Miracles and belief. John 14:11

In John 14:8, the Apostle Phillip says: Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.

For many of us, that’s a relatable request. I think we all have times where God can seem distant or hard to find. 

One of the ways God is made known is through miracles.

As Jesus continues to respond to Philip, he says in John 14:11: Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 

For this post, I want to focus on the second part of that verse. Where Jesus tells Philip to believe on the account of his works. Now under the umbrella of works, it could certainly be the righteous life Jesus lived and the teaching that he gave. 

But within John, I think the works more specifically refers to his miraculous signs. That those are what authenticate a heaven-sent ministry in the world. 

The first sign that Jesus does in John’s Gospel is when he turns water into wine at the Wedding Feast at Cana. And in response, John’s Gospel gives the post-script: 

John 2:11:  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. 

Jesus did not turn water into wine simply to help out at a wedding feast but it was a display of his glory. And all throughout the first half of John, we see these signs that Jesus does. Healing the sick, feeding multitudes, walking on water. And before going to the cross, his greatest sign is when he raises Lazarus from the dead in John 11.  

All of them done for specific reasons in pointing to Jesus, who he is, and the heavenly ministry he was advancing in the world. They show his power and dominion. They show fulfillment of Old Testament  prophecies of the things which would happen in a Messianic age. 

They confirm and authenticate who Jesus is. And so in Jesus’ response to Philip, what he is telling Philip is that those miraculous signs are a legitimate reasons to believe in Jesus. 

And certainly the greatest miracle of Jesus, his resurrection from the dead was still to come. Miracles are a reason why we too can believe in the  Lord. The resurrection is the basis for our faith and what we believe. It is the heart of the gospel and the purpose of the gospel. It’s the greatest authenticator on Jesus, who he was, who he said he was, and the fulfillment of his promises to the world. And it because of his resurrection that we have the hope of eternal life and the forgiveness of our sins. 

Just as Jesus told the apostle Philip to look at his works, that we too can look at his works and his greatest work as a reason to believe as an example of God revealing himself to the world. 

 “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 

God is still at work in our world. Miracles still happen today. 


I’ll define a miracle as an extraordinary event with supernatural intervention intended for divine purposes. Miracles defy explanation along scientific or rational grounds. They’re transcendent. 

A 2010 Pew research study found that 80 percent of Americans believe in miracles. A 2004 survey by Louis Finkelstein for the Institute for Religious and Social Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary surveyed 1,100 doctors and found that three-fourths of them believed in miracles and more than half thought that they had witnessed a miracle. 

Doctors. Who are the most highly educated people in our society and who are also those who are those who are treating those battling sicknesses and diseases. In another survey, 38 percent of Americans claim to have personally experienced a miracle. 

That’s tens of millions of people. Are all of those legitimate miracles? Probably not. But there are mysterious and undocumented healings and situations that defy medical explanation. 

I’m not talking about some prosperity gospel preaching faith healer charlton who’s enriching himself or herself to a crowded auditorium in doing a glorified magic show that they call faith healings. 

But what about the people who are under medical supervision and they experience healings that defy medical explanation and which run contrary to how human bodies respond to treatment? 

Miracles should be an encouragement to us. They should give us hope that God is working and active in the world. When we’re tempted to mirror the words of Philip and say: show us the Father, and it is enough for us

We have the miraculous signs during the ministry of Jesus and the ways in which the Lord intervenes in the world today. And so I’d like to share two miraculous stories. 

A pastor healed in real time

Duane Miller was a pastor in Texas who came down with a case of the flu in 1990. 

Preaching on Sunday, his throat was bothering him and his voice sounded hoarse and scratchy. He eventually recovered from the flu but his voice remained scratchy and strained. And it stayed that way. 

The flu virus had damaged his vocal cords. And just to be heard, with his damaged vocal cords, Miller had to scream at the top of his lungs. He saw specialist after specialist. The issue still didn’t improve. The following year, Miller resigned his position as pastor. 

Being able to talk…Is pretty important for being a preacher. Over nearly three years, he visited 63 specialists. An international consortium of throats specialists who reviews records from particularly difficult cases told him that his voice would never improve. 

By 1993, Miller and his family had moved to Houston and were attending a large Baptist church. He was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class. He resisted, but people in the class promised to suffer through his raspy voice. 

Being a large church, the Sunday school class was very big and so they recorded the audio of the Sunday school class. In the lesson, Miller was talking about the subject of healing and saying that God does not always bring healing in this life while teaching from Psalm 103: 

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 

I share a video that was taken from the Sunday school where the pastor’s voice was restored. You’ll notice how raspy his voice is. And the clip shows the audio of what he is saying, but pay attention when he says “I have had, and you have had in times past pit experiences.” 

In mid-sentence, Miller’s voice was restored. He says “I don’t understand this right now” as emotion starts to overcome his voice and you start to hear people who had witnessed this being to clap and cheer. 

Upon later medical evaluation, doctors said that Miller’s voice had fully recovered. Even the scar tissue disappeared. Miller later returned to ministry and nearly 30 years later, his voice remains normal.

Hospice patient restored

In the Case for Miracles, Lee Strobell interviews New Testament scholar Craig Keener who’s a professor Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. 

I consider Keener to be one of the best New Testament scholars in the world. A former atheist who found faith, Keener wrote a 2,000 page two volume book on miracles which gives numerous case studies from around the world. 

In Case for Miracles, Keener talks about the well documented story of a Chicago area woman named Barbara Cummisky Snyder who was diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s leading hospitals, with progressive multiple sclerosis. 

Keener has interviewed Barbara and two physicians who treated her. 

In the book, a board certified physician who treated Barbara and who had performed over 20,000 operations called ed her “one of the most hopelessly ill patients I ever saw.” 

Numerous doctors had agreed with the diagnosis. She was high school aged when originally diagnosed. Barbara battled these health issues for 16 years. She spent months in hospitals. 

She loss the function in one of her lungs. Her other lung operated at less than 50 percent capacity. 

She had lost control of her bowels and had to have catheters and colostomy bags attached to remove bodily waste. 

Legally blind. She was on a feeding tube. Eventually she need continuous oxygen. She had a tracheotomy. By 1981, she hadn’t walked in seven years and was bed-ridden. Her hands and feet had strained into deformed positions. She went on hospice in 1981 and was given less than six months to live. 

One day, someone called Moody Radio Station and asked people to pray for Barbara. More than 400 people wrote letters to Barbara’s church saying they were praying for her. On Pentecost Sunday 1981, Barbara’s aunt came to her home to read some of the letters to her. 

Barbara would later say that she heard a man’s voice tell her to get up – though there were no men in the room. “Get up and walk.” 

Barbara stood up, removed her oxygen and began to walk on legs that hadn’t supported her body weight in years. Breathing fine, her vision was restored. 

That night, Barbara attended church with her family at Wheaton Wesleyan Church. 

During the service, when the pastor asked if anyone had any announcements, Barbara walked to the center aisle and walked toward the front of the sanctuary. 

Upon further medical evaluation, Barbara’s lung function had been fully restored. 

At the time of writing the Case for Miracles, 35 years had passed since Barbara’s recovery without a recurrence of her illness. 

Her case so defied explanation that two doctors who treated Barbara each wrote books about her case. 

God is working.  


There are times in his goodness that God supernaturally intervenes. 

Why not always? A skeptical person might ask. Because the world is fallen and sinful. We don’t deserve any of his grace. So instead of asking why he doesn’t eternally do what we think he should do, we should be thankful for the glimpses we get of God’s power and to remember the goodness of a God who loves us and who is active in the world. 

Furthermore, God never says that he will always bring every miraculous intervention that we might want in this life. 

It is in heaven that: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Also, if God always did what we wanted him to do, he wouldn’t be God. We would be. But he is greater than us. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. 

In John 11, when Jesus learns that his friend Lazarus is ill, he does not immediately go to him. 

He says: 

This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).

Jesus knew that Lazarus would die and he knew he was going to raise him. 

On a much smaller scale, I think of Pastor Duane Miller who we talked about earlier. Losing his ministry and spending three years with those voice issues. Not the worst thing that’s ever happened to someone. 

But undoubtedly a grueling experience. 

He went through some difficult seasons in those three years. 

But God had a plan to use him for a tremendous purpose in impacting people’s lives all over the world with his testimony. 

God is good. 

And he is working.

We don’t always get the miracle we’re hoping for. 

But God is no less good. He is no less at work in the world. He is no less sovereign. 

All things really do work for good for those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28). 

And we must remember the Lord’s goodness. 

Philip pleaded: 

Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.

But that’s often not so simple. 

People are fickle. We’re sinful. 

A person can see something that they think if miraculous yet not really appreciate the source. 

A person can hear about something miraculous but not really have their life transformed by it. 

Because it’s not just about seeing something impressive, or unexpected. 

At the end of the day, we’re called to faith and belief in this great God. 

Remembering God. His goodness, his gospel, and his faithfulness. Everyday. 

The miracles of life can stir and encourage our faith. But we must also pursue a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 

Living lives where we remember what God has done. Not just the big, spectacular moments, but how he has sustained us and our families throughout our lives. 

And appreciating what God is doing today. 

Throughout the Old Testament, it’s constantly pointing back to the Exodus. The Passover meal was to be celebrated annually. Really with all of the Old Testament holidays, they were meant to remember. To remember various ways in which the Lord had blessed his people. 

And what does Jesus say at the Last Supper? When he breaks the bread? 

“Do this in remembrance of me.” 

For as long as we eat the bread and drink the cup, we remember his death until he comes. 

We’re called to remember the greatest miracle of the New Testament, Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the dead.