Chapter 8

As Seen in the Biblical Miracles

Since water is so important in the Middle East, it’s not surprising to discover how often water is a primary factor in many of the miracles of the Bible.

• The creation of life (Gen. 1)

• The flood (Gen. 6–9)

• The preservation of the infant Moses (Ex. 2)

• The plagues against Egypt (Ex. 7–10)

• The dividing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14)

• Water from the rock (Ex. 17)

• The dividing of the Jordan (Josh. 3)

• Elijah and the drought (1 Ki. 17–18)

• The consumption of Elijah’s water-drenched altar (1 Ki. 18)

• Elisha and the floating ax head (2 Ki. 6)

• Jesus turning water to wine (Jn. 2)

• The great catches of fish (Lk. 5; Jn. 21)

• Jesus walking on the water (Mt. 14)

• Jesus calming the storm (Mk. 4)

God used most of these miracles in the life of Israel chiefly as evidence of His presence and His power to a people surrounded by cultures serving powerless false gods. But the Bible makes it clear that even the regular events of nature have a miraculous element. Is God’s sending forth water from the rock at Moses’ command any more aweinspiring than the water He’s poured forth for millennia from the foot of Mount Hermon to fill the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea?

Is Jesus’ instantaneous miracle of turning water into wine any more amazing than God’s gradual miracle of drawing colorless, tasteless water up from the earth and forcing it through twining vines to produce sweet and savory grapes out of which wine is made?

Consider God’s miraculous presence in the towering pillar of cloud (water vapor) in daylight and fire at night that led the Hebrew children through the wilderness. Is that more magnificent than His manifestation in the massive, silver-lined thunderclouds that daily dash over the earth’s surface with frightful sound and flashing fury? And is Jesus’ instantaneous miracle of turning water into wine any more amazing than God’s gradual miracle of drawing colorless, tasteless water up from the earth and forcing it through twining vines to produce sweet and savory grapes out of which wine is made? The Bible gives us a beautiful picture of this:

In that day sing to her, “A vineyard of red wine! I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day” (Isa. 27:2-3).

The idea that the regular processes of nature are miraculous comes out clearly in the book of Job:

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; He sends water upon the countryside (Job 5:9-10 NIV). He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number (Job 9:10).

One of the most startling revelations of the Bible is what it says about who Jesus Christ is, and why He could perform the miracles He did. The amazing truth is that while Jesus was a man, He performed certain local miracles. But prior to His incarnation, and continuing today, He performs all the daily miracles of the whole cosmos. In His supernatural power He maintains all the material aspects of the creation:

[The Son] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (Col. 1:15-17).

This same truth is seen in the first chapter of the book of Hebrews:

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (vv.1-3).

From these passages we learn the foundational biblical doctrine that Jesus is truly God in the flesh— the Second Person of the Holy Trinity who in His preincarnate form was responsible for creating all matter and for continuing to hold all material things together. This being the case, we understand that the One who bonded the first hydrogen atoms with oxygen to form the first lifegiving water is the same One who changed the composition of water to wine when He was on the earth—and the same One who offers us the water of eternal life.

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