. He had been born that way. And it was his own fault. As a fetus this man had sinned in the womb against the Almighty. Either that or his parents had sinned and brought a curse upon him. Whichever it was, he was suffering a just punishment. Those who had been righteous fetuses walked by and sometimes dropped a coin in his hand. This would merit them even more divine favor…
All those years the man and his parents had labored under a perception that God had brought his judgment upon them for an unknown reason. All those years they had borne other people’s contempt. Imagine what the man’s childhood must have been like. Imagine the insults he endured, the indignities, the injuries, the poverty, the loneliness, and the isolation from other children. How many hours did he weep? How many pleas for mercy did he pray? No hope for an education. No hope for marriage. He had one vocational option: begging. His life had been very hard.”
The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles, by Jared C. Wilson, Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois. © 2014. Perhaps not as deep a read as some of the other references, this is still a good presentation of how the miracles connect to the deity of Jesus.
All the Miracles in the Bible, by Herbert Lockyer, Zondervan Academic, Wheaton, Illinois. © 1988, Revised. An old reliable resource saving me a great deal of research and cross-checking in creating a comprehensive list of the miracles of Jesus (and all the other ones in the Bible as well).
“What Does the Bible Say About Miracles,” by Wayne Jackson, an article on www.christiancourier.com. An extended and very useful discussion of what constitutes a real miracle, the purposes that they served in the Bible, and some discussion about modern claims of miracle working.
Now there are numerous others books, articles and websites I have accessed in my study, but these are at the top of my list. As an aside, I would mention commentaries on the various Gospels written by John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe, and William Barclay. In these three authors are three very different approaches to the study of the Gospels, which I feel makes my personal study more well-rounded.
Our image of the blind man in John 9 is from the collection of www.freebibleimages.org which were provided by the Lumo Project.