In the Bible mighty works, miracles, wonders and signs are often linked together. This is because God’s miracles are not merely extraordinary events, but extraordinary events with a meaning. They reveal something of the power and purposes of God (Exod 7:3; Deut 4:34; 7:19; Josh 24:17; John 2:11; Acts 2:22,43; Heb 2:4). Jesus’ miracles of raising the dead, healing the sick and casting out demons were clear evidence that the kingdom of God had come (Matt 11:2-6; 12:28; see KINGDOM OF GOD), and that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God (John 2:11; 4:54; 20:30-31). Yet many of the Jews refused to accept the evidence.

They wanted Jesus to perform some special sign as added proof that he was the Messiah who had come from God. This was something Jesus consistently refused to do. The only sign to be given them would be the sign of Jesus’ resurrection, by which the Father would show clearly that Jesus was his Son (Matt 12:38-40; 16:1-4; John 2:18-25; see MESSIAH; MIRACLES). After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, his apostles did the same sorts of signs and miracles as Jesus himself had done previously. The power of Jesus now worked through them, enabling them to continue the work of Jesus by proclaiming the kingdom of God and establishing his church in the world (Acts 2:43; 3:6; 4:30; 5:12; 8:12-13; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4). The enemy of Christ also uses signs and wonders, but he does so in order to deceive people and lead them to destruction (Matt 24:24; 2 Thess 2:9-11; Rev 13:11-14).

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