3 Miracles Jesus Didn’t Do

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In the Bible, Jesus performed a lot of miracles. He healed people. He had power over nature. He even overcame death. But what about the miracles he didn’t do? Here are three instances in the Bible where Jesus chose not to do the miraculous wonders he was known for:

1. A miracle without faith

In Mark 6 (and Matthew 13), Jesus returns to Nazareth, his hometown. These people knew Jesus before he started his ministry.

And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him (Mark 6:2–3).

Two verses later: “And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them” (Mark 6:5). The NLT says, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”

While the NIV says Jesus couldn’t do miracles in Nazareth, this isn’t suggesting that faith is some sort of fuel for miracles, and Jesus was running on empty. Most likely, the lack of faith meant that people didn’t ask Jesus to help them—or else, because of their lack of faith, Jesus chose not to. The bottom line is, there was no faith, so in this instance, he didn’t.

2. A “sign from heaven”

After Jesus feeds the 4,000 in Decapolis, he and his disciples get into a boat and head to Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side (Mark 8:11–13).

Miracles are not for our entertainment. They are not a prerequisite for faith. If all of creation testifies about its creator (Romans 1:20, Psalm 19:1), why should he have to give us a personal sign from heaven on top of that? If you ask God for a sign from heaven like the Pharisees, chances are you’ll be disappointed like the Pharisees.

3. A miracle that contradicted God’s plan

As Jesus hung on the Cross, his divinity was mocked. Again, people wanted to see a sign from heaven, and their requests for a miracle emerged from a severe lack of faith—they did not believe Jesus was who he said he was, and they would not believe him unless the God of the universe did what they asked, right then and there. As he hung there dying, Jesus, who was fully God, could have come down from that cross. Fully man, Jesus may have even been tempted by the prospect (Hebrews 2:18). But he didn’t come down.

And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:29–32).

Jesus didn’t come down because the Cross had a purpose. The miracle of his survival would have undermined the greater miracle of his resurrection.

It’s easy to think about the miracles that Jesus did do. In brief interactions, he radically altered people’s lives. But his ways are higher (Isaiah 55:8–9), and because of that, the miracles Jesus didn’t do are equally important in helping us understand the inexplicable.

If you want to learn more about miracles, check out some of these great resources:
counterfeit-miraclesjesus-christ-his-miraclesmiraclesthe-dead-dont-bleed-those-who-are-alive-doevery-miracle-in-the-bible

Comments

  1. Paul O. Wendland says

    Hmmm, let's see He healed a man born blind who didn't even know who he was, much less believe in him. Miracles are not only a response to faith; in some cases, they are a summons to faith.

  2. Jeff O'Neal says

    Stephen, maybe you should reread John 9. But more importantly, explain why you admonish Paul to “…re-read John 9 again.” [sic] The 1st 2 verses of John 9 explains that the man’s blindness is not due to specific sins but was decreed by the man’s Maker to show His Glory by miraculous healing.
    There is also the miracle of Christ driving the demons out of the 2 men in the midst of a faithless community that came out and asked Jesus to leave. (Matt 8:28ff)

    As for “Signs from Heaven”, do not let the admonishment of Christ fall upon you like the scribes and Pharisees who could predict weather by red skies but who refused to perceive and/or acknowledge the fulfillment of OT prophesy of the Messiah repeatedly displayed before them. (Matt 16) It was these very signs that Jesus called to the attention of the disciples of John the Baptist. (Luke 7:18ff)
    And when the scribes and Pharisees wrongly attributed Jesus’ signs to Beelzebub rather than the Holy Spirit, He issued His strongest condemnation. (Mark 3:22-30)

  3. says

    That's an excellent point, and it brings up an important distinction: this post is about three instances where Jesus didn't do miracles, not three types of miracles Jesus didn't do. Great example!

  4. Gary Shogren says

    The issue of "signs" is a a tricky one, in part because the language of EJohn and that of the synoptics varies somewhat. He did do "signs" (especially in EJohn), and plenty of unbelievers saw them. But he did not do signs "on demand" or for entertainment.

    • Batman says

      @Robert
      If you are referring to the first miracle he could not do, as shown, the Bible states that he could not do any miracles because of their unbelief. Therefore, the first miracle he could not do was due to unbelief.

  5. Matt says

    In addition, He healed the ear of the high-priest’s servant. My guess is that if He had any faith in Jesus that he wouldn’t lead Him to His death.

    • Brenda Sinclair says

      Thank you and God bless you Matt for opening up a new door in my faith. I didn’t know how else best to explain this, but yes, God bless you for making me see about the high -priest’s servant who’s ear was cut off. He never asked for healing and Jesus just healed him to show the world before he was heading to the cross to be crucified. Because of course Jesus knew this before this was going to happen. Jesus wanted to demonstrate his power again and yes, I’m sure he saw right through that man’s heart. (The high priest’s servant)
      Halleluyah !!!

  6. Jeffery Graff says

    As I see John 5, Jesus healed a man who had no faith that Jesus could heal. He had faith in the movement of the pool, but none in Jesus. In fact, he later told the authorities that Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath – in essence, he turned Jesus in! There isn't one iota of faith in Jesus in this man's testimony.

  7. Anonymous says

    For Jesus, "could not" and "would not" have the same meaning with respect to performing signs on demand. God will not be used for our purposes; he cannot do so and be God. Jesus taught us to call upon God to accomplish his will.

  8. says

    @ Jeff Sandoval. Ok first of all the article is labeled "3 Miracles Jesus Didn’t Do" and 1. A miracle without faith. We must read the text carefully we read in (Mark 6:2 ) " How are such mighty works done by his hands?" See they were asking How are such mighty works done by his hands, so mighty works were done in the synagogue by His teaching. Now in (6:4) Jesus called Himself a prophet, in accord with one of His roles.
    The residents of Nazareth were deeply offended at Jesus’ posturing Himself as some great teacher because of His ordinary background, as a carpenter. He had limited formal education, and lacked of an officially-sanctioned religious position.
    Now in (v.5-6) "And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief." if you notice a few sick people were healed that is a mighty work. So by saying "And he could do no mighty work there" This is not to suggest that His power was somehow diminished. It may suggest that because of their unbelief people were not coming to Him for healing or miracles the way they did in Capernaum and Jerusalem. According to (Matt 9:35) Jesus healed EVERY sickness and everyone that came.
    So the bottom point is that the residents of Nazareth knew Him as a carpenter and they knew His family, and would not receive Him as a teacher or prophet. so because they rejected Him because of His background, miracles belonged among those who were ready to come to Him and believe and accept Him as the Messiah.

  9. Alden Aguilar says

    The perhaps means not unless there is an atmosphere of faith, God do not do miracles. Its not necessary the faith of the person who needs healing
    but the faith in the environment at the time at that place.

  10. Kayleigh Marie says

    Another site cleared all of this up and it makes perfect sense now. It's not that Jesus couldn't do miracles in his hometown, it's that he DIDN'T. Why? Because no one believed in him therefore, THEY DID NOT COME TO HIM ASKING FOR MIRACLES. If you don't believe in someones ability to perform miracles, would you go to them asking for a miracle? No. You'd say "yeah okay sure buddy" and not bother wasting your time. These people did not believe in him, so they did not ask him for a miracle. Which is why he did not perform them. And the proof is also in the fact it states "except for a few sick people he healed". That sentence alone proves he COULD perform miracles in his hometown. Only a few sick people came to him out of desperation and he healed them. The rest of the people there didn't come to him for anything so he didn't do anything for them.

  11. Hamilton Ramos says

    God bless you all:
    It is great to read what goes through the mind of other sons / daughters of God. It calls to attention things that I would not otherwise stop and think about.

    Although somehow unrelated to the original post, I would like to comment:

    To me God is a perfect Gentleman, He can do any kind of miracle, anytime He wants, but he respects the recipients (most of the time). If they do not believe, He lets them be (out of respect, as is their right).

    The healing of a blind man born that way, had a special significance, and it was probably done without the recipients’ faith, concern, eagerness, etc. It just happens that the Pharisees invented a requirement to prove Messiahship that involved the giving of sight to a person born blind.
    God never said that was a requirement to prove the healer was the Messiah, the Pharisees so did maybe by the way they interpreted some part of Scripture (maybe Isaiah).
    What is incredible, is that Jesus did the miracle, to prove to them that He indeed was the Messiah, and they still did not recognized Him as such. [I read about this somewhere, but I do not remember where, maybe in one of the L6 excerpts in the home screen).

    With respect to the time when Jesus drove demons out and sent them to the pigs, and the people there asked Him to leave, (just as when the guard with the ear cut), maybe it was not that they did not have faith, maybe they did, but the economic interests, prevailed over the spiritual ones.
    In the case of the people where the pigs drowned, maybe they did not want Jesus to send demons to any more animals as they would lose money, In that sense maybe they were a bit like the Pharisees, valued more the money in the temple, than the Temple that made holy the money, a dire mistake according to Jesus.
    In the case of the guy to get Jesus to jail, maybe he was getting payed to do a job, (as a modern secular person would say: it is not personal, just business). Once again letting the material get in the way of the spiritual.

    Lastly Ms. Marie said another site cleared up all of this, my question is: do you remember the link?, and if you do, could you share it with us?

  12. Hamilton Ramos says

    God bless you all:

    It is great to read what goes through the mind of other sons / daughters of God. It calls to attention things that I would not otherwise stop and think about.

    Ms. Marie said another site cleared up all of this, my question is: do you remember the link?, and if you do, could you share it with us?

    thanks, and God bless.

  13. says

    Jesus started his ministry by making known that he saw Nathaniel, healing and turning water into wine. Yet, the testimony and words spoken of God at the Jordan River, Lazarrus grave site and on the mount transfiguration hold to great testamony.

  14. Sophie says

    Thank you for Faithlife blog .It is eye open to me and affirmation that God have his purpose to do the miracle or not.
    As we are so call believer. Are we believe that God could do miracle in our present day.
    Mark9:18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but22 they were not able to do so.”
    19 He answered them,24 “You25 unbelieving26 generation! How much longer27 must I be with you? How much longer must I endure28 you?29 Bring him to me.”

    Capernaum rejected Jesus, refusing to believe God’s testimony presented through miracles (Heb. 2:4).
    As a result, Jesus said, “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you” (Matt. 11:23-24

    I am so bless that God does miracle in my family and people around me.
    My son, second child, was born with blood clot in his brain. Many specialist consultant recommended surgery. So My husband and I decided that we to have it done at the age under two. I remember very well that morning before took him to hospital. My husband and I pray together. However, I fell so alone and cry out to our Lord. At the hospital, while my son had head sca, I fell the pain of my son and the thought how he going to live as a boy with open skull. Suddenly, Dr.call us in a room . I fell died. I didn’t want to hear any complication to his ordeal. The Dr. Said congratulation. We don’t see any thing wrong with your son … I am so alive and joyful until now.
    My third child,was born deaf. When we checked out hospital, the nurse fave us paper to sign that my Daughter is deaf. I told the nurse that I won’t leave the hospital and ask her to retest again. She said that she had been tested three time a day. And she just tested before filling the paper. So I told her I won’t sign the paper. My husband worry about the hospital bill because if we stay pass the hr . The insurance won’t pay the costs over stay. Thank God, she willing to test again then came back with the paper work said normal hearing.
    On August, 19,2012, God heal me miraculous after walked away from my surgeon that suppose to surgery on my ovaries cyst. God lifted up that pain from me. I feel it that moment while I shared to my husband about how God ministry me about the lady at the well and God was full for he did the will Heavenly Father. So I pray with my husband that I shall be full like him. Suddenly, I fell relieved the pain them gone completely.
    This year, my oldest daughter, have edema eczema. She wanted me to take to Dr. But I keeped prayer with people for her. But one day, I fell so pitiful for her with the skin all bloody and dark. I ask her to come to my room and ask her to pray.( was not in strong faith, so many time to tell me she want to change her believe. I told her before she mention it about my story that she is the promises Child that when God comfort while I was scare escape, at the age of twelve years old, my country without my parents,with my sister and a guide man. I talk to God that Creates earth and Heaven that I wouldn’t died in that jungle and will live and my children will live in the Garden ( earth). I asked my daughter to confess to God silently. Then I pray lay hand on her. But she was still itchy from her head to her feet. I asked not leave my room then I put the oil on her forehead then I put my hand on her stomach and cry and just talk to God.I saw her stop itched. Then, we observed for complete healed after three days her skins all nice and beautiful no dark spot or scare. Thank god that he is god our Dr.

  15. says

    THE FOLLOWING THINGS CAN ALSO BE ADDED I THINK..
    Mathew 4: – The Temptation's, can be also added as he did not perform as the devil said..
    Luke 23:37 – Theif at the Cross said – "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

  16. fanele says

    wow u so bless my soul here.God Is great all he want from us is to do what he says we should and just keep on praying because demons are fighting out there Ephicians 4

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