Even though Jesus had gone above and beyond in completing the messianic miracles, they didn’t like him and still rejected him personally. Ignoring the miracles Jesus was doing, they kept asking him for a sign to prove he was their messiah. Jesus gives them a proof truly worthy of the messiah. Giving the Jews a proof far beyond what they had ever imagined, Jesus gives them the sign of Jonah. Knowing the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him, Jesus said they could kill him, then he would rise back to life after three days and nights in the grave had been completed. Once resurrected Jesus showed himself publicly, proving he is their messiah.
Matthew 12:38-40 International Children’s Bible
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, “Teacher, we want to see you work a miracle as a sign.” 39 Jesus answered, “Evil and sinful people are the ones who want to see a miracle for a sign. But no sign will be given to them. The only sign will be what happened to the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights.
John 2:18-21 New English Translation
18 So then the Jewish leaders responded, “What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?” 19 Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20 Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?” 21 But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.
1 Corinthians 15:5-8 New Life Version
5 Christ was seen by Peter. After that, the twelve followers saw Him. 6 After that, more than 500 of His followers saw Him at one time. Most of them are still here, but some have died. 7 After that, James saw Christ. Then all the missionaries saw Him. 8 Last of all, Christ showed Himself to me as if I had been born too late.
Jesus not only completed all the messianic miracles the Jewish leaders had devised for the messiah to perform, he also completed the Jonah miracle. Wanting his salvation message taught to gentiles, God blinded the Jews so they couldn’t recognise Jesus. This was all part of God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. In order for humans to receive eternal life, Jesus had to die for mankind’s sins. Jesus knew there was no other way and willingly followed the plans the scriptures laid out.
Who blinded the Jews to Jesus? Who’s responsible for them not recognising Jesus? Now that they are dead, when and how can they come to accept Jesus as their saviour? When God stops people from recognising Jesus, has he also kept them from eternal salvation before they even had the chance to know Jesus?
The fourth messianic miracle was completed with Jesus’ 33rd recorded miracle. When Jesus raised Lazerus from the dead, the Jewish authorities were completely overwhelmed by his miracles and lepers to be confirmed healed. They could plainly see Jesus performed many miraculous signs, but were afraid the people would follow him and they would lose control of their country and temple. The Jewish authorities found Jesus worthy of death when he forgave the sins of the paralized man, now they sought a way to kill him and actively plotted his death.
John 11:45-54 New Living Translation
45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. 46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.” 49 Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! 50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” 51 He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. 52 And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world. 53 So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. 54 As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.
Jesus did not want the Jewish leaders to accept his messianic miracles. He deliberately said and did things that ensured they would reject him. When healing the paralized man, Jesus knew the Jews would call him a blasphemer if he said the man’s sins were forgiven. Knowing the Jews needed to reject him so that the scripture could be fulfilled, Jesus made a similar statement before the Chief Priest. His words would condemn him to death. Why was Jesus determined to die?
Mark 14:61-64 Common English Bible
61 But Jesus was silent and didn’t answer. Again, the high priest asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed one?” 62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Human One sitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds.” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need any more witnesses? 64 You’ve heard his insult against God. What do you think?” They all condemned him. “He deserves to die!”
Jesus had his third messianic miracle rejected because the leaders wouldn’t believe the man who was healed or his parents. Sometimes when you are not heard you have to speak a bit louder. Jesus does this by re-performing his first two messianic miracles. Raising the stakes with miracle twenty seven, Jesus heals a demon possessed boy that is both mute and deaf.
Mark 9:25 Evangelical Heritage Version
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit. “You mute and deaf spirit,” he said, “I command you to come out of him and never enter him again!”
Covering his bases with miracle twenty nine, Jesus continues to raise his voice by casting out a blind and mute demon. Possibly in case the Jewish leaders should accuse him of communicating through sign language.
Matthew 12:22 Easy-to-Read Version
22 Then some people brought a man to Jesus. This man was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon inside him. Jesus healed the man, and he could talk and see.
The priests had to investigate and verify the facts for seven days before they were able to pronounce a leper cleansed on the eighth day. When Jesus performed miracle thirty two, he went above and beyond any messianic miracle the Jews had thought of. Re-energising his first miracle, Jesus was demanding the attention of the Jewish rulers by giving them not one but ten healed lepers to verify.
Luke 17:11-14 New King James Version
11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
The Jews rejected the miracles of Jesus even though they could see them. God speaks to us through the Bible so we can learn about him and his plans. Do we reject the plans of God even though we can read them? Are we willing to test our beliefs and doctrines against his word and follow what is true?
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Easy-to-Read Version
19 Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit. 20 Don’t treat prophecy like something that is not important. 21 But test everything. Keep what is good,
Jesus must have kept the Jewish authorities and the chief priests at the Sanhedrin busy verifying or explaining why his miracles were not valid. Those healed didn’t care what the authorities said as they knew they were cured. When Jesus performed his third messianic miracle it would be his twenty sixth recorded miracle. By this time the authorities were now resorting to ignoring the facts in order to disprove any messianic miracle Jesus performed. They go so far as to even throw the healed person out of the temple for claiming to have been healed. When you are making choices in life, is it best to weigh all the evidence unbiasedly?
John 9:10-12 New Life Version
10 They said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “A Man called Jesus made mud and put it on my eyes. Then He said to me, ‘Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.’ I went and washed and I can see.” 12 Then they asked him, “Where is He?” He answered, “I do not know.”
John 9:18-21 Tree of Life Version
18 So the Judean leaders didn’t believe that he had been blind and received his sight until they called his parents. 19 They questioned them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? Then how does he see now?” 20 Then his parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 We don’t know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him—he’s old enough. He will speak for himself.”
John 9:24-34 The Passion Translation
24 So once again they summoned the man who was healed of blindness and said to him, “Swear to God to tell us the truth! We know the man who healed you is a sinful man! Do you agree?” 25 The healed man replied, “I have no idea what kind of man he is. All I know is that I was blind and now I can see for the first time in my life!” 26 “But what did he do to you?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27 The man responded, “I told you once and you didn’t listen to me. Why do you make me repeat it? Are you wanting to be his followers too?” 28 This angered the Jewish leaders. They heaped insults on him, “We can tell you are one of his followers—now we know it! We are true followers of Moses, 29 for we know that God spoke to Moses directly. But as for this one, we don’t know where he’s coming from!” 30 “Well, what a surprise this is!” the man said. “You don’t even know where he comes from, but he healed my eyes and now I can see! 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but only to godly people who do his will. 32 Yet who has ever heard of a man born blind that was healed and given his eyesight for the very first time? 33 I tell you, if this man isn’t from God, he wouldn’t be able to heal me like he has!” 34 Some of the Jewish leaders were enraged and said, “Just who do you think you are to lecture us! You were born a blind, filthy sinner!” So they threw the man out in the street.
The first stage of observation began after Jesus healed a leper with his seventh recorded miracle. The Jewish leaders thought Jesus to be a blasphemer worthy of death, as the scriptures teach only God can forgive sin. They refused to believe that Jesus could forgive sin because he was acting with the authority of God. Deliberately making this point plain, Jesus left them only two choices, believe he was their messiah, or reject the miracles he was performing as fraudulent.
ark 2:6-11 English Standard Version
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
During the second stage of interrogation the Jewish leaders were free to ask questions and raise objections in order to determine if the miracle claims were valid.
After Jesus completed his 17th recorded miracle in Matthew 9 and the second messianic miracle of casting out a mute demon, the Jewish observers voiced their opinions. Choosing not to believe Jesus, they branded his power demonic, a lie they hoped would stick and one that people would be distracted by and believe.
Matthew 9:34 Good News Translation
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is the chief of the demons who gives Jesus the power to drive out demons.”
As the Jews followed Jesus around the country they repeated their lie vigorously whenever he would cast out demons. Having closed their minds to reason, they rejected any miracle that proved his power. Had the Bereans been as closed minded to Paul’s teachings as those Jews, would’ve they become Christians? How can we test to see if a teaching is true today? Have you ever proved a belief to be biblically accurate before you accepted it?
Mark 3:22 International Standard Version
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem kept repeating, “He has Beelzebul,” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of demons.”
Matthew 12:24 Living Bible24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “He can cast out demons because he is Satan, king of devils.”