Why weren't Jesus' pre-Resurrection miracles good enough for the Apostles?

Why weren’t Jesus’ pre-Resurrection miracles good enough for the Apostles?

Specifically, Jesus performed numerous miracles before the Resurrection. Were these too “common” for the Apostles to believe He was God? I am puzzled by this.

:hmmm:

  1. They were powerful enough testimony that they followed HIM around for 3 years.

  2. Also the Jews were waiting for a Messiah that in their minds would liberate the Israeli people from foreign oppression and restore the Davidic Kingdom.

  3. They had a simpler concept of GOD who was immaterial, certainly the triune GOD was completely foreign to their mind!

  4. Without supernatural help (Holy Spirit) many of these concepts could not be grasped easily, after all the Trinity Dogma took how many years to be completely fleshed out in Christianity? 500, 700?
    Yet you would be surprised to find out that even today there are “Christians” who deny this dogma.

Shall I go on?

.

I feel they did believe He was God…didn’t Peter tell Jesus, “where shall we go, You have the words of eternal life?”
When He calmed the sea, they knew only God had authority over the elements!

Well I think part of it is that miracles were often associated with prophets. Many people thought Jesus was a prophet- even Muslims today honor Jesus as a prophet.

Second, many people thought the Messiah would be a political and military leader, not a spiritual leader. They thought the Messiah would come and free the Jewish people from Roman occupation. Jesus had no intention of doing that.

But I do think that as time went on Jesus’ disciples did come to believe but then had their faith shaken when our Lord was crucified. It must have been hard to understand why God would allow Himself to be murdered.

What I want to know is why the POST Resurrection miracles (including the Resurrection itself) weren’t good enough?

You surely know the Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel (chapter 28, verses 18 and 19). But do you know what the verse immediately preceding the Commission says?

When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. [Matt 28:17]

WHAT??? Jesus had risen from the dead! He had eaten with them! He had taught them for 40 days. He reprised his miracle of the bountiful fishing haul. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THROUGH TO THESE GUYS???

In the Lazarus parable

Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ [Luke 16:31]

I didn’t realize that APOSTLES were included in this unconvinced group.

But all of this happened before the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. That’s gotta be part of the answer.

This drives home the idea that the virtue of faith really is a gift. Thank you for the insight.

To believe that a man could be God? We’re taught that truth all our lives and yet we must learn it, or re-learn it, and learn it more deeply, all our lives, for ourselves. That a man could be God??? That’s sposta be easy? :slight_smile:

I think this may have to do with the times they were living in, Im sure most of the apostles had seen alot of things come and go, magic was probably practiced by many people in those days as well, so maybe they had seen ‘common parlor tricks’ before and assumed Jesus was just another person that had learned this skill.

Imo, many people living in that region (middle east) had probably been exposed to at least some form of Egyptian magic, this was VERY powerful, and Im sure it was quite impressive to witness, nothing like the times we live in today, if these things were done today, no one would know what to think, they would automatically think that person is supernatural or its a trick, the only thing many would likely think to do, is get out their smartphone and start recording it. LOL

Thats one reason I think the antichrist will have an easy path when he comes on the scene, a few of these ‘parlor tricks’ in front of large GULLIBLE crowds, he will have every single one of them fooled within 5 minutes.

Until they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost they could not fully accept the miraculous - and so incredible (which means “unbelievable”) gift that the Lord Jesus was promising to them.

I’ve always how the apostles doubted, too.

It could be one of two things, I think:

1.) They were still so stunned that a dead man was in front of them they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Not only was Jesus violently executed, they abandoned him-here he is back and is forgiving them. Have you ever doubted that your sins were forgiven? Not only are they forgiven-now He wants to send them out on a mission.

2.) They doubted in themselves-here is Jesus-about to leave and telling THEM to go out and evangelize the whole world. Now, we all do that. Jesus ask something of us and we doubt if we can do it or if we really understood what he wanted us to do. The request had to be astounding to them.

When I read of times the apostles doubted, it helps me not feel so bad when I struggle sometimes with my faith. :slight_smile:

What do you think if today somebody says that they are Jesus? They are crazy right?

What if someone came along, claimed to be Jesus, and could do supernatural acts, like moving things with their mind, calling down fire from Heaven, etc, and they did these things in front of large crowds for all to see?

Would we call them a false prophet or would many people be fooled into believing they were the real deal?

Let them raise the dead…NOT!

The truth is, we dont know what ANY false prophet may be able to do…God said MANY would come, some doing great signs and wonders, so great they would fool the elect if possible…to fool the elect, these false prophets will have to be EXTREMELY convincing, I presume they will be able to do all the things Jesus was able to do when he walked the earth, he will heal, walk on water, cause things to happen suddenly in nature, etc…that way, the false prophet will be able to say “look, I can do all the things the Nazarene did, I am truly God”, this is the only way the elect and many others will be fooled. NO ONE will be fooled by someone just speaking words, anyone can say anything, anyone can SAY ‘Im God’, actions are what make it different.

OK. So you are going down the line of tests to prove God. I mean, if someone showed up and said they were God, what would YOU ask them to do to prove it?

If you were to say ask them to heat a bowl of water up in 30 secs, you could be fooled by a microwave oven. If you were to say ask them to catch fish in a lake that nobody could catch fish in, you could be fooled by a guy who just knows about fish behavior.

But the test that Jesus gives us is humility. Nobody but God himself, could be be so humble. That test cannot be faked.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.