The scripture for today, December 12(12/12) 2nd Corinthians 12:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
This is so interesting. These are not things that mark Christians in general, but the Apostles.
Jesus told his Apostles that, when they taught the world about Jesus and baptized them, miracles and signs would accompany the believers (Mark 16:17). The miracles and signs followed conversions of believers by the Apostles to whom he was speaking.
Acts 3:6f and 9:40f involved healing by the Apostle Peter, and Acts 20:9f involved healing by the Apostle Paul which they performed to prove their words were the Words of God.
In Acts 6:5-6, the Apostles laid their hands on seven men to serve the church in a special way. Of those men, Stephen performed miracles (6:8) and Philip performed miracles (8:5-7), both to prove their words were the Words of God.
In Romans 1:1,11, the Apostle Paul said he wanted to visit the Christians in Rome so he could impart some spiritual gift. In 1st Corinthians 1:6-7 the Apostle Paul said he imparted spiritual gifts to Christians in Corinth.
We have no examples in the New Testament of anyone other than an Apostle passing on the power to perform miracles. Even the writings of the “Apostolic Fathers” in the late 1st and early 2nd century say things like “Even down to those times there were a few miracles being performed including raising the dead” (Eusebius).
Yes, the reason for the miracles was to prove the words of the miracle performer were the Words of God (which had not yet been written down). It was this way with Jesus, and this way with his Apostles. Now that we have the New Testament (Jesus’ and his Apostles’ teachings in written form) we no longer need the miracles.
They were “marks of an Apostle.” The miracles including, healing, renewing the maimed (making limbs grow back), and bringing people back to life. All of them.
Interesting, isn’t it?