Heard on the Street
A cross empty of power.
I was running the other day, listening to some preaching on my iPod, when the preacher began speaking about Jesus and the miracles he performed during his earthly ministry. He said Jesus performed healings, signs, and wonders to prove his divinity.
There are two problems with this. First, there were prophets in the Old Testament who healed and performed signs and wonders. Elisha, for instance, raised a young boy from the dead. (2 Kings 4:8–37) Elijah also raised a young boy from the dead, and even called down fire from heaven. (1 Kings 17:17–23; 2 Kings 1:10) Did these signs prove that these men were divine? Second, Mark's gospel shows us that Jesus couldn't do any mighty healings in his hometown of Nazareth.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. (Mark 6:5, 6)
If Jesus' healings were to demonstrate he was divine, the Word shows him a failure.
The fact is Jesus stood in the shoes of an Old Testament prophet during his earthly ministry. His healings, like those of other prophets, served to confirm God's Word that one was coming who would save the world.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (Hebrews 1:1, 2)
He was that one. His earthly ministry attested to his future death, burial, and resurrection.