Signs and Wonders



The growth of the Christian Church in the first four centuries of the common era is a social phenomenon without parallel in the history of the world. From a meagre thirty individuals or so at the time of the crucifixion, the Church, at the end of the fourth century, numbered approximately thirty million. What explanation can be given for such enormous growth?

A close examination of the miracles of the Bible, particularly the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, reveals it was not the teaching of Jesus or the wide travels of Saint Paul that caused their fame to spread so quickly. It was the miracles they were performing. The recipients of miracles, and the witnesses to the miracles could not possibly keep it to themselves. No modern technology was required, word of mouth, families, friends, relatives, and with miracles, even strangers would be relating what they had seen and heard.

Miracles, more than anything else, seem to be the best explanation for the growth of the early church, the greatest incentive to baptism and conversion. The Christian Church, in the short span of four hundred years, went from a fledgling, persecuted faith to the official religion of the Roman Empire. Nothing explains this social phenomenon better than faith in the power of miracles and the reports of these miracles that were spreading all over the Mediterranean world.

In a word, to believe in Jesus is to believe in miracles!