The miracles of Yeshua in the Gospels are not meant to show how divine or powerful he was as Messiah or to show that G-D can break HIS own laws of nature. Many people in the Bible performed miracles just like the ones performed by Yeshua, including the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead (e.g. the Prophets Elijah and Elisha). Besides, the Bible is very clear, and Yeshua himself, that miracles can be performed by false prophets and that we should be very skeptical of all miracles.
If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the L-RD your G-D is testing you to know whether you love the L-RD your G-D with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the L-RD your G-D and fear HIM, and keep HIS commandments and obey HIS voice; you shall serve HIM and hold fast to HIM. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the L-RD your G-D, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the L-RD your G-D commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.-Exodus 25:1-5
The coming of the Lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason G-D will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.-2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because Lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold… For false messiahs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.-Yeshua in Matthew 24:11-12, 24-25
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my FATHER in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice Lawlessness!’-Matthew 7:21-23
The miracles in the Gospels are for one primary purpose and to demonstrate that purpose for which the Messiah came, that is, to confirm the promises and Covenant G-D made with Israel, as we shall now demonstrate.
Now I say that Yeshua the Messiah has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of G-D, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify G-D for HIS mercy, as it is written:
“For this reason I will confess to YOU among the Gentiles,
And sing to YOUR name.”
And again he says:
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with HIS people!”-Romans 15:8-10
So why did Yeshua say he was sent?
He [Yeshua] answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”-Matthew 15:24
Feeding five thousand
The only miracle performed by Yeshua that appears in all four Gospels is the feeding of the five thousand. In all four Gospels, we are told that Yeshua took five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people, leaving twelve baskets of food left over.
This miracle gives us the pattern to understand the other miracles performed by Yeshua. Why five loaves, and not six? Why two fish, and not three? Why twelve baskets, and not eleven? We are told very specific numbers for a reason and these numbers have a very significant place throughout the Bible. Yeshua criticizes his disciples for not understanding the meaning of the numbers in this miracle,
Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
They said to him, “Twelve.”
… So he said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”-Mark 8:18-19, 21
In combination with the items used in this miracle, we can understand the symbolic meaning of the numbers in this miracle.
What does bread represent in the Bible and why is it connected to the number five?
Bread represents the word of G-D, and there are five books of the Torah which are called the Word of G-D and are the foundation upon which all other Scripture is based.
As Yeshua quotes the Torah,
“But Yeshua answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of G-D.’ ””
What do fish represent in the Bible and how is it connected to the number two?
Fish represents the people of Israel and two represents the two divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Yeshua sends out the twelve disciples, for the twelve tribes of Israel, as ‘fishers of men,’ in fulfillment of this prophecy,
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the L-RD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The L-RD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The L-RD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where HE had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the L-RD, “and they shall fish them…-Jeremiah 16:14-16a
Where do we see the people of Israel divided into two kingdoms?
“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the L-RD G-D: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.-Ezekiel 37:21-22
As we already demonstrated, the twelve baskets represent the twelve tribes of Israel. So what is the meaning of the only miracle appearing in all four Gospels? Yeshua is taking the two divided kingdoms of Israel and with the five books of Torah is making twelve united tribes of Israel.
At the end of the Gospel of John, we are told of a miracle where Yeshua helps the disciples catch 153 fish. Why 153 fish? How do we know there were 153 fish? Did the disciples sit there and count 153 fish? Regardless, the number was important enough to add it to the story…
Then Yeshua said to them, “Children, have you any food?”
They answered him, “No.”
And he said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
Therefore that disciple whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Yeshua said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”
Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.-John 21:5-11
So what does the number 153 mean? In Judaism, the Masoretes noted that there are exactly 153 verses in the second Torah Portion of Noach, which contains the story of the Ark and Flood. They noted that 153 is the numerical value of ‘Betzalel’ (בצלאל), which means, ‘in the protective shelter of G-D.’ 153 is also the numerical value of ‘Bnei HaElokim,’ (בני האלקים), ‘children of G-D.’ From these well-known Hebrew expressions, we can see that part of the meaning of the 153 fish is that G-D will protect HIS children (Israel), like Noah in the Flood, and will gather them all, not losing any in exile (“although there were so many, the net was not broken.”)
Now that we see the importance of numbers in Yeshua’s miracles and how they relate to Yeshua’s self-described only purpose for being sent, we will look at many more examples.
Healing a woman and girl
Throughout the Hebrew Bible and Prophets, Israel is described as a woman and the wife of G-D.
“Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the L-RD: “I remember you, The kindness of your youth, The love of your betrothal, When you went after ME in the wilderness, In a land not sown.
The L-RD has appeared of old to me, saying:-Jeremiah 31:3-4
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
There is a miracle story mentioned in all three Synoptic Gospels which tells of Yeshua on his way to resurrect a dead twelve year-old girl when he heals a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. Obviously, the repetition of the number twelve is an allusion to the twelve Tribes of Israel and Yeshua’s sole mission as Messiah to resurrect and heal G-D’s bride, Israel (Matthew 15:24).
So it was, when Yeshua returned, that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And behold, there came a man named Yair, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Yeshua’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
But as he went, the multitudes thronged him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of his garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
And Yeshua said, “Who touched me?”
… While he was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”
But when Yeshua heard it, he answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” When he came into the house, he permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but he said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him, knowing that she was dead.
But he put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And he commanded that she be given something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.-Luke 8:40-45, 59-56
Healing the blind, Lame, deaf, and mute
How do we know that Yeshua’s healing of the blind, lame, deaf, and mute is part of G-D’s greater plan to restore Israel?
Because it is prophesied by the Prophets!
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,-Isaiah 29:18-19
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
The humble also shall increase their joy in the L-RD,
And the poor among men shall rejoice
In the HOLY ONE of Israel.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert…
And the ransomed of the L-RD shall return,-Isaiah 35:5-6, 10
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
“I, the L-RD, have called you in righteousness,
And will hold your hand;
I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
I am the L-RD, that is MY name;
And MY glory I will not give to another…
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.
They shall be turned back,
They shall be greatly ashamed,
Who trust in carved images,
Who say to the molded images,
‘You are our gods.’
“Hear, you deaf;-Isaiah 42:6-8a, 16-18
And look, you blind, that you may see.
For thus says the L-RD:-Jeremiah 31:7-9
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
“Save, O L-RD, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
those with child and those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
“In that day,” says the L-RD,-Micah 4:6-7
“I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the L-RD will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.
Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The L-RD has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the L-RD, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The L-RD your G-D in your midst,
The MIGHTY ONE, will save;
HE will rejoice over you with gladness,
HE will quiet you with HIS love,
HE will rejoice over you with singing.”
Behold, at that time-Zephaniah 3:14-17, 19-20
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the L-RD.
So now we see clearly from the Prophets, that the healing of the blind, lame, deaf, and mute of Israel is part of the greater restoration of Israel out of exile and back to its Land. Far from contradicting or ignoring the Prophets, this restoration is exactly what Yeshua was determined to accomplish.
Here are a few examples of this kind of healing…
Then great multitudes came to him [Yeshua], having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Yeshua’s feet, and he healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the G-D of Israel.-Matthew 15:30-31
Then Yeshua went into the Temple of G-D and drove out all those who bought and sold in the Temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Then the blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.-Matthew 21:12-14
Two separate times in the Book of Matthew, Yeshua heals not three, but two blind men, and as we have said before, the number two represents the two divided kingdoms of Israel.
When Yeshua departed from there, two blind men followed him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
And when he had come into the house, the blind men came to him. And Yeshua said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”
Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Yeshua sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” But when they had departed, they spread the news about him in all that country.-Matthew 9:27-31
Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed him [Yeshua]. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
So Yeshua stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
They said to him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Yeshua had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.-Matthew 20:29-34
The two blind men cried out twice for the Son of David because the Prophets say that the Son of David will unite the two divided kingdoms of Israel.
Then one was brought to him [Yeshua] who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”-Matthew 12:22-23
Healing the Demon-possessed
If healing the blind, lame, deaf, and mute is representative of the people of Israel being restored as a unified body, what does Yeshua’s casting out of demons represent?
The casting out of demons represents the casting out of invading foreign elements from the people and ‘House’ of Israel.
We see this clearly in the casting out of demons which appears in the same chapter of Luke (8) where the woman and twelve year-old girl are healed…
“Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when he stepped out on the land, there met him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Yeshua, he cried out, fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with you, Yeshua, son of the MOST HIGH G-D? I beg you, do not torment me!” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
Yeshua asked him, saying, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged him that he would not command them to go out into the abyss.
Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged him that he would permit them to enter them. And he permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned.”-Luke 8:26-32
Why are the demons called Legion? Because of the Roman Legions who were tyrannically occupying the Land of Israel and corrupting it with their paganism and idolatry. Is it any coincidence that in Judaism, swine is a symbol of Rome? Yeshua drowning the Legion and swine in the sea as the promised Messiah-redeemer symbolically recalls the drowning of the tyrant Pharaoh and his chariots in the sea under the leadership of Moses the redeemer.
In Mark’s retelling of the story, it says “about two thousand” swine were drowned in the sea. Obviously, Yeshua was not concerned about his Jewish people not eating pork and bacon, if he was responsible for this. Perhaps two thousand represents the two thousand years it has taken to properly understand this story and be redeemed from the exile of Rome. In Matthew’s retelling of the story, not one, but two men are possessed by the legion of demons, two again representing the two Houses of Israel and Judah.
As demon-possession represents the occupation by foreign invaders, leprosy represents being outcast from the community and Land of Israel.
Now it happened as he [Yeshua] went to Jerusalem that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as he entered a certain village, there met him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!”
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.-Luke 17:11-14
So why were there ten lepers and not nine or eleven? Where was Yeshua? In Samaria and Galilee, the territory of the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. What happened to these ten tribes? They were exiled and lost among the nations (“lepers, who stood afar off”). What did Yeshua say would bring their healing? To go to the Levitical priests among Judah (i.e. be reunited with their Jewish brothers through the Torah).
Calming the storm
Even the calming of the storm is a picture of deliverance for the people of Israel. Also, in the same chapter of Luke as the casting out of Legion and resurrecting the twelve year-old girl…
Now it happened, on a certain day, that he [Yeshua] got into a boat with his disciples. And he said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the sea.” And they launched out. But as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the sea, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him and awoke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then he arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But he said to them, “Where is your faith?”-Luke 8:22-25a
Oh, give thanks to the L-RD, for HE is good!
For HIS mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the L-RD say so,
Whom HE has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way;
They found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty,
Their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried out to the L-RD in their trouble,
And HE delivered them out of their distresses…
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,
They see the works of the L-RD,
And HIS wonders in the deep.
For HE commands and raises the stormy wind,
Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
They mount up to the heavens,
They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
And are at their wits’ end.
Then they cry out to the L-RD in their trouble,
And HE brings them out of their distresses.
HE calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So HE guides them to their desired haven.-Psalm 107:1-6, 23-30
The Psalm which begins with the redeeming of Israel from exile back to their Land, includes an analogy of exiled Israel to sailors at sea whom G-D has rescued from a storm.
The very same order given in Psalm 107 for the redemption of Israel’s exiles (east, west, north, south) is the same given by Yeshua in Luke 13,
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of G-D, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of G-D. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”-Luke 13:28-31
We see these same patterns in the miracles performed by Yeshua’s apostles after him…
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him [Yeshua], saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
…And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty)…
And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles…
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.-Acts 1:6, 15, 26, 2:1-2
Only when the one hundred and twenty (120) brethren were gathered and the twelve apostles were appointed, both numbers representing all twelve tribes of Israel united, was the Holy Spirit poured out at G-D’s House/Temple in Jerusalem on Shavuot.
And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.
And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of G-D.-Acts 19:6-8
The fact that there were twelve (not eleven or fourteen) men who received the Holy Spirit and prophesied is not a coincidence, but demonstrates the purpose which the apostles had in following their Master and Teacher for the restoration of all Israel.
When John was in prison and wanted to know whether Yeshua was truly the prophesied Messiah, the proof that he sent back to John was that Israel was being restored through Yeshua.
Then fear came upon all, and they glorified G-D, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “G-D has visited HIS people.” And this report about him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Yeshua, saying, “Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?’” And that very hour he cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind he gave sight.
Yeshua answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news announced to them.-Luke 7:16-22
What is the true good news (‘gospel’) of Yeshua?
That G-D will never forsake HIS People Israel and HIS Covenantal promises to them.
Of course, there is more to be written on this topic, but this should suffice for now to help you look at the Gospels and the miracles contained therein in light of G-D’s promises and faithfulness to HIS People, Israel…
So he [Yeshua] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the L-RD is upon me,
Because he has anointed me
To announce good news to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the L-RD.”
Then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”-Luke 4:16-19