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The Four Messianic Miracles Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

In Jewish belief[1], there were four physical conditions in mankind that could only be corrected by G-d Himself. It was believed that when G-d would send His Messiah, the SIGN that would prove to the Pharisees who He was would be the performance of four specific miracles. They are known as the four Messianic Miracles:

  • Cleansing a Leper
  • Casting out a Deaf and Dumb Spirit
  • The Healing of Birth Defects
  • Raising the Dead after three days (i.e. the fourth day)

The Messianic miracles related directly to the four blood sacrifices that Yeshua fulfilled in His sacrificial death on the cross.

   Messianic Miracle                                    Aspect of Fallen Nature                                          Associated Blood Sacrific

1. Cleansing From Leprosy                            The Curse Upon Man's Fleshly (Fallen) Nature             Guilt/Tresspass Offering (Lev. 6)    
2. Casting Out a Deaf & Dumb Spirit              The Sins of Individuals                                              Sin Offering (Lev. 4, 5)    
3. Healing of Birth Defects                             Man's Inherited Sin Nature                                        Burnt Offerig (Lev. 1)    
4. Raising the Dead After 3 Days                    Man's Lost Fellowship with G-d                                  Peace Offering  (Lev. 3)    

1.  LEPROSY

Leprosy, it was believed, was inflicted by G-d Himself. They called leprosy “The Finger of G-d”. There were three incidents of leprosy afflicting Israelites in the Tenakh (Old Testament).

  1. The reluctant prophet, Moses, was given a leprous hand by G-d as a demonstration of   G-d’s power.  G-d removed it. (Exodus 4:6)
  2. Miriam was afflicted with leprosy by G-d as punishment for speaking against Moses,    G-d’s anointed.  Moses prayed and G-d removed it.  (Numbers 12:14, 15)
  3. King Uzziah entered the Holy Place to unlawfully burn incense on the Golden Altar.  He was inflicted with leprosy by G-d.  Uzziah died for this offense against G-d’s Temple.  (2 Chronicles 26:18-21)

An incident involving Naaman (a Gentile) with leprosy is recorded in the Tenakh also. G-d cleansed him through instructions given by G-d to the prophet Elisha. Naaman went to the prophet because his Israelite slave told him Elisha could tell him how he could be healed. Naaman’s faith brought him to Elisha rather than his knowledge of the Almighty or the Laws of Israel (2 Kings 5:1-8). This was a foreshadowing of the fact that Gentiles would come into the Kingdom of G-d by blind faith in the G-d of Israel rather than through knowledge of the L-rd or His Word.

There was no Biblical record of an Israelite ever having been cleansed of leprosy. Lepers were condemned by G-d to live in shame outside the camp of Israel (Deut. 28:37). G-d gave them instructions to follow, however, in case a leper was cleansed. He had to bring a Guilt/Trespass Offering to the priest to make atonement for his defilement.

Because leprosy was inflicted by G-d, called “The Finger of G-d”, the Jews believed that only G-d or His Messiah would be able to cleanse a leper.

2.  DEAF AND DUMB SPIRITS

The Jews practiced exorcism (casting out demons) by a formula involving three steps:

  1. They spoke to the demon asking its name.
  2. The demon would reply using the voice of the possessed individual.
  3. The exorcist would then cast out the demon by its name.

Yeshua Himself used the Pharisee’s formula on one occasion when He asked the demons’ names in Mark 5:9 during the exorcism of the Gadarene demoniac. Yeshua referred to the exorcism practiced by the Pharisees when He said:

“If I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out?” (Matthew 12:27)

The Jews could not cast out a deaf and dumb spirit because the demon could not identify itself through one who could not hear the command nor speak the answer. This led to the belief that when the Messiah came, He would demonstrate His Messiahship by casting out a deaf and dumb spirit.

3.  BIRTH DEFECTS

The Hebrew sages believed that birth defects were a punishment from G-d for the sins of a child or his ancestors. This belief was based upon two scriptures:

“He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7b)

“Who gave man his mouth?  Who makes him deaf or mute?  Who gives him sight or makes him blind?  Is it not I the L-rd?” (Exodus 4:11)

They, therefore, reasoned that since it was a punishment from G-d, only G-d (or His Messiah) could correct birth defects.

4.  RAISING THE DEAD AFTER THREE DAYS (i.e. on the 4th day)

In Jewish thought, a dead person’s spirit remained with his body for three days. The dead person could, they believed, be brought back to life within that time. After three days, however, corruption of the flesh set in; Then, only G-d Himself could raise the dead person back to life. It was believed that when the Messiah would come, he would raise someone from the dead after three days (on the fourth day)–– after his spirit had left his body and corruption of the flesh had begun.

During that time, if anyone was ‘suspected’ of being the Messiah (if it was believed they may have performed a Messianic miracle), it was reported to the Sanhedrin for investigation. An individual could not be declared the Messiah without its approval. The Sanhedrin was the ruling body of elders that decided all religious and national issues for the Jewish people.

First, they would send Pharisees and others to observe the individual. During the OBSERVATION STAGE of the investigation, the Pharisees were not permitted to ask any questions or to comment. They merely followed the individual and listened, reporting their findings to the Sanhedrin.

Then, if the “case” warranted, it would progress to the INTERROGATION STAGE during which the alleged Messiah’s claims would be questioned and challenged.

In His demonstration of the FIRST SIGN, Yeshua cleansed a leper. This first Messianic miracle is recorded in Mark 1:40-44, Matthew 8:2-4, and Luke 5:12-14. After cleansing the leper, Yeshua instructed him to show himself to the priest and offer the sacrifice Moses commanded, the Guilt Offering, as a testimony to them. Since no Israelite leper had ever been cleansed, this sparked an investigation by the Sanhedrin.

Isaiah the prophet said that the Messiah would become a Guilt Offering for Man:

“...the L-rd makes His life a Guilt Offering,” (Isaiah 53:10b)

The next SIGN, in His performance of a Messianic miracle, Yeshua cast out a deaf and dumb spirit (Mark 9:14-29). He was already under investigation by the Sanhedrin, so the Pharisees and teachers of the Law were following Him everywhere. Although they were not openly challenging Him, their thoughts betrayed their unbelief.  In one case, Yeshua confronted them:

“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming!  Who can forgive sins but G-d alone?’ Immediately Yeshua knew in His spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts....” (Mark 2:6-8 also Matthew 9:4-6; 12:14; Luke 15:1)

Yeshua’s disciples brought Him a demon-possessed boy from whom the demon could not be cast out. He told his disciples that this kind required prayer. Yeshua lived a life of prayer. He wanted them to know that it was by faith, not by formula, that demons would obey them. Publicly performing the second Messianic miracle, Yeshua cast out the deaf and dumb spirit.

All mankind became spiritually deaf and dumb when Adam obeyed Satan rather than G-d (you belong to the one you obey). The Sin Offering delivered man from the power and influence of Satan over his life. Yeshua, as man’s Sin Offering, overpowered and disarmed Satan.

“...can anyone enter a strongman’s [Satan’s] house and carry off his possessions [possessed people] unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house [deliver possessed people].” (Matthew 12:29)

“He forgave us all our sins....nailing [the list of our offenses] to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”  (Colossians 23:13-15)

The next SIGN of Messiahship that Yeshua performed was the healing of a man born blind, recorded in John Chapter 9. In Jewish belief, birth defects were due to the sins of a child or his ancestors. When Yeshua and His disciples encountered a man who was born blind, His disciples wanted to know who had sinned:

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2)

Yeshua told them that neither the man nor his parents had sinned. In this particular case, he was born blind that the SIGN the Pharisees were looking for would be fulfilled:

“....this happened so that the work of G-d might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3b)

Yeshua placed mud* [symbolic of sin and impurity] made from His spittle on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.

*Because man was made from the dust of the earth, this led some Bible scholars to speculate that Yeshua created new eyes for the man. There was also a tradition that the spittle of the firstborn had healing virtue.

This was significant because Yeshua performed this miracle during the Feast of Tabernacles. During this Feast, the ritual of “The Joy of Water Drawing” was performed. The priests would take water from the Pool of Siloam (which they called the fountain of cleansing) to pour out on the altar.

“With joy you will draw water from wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3)

They believed that when the Messiah would come, a fountain of cleansing would be opened to them.

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David...to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” (Zechariah 13:1)

In the performance of this miracle, Yeshua demonstrated the removal of man’s impure, inherited sin-nature. When the man washed the mud off his eyes in the pool, he saw for the first time although not clearly. Yeshua then told the man to wash a second time after which he saw clearly. This miracle foretold the future healing of the “blindness” of the Jewish people––the “blindness” that was afflicted by G-d that will be healed at the L-rd’s return.

“The L-rd has brought over you a deep sleep; He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).” (Isaiah 29:10)

“G-d gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” (Romans 11:8)

G-d afflicted them with blindness so that Gentiles might have the opportunity to be saved.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in [into the Jewish olive tree].”(Romans 11:25)

Then, Paul says in Romans 11:26, “all Israel will be saved”:

“In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of the gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.” (Isaiah 29:18)

The BURNT OFFERING was the sacrifice that kept Israel clean before G-d from its sin-nature. The priests had to keep a burnt offering on the bronze altar of sacrifice at all times [morning & evening] for the Nation of Israel. Yeshua, as our BURNT OFFERING imputed to mankind, G-d’s righteous nature in exchange for man’s inherited sin-nature––the birth defect inherited from Adam and Eve.

“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men...” (Romans 5:12)

In His FINAL SIGN and proof of his Messiahship, Yeshua allowed His dear friend Lazarus to die from sickness even though it was within his power to heal him. In fact Yeshua waited to go to the home of Lazarus until it was the fourth day after his death. He told His disciples:

“This sickness will not end in death, No, it is for G-d’s glory so that G-d’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

In performing this SIGN, it would force the Sanhedrin to declare Yeshua the Messiah. Instead, the chief priests made plans to kill Yeshua (John 11:53) and Lazarus (John 12:10) whose resurrection from the dead was the final evidence of Yeshua’s Messiahship. They refused to bestow His rightful title––Messiah––because they feared losing their high positions and power with the Roman government (John 11:48). This sign actually pointed to His own resurrection from the dead AFTER three days as He said would happen (Mark 8:31 and Matthew 12:4). In fact, it would seem the Pharisees understood the implications of His statement when they sought to secure His tomb so that the apostles would not 'steal' His body.

"Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.'" (Matthew 27:63) 

This final miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead on the fourth day after corruption had begun pointed to the PEACE OFFERING, symbolizing peace with G-d being restored to all mankind through Yeshua’s sacrifice. It is interesting that all participated in this offering: G-d (fat, kidneys, etc.), the Priests (thigh & breast), the person who brought the offering and others who would share in the meal.

“For G-d was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things...by making peace through His blood shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)

I believe this offering pointed to the future infilling of the Holy Spirit made possible only through the death of Yeshua.

“…the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom G-d willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:26, 27)

Resurrection from the dead after three days [i.e. the 4th day], after corruption has set in, represents our SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION from a life of corruption––we were dead in our sins. We become restored to wholeness, enabled by the Holy Spirit to obey G-d and have fellowship with Him:

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our L-rd Yeshua Messiah.  G-d, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Yeshua Messiah our L-rd, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:8, 9)

 “If you will obey My voice...and keep My covenant then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people...and you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests* and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

*It was the priesthood that maintained fellowship with G-d and stood on behalf of the Israelites between man and G-d.

After having performed these miracles and many more, the OBSERVATION STAGE entered into the INTERROGATION STAGE. The Sadducees, Pharisees, and Rabbis approached Yeshua and began to ask Him questions (Matthew 21:23-22:45). Yeshua stymied them with His answers and His questions to them.

“No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” (Matthew 22:46)

Yeshua’s performance of these four Messianic miracles should have demonstrated to the people and the leadership of Israel that He was the Messiah. When John the Baptist sent word to Yeshua asking if He were the ONE who was to come or should he expect another, Yeshua said this:

“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard:  the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Luke 7:22)

Yeshua was telling John that His mission was accomplished. He had performed all the Messianic miracles––birth defects cured (blind & lame), leprosy cleansed, deaf restored, and the dead were raised to life, thus fulfilling the four blood sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

Barukh HaShem (Blessed is the Name of the L-rd)



1. “…‘Messianic Miracles’ (known in Hebrew and Judaism as ‘nessim v’niflaot’) in the Second Temple Period (the era in Jewish history corresponding to the time of Yeshua and the early church) are largely derived from various passages in the book of Isaiah such as chapters 35, 51, and 53. The views of the rabbis during this time as referred or alluded to in the New Testament are not challenged by serious academic rabbis and scholars such as Ivy League Professor Rabbi Jacob Neusner or the late Rabbi David Flusser of Hebrew University. … Neusner states ‘The Gospels are the pivotal Second Temple Period Jewish literature between the inter-testamental apocryphal literature and the early Midrashim.’ The New Testament background concerning Messianic miracles comes from what in Judaism is known as ‘Torah B’al Pei’ or ‘The Oral Law’ which includes what is commonly referred to as ‘the tradition of the elders’. Such materials were not codified in any written form until the second century AD/CE by Rabbi Yehuda Ha Nassi in Galilee. Thus because it was unwritten, we can only document it from citations and commentaries on it from later written sources. The only source of contemporary authorship with it ironically is the New Testament as Neusner and other rabbinic scholars accept….We must keep in mind that such traditions were not directly from scripture but rather rabbinic interpretations of scriptures (mainly from Isaiah).––– James Jacob Prasch, Moriel Ministries (Moriel.org)

 

 
 
 
 
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