The miracles of Jesus have fascinated humanity for centuries. Did Jesus truly perform supernatural feats that defy natural law? If so, then exactly how many miracles did he perform according to the biblical record?
There is no simple answer, but through careful analysis of the four gospels, we can arrive at an informed estimate.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: most scholars estimate that Jesus performed between 24 and 37 miracles that are documented in the gospel accounts.
Defining What Counts as a Miracle
Miracles are often defined as supernatural events that defy natural laws and human comprehension. According to the Bible, miracles demonstrate God’s power and glory. Examples include Jesus walking on water, calming a storm, feeding thousands with a few loaves and fish, and raising people from the dead.
These awe-inspiring acts surpass ordinary human capability and scientific explanation.
Healings and Exorcisms
Many of Jesus’ miracles focused on alleviating human suffering through healings and exorcisms. He cured people of various illnesses and disabilities like blindness, paralysis, skin diseases, and bleeding.
Jesus also delivered people from demonic possession, miraculously freeing them from spiritual oppression. In a remarkable display of compassion and power, he restored health and dignity to marginalized people.
Miracles Involving Nature and Matter
Some of Jesus’ miracles manipulated nature and physical matter in astonishing ways – turning water into wine, walking on water, multiplying food, withering a fig tree with a word, and causing huge hauls of fish for his disciples.
According to a study published on the Journal of Religion website, over 40 miracle stories involved Jesus demonstrating authority over the natural world and material substances. These miracles revealed his divine glory and identity as the Son of God.
Cataloging Jesus’s Miracles
Miracles Only Found in One Gospel Account
Jesus performed many awe-inspiring miracles that are recorded in only one of the four Gospels. For example, only the Gospel of John records Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11). This miraculous sign displayed Jesus’ power and led his disciples to believe in him.
Additionally, John exclusively records the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-44), one of Jesus’ most dramatic signs that pointed to his authority over life and death.
There are also miracles unique to the other Gospels. Matthew alone tells of Jesus cursing the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22). The fig tree withered immediately, demonstrating Jesus’ authority over nature. The Gospel of Mark solely records the healing of a deaf man in the Decapolis (Mark 7:31-37).
This miracle displays Jesus’ ability to restore hearing and speech. Finally, the resurrection of the widow’s son at Nain is only found in Luke (Luke 7:11-17). This astonishing sign exhibits Jesus’ power over death.
Miracles Common to Multiple Gospel Accounts
Certain miracles of Jesus are recorded in more than one Gospel, emphasizing their significance. The feeding of the 5,000 appears in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). This incredible miracle reveals Jesus’ divine ability to multiply food.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; Luke 22:43-51). This sign demonstrates Jesus’ authority over the natural world. The healing of blind men is found in both Matthew and Luke (Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-43).
These miracles highlight Jesus’ power to give sight to the blind.
The most frequently recorded miracles are healings and exorcisms. The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39), the woman with bleeding (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24b-34; Luke 8:42b-48), paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26), and the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19) are retold in multiple Gospels.
These signs authenticate Jesus’ ability to heal infirmities. The exorcism accounts, like the Gerasene demoniac (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39) and the mute demoniac (Matthew 9:32-34; 12:22-24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:14-15) also establish Jesus’ power over evil spirits.
In total, an estimated 35 miracles are recorded across the four Gospels. While each author documented different aspects of Jesus’ ministry, the repeated miracles emphasize Jesus’ unmatched power and authority as the Son of God.
The Most Famous Miracles of Jesus
Turning Water into Wine
One of the most well-known miracles performed by Jesus is turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11). When the wine ran out at the wedding banquet, Jesus instructed the servants to fill six stone water jars with water.
When they drew out some of the liquid, they found that Jesus had turned it into high quality wine. This miraculous sign displayed Jesus’ power over nature and was the start of His public ministry.
Feeding the 5,000
The miracle of feeding the 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish is reported in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14). As Jesus taught a large crowd, His disciples wanted to send them away to buy food.
But Jesus multiplied the bread and fish to feed the entire multitude with leftovers still remaining. This incredible miracle revealed Jesus’ divine ability to meet people’s needs.
Healing the Blind Man
There are several instances where Jesus restored sight to the blind, including healing the blind man Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46–52) and healing a man blind from birth (John 9:1–41). The man blind from birth had never seen anything before Jesus made mud with His saliva, put it on the man’s eyes, and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam.
When he washed the mud off, the man could see for the first time ever. This amazing miracle displayed Jesus’ power to override disabilities and suffering.
Raising Lazarus from the Dead
One of the most astounding miracles recounted in the Bible is Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-45). Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days when Jesus arrived and told people to roll back the stone from his tomb. Jesus then shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
and the dead man came back to life and walked out of the grave. This incredible sign confirmed Jesus’ power over death and foreshadowed His own resurrection.
According to records from the Blue Letter Bible, Jesus performed a total of 37 miracles that are documented in the Gospels. Some additional miracles include healing the sick, casting out demons, walking on water, calming a storm, withering a fig tree, and appearing to over 500 people after His resurrection.
Every miraculous sign pointed to Jesus’ divine nature as the Son of God.
Controversies and Questions Regarding Jesus’s Miracles
Could These Miracles Be Fabricated or Embellished?
Some critics have questioned whether Jesus’s miracles actually occurred as described in the Gospels or if they were exaggerated or fabricated by his followers. For example, the stories were passed on orally for years before being written down which may have led to some embellishment.
However, most scholars believe there is a historical core to the miracle stories given multiple attestations, Aramaic traces, embarrassing details that would not have been included if fabricated, and more (source).
There is also no evidence that the early Christian community had a tendency to fabricate miracle claims. Rather, many early Christians were willing to suffer and die for their faith which indicates sincere belief.
Additionally, the Gospel writers included details that could be verified by witnesses at the time, suggesting reliable reporting. So while questions remain, there are good reasons to trust the general reliability of the accounts of Jesus’s miracles.
Do the Gospels Record Every Miracle Jesus Performed?
Most scholars believe the Gospels do not record every miracle performed by Jesus. This is evidenced by statements that suggest many other miracles were done that were not recorded (John 20:30). Based on the number of miracles recorded in the Gospels, estimates range from 25-35 major miracles.
However, if including all the healing acts Jesus likely performed based on general statements, there could have been hundreds or thousands of miracles overall.
|Number of Miracles Recorded
This table shows a sample of the number of miracles specifically recorded by each Gospel writer. So while the total number of miracles Jesus performed is not known, scholars generally agree the ones recorded in Scripture represent only a small sampling of the many wondrous acts Jesus likely carried out in his ministry.
Based on a thorough examination of the four gospels, scholars widely agree that Jesus carried out between 24 and 37 distinct miracles that are specifically documented in the biblical accounts. Of course, Jesus likely performed many more that are not recorded.
While some skeptics have tried to dismiss these miracles as later inventions, most experts view them as authentic deeds that were an integral part of Jesus’s ministry and proof of his divine nature as the Son of God.