How Did Jesus Perform Miracles?

When answering the question, How did Jesus perform miracles? we must first consider what Jesus was really like and that He had surrendered his divine abilities to embrace His humanity while living on Earth.

This article explores the methods Jesus used to perform miracles, shedding light on His relationship with the Holy Spirit. Discover how you too can tap into this divine power and follow in Jesus' footsteps, performing the same works, and ministering Life to others.

How Did Jesus Perform Miracles During His Ministry on Earth

By Don Bell | Reading Time: 10 minutes.

Concept Image for How Did Jesus Perform MiraclesHow Did Jesus Perform Miracles? The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Source: ©dovapi/

We read in Scripture, "Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).

Jesus is the Son of God, one with God the Father, and one with the Holy Spirit. His Incarnation is a mystery beyond our human ability to explain and for that reason, people tend to make Jesus so mystical, that they cannot relate to His human life and earthly ministry.

How did Jesus perform miracles? To answer this question, we really need to move past our, religious views of Jesus and accept that while retaining His deity, He temporarily gave up His glory and became fully a man.

Embodied in human form (incarnate), Jesus surrendered the use of His divine abilities. NOTE that He did not renounce His divine abilities or attributes; He voluntarily surrendered His use of them.

Scripture says, "[He] emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]" (Philippians 2:7 AMP).

What Was Jesus Really Like?

Isaiah prophesied of Jesus' physical appearance: "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).

Jesus didn't appear different from the other men around him when He walked the streets of Jerusalem. If His appearance had been in any way remarkable, The New Testament writers would have mentioned it.

For certain, Jesus would not appear as He does in the Old Masters' paintings, dressed in radiant robes, wistfully gazing Heavenwards as if to pray, with a golden halo radiating from His head.

If Jesus walked through your local shopping mall today, it's unlikely that you would notice Him.

He would have woken from a night's sleep, showered, applied deodorant, combed His hair, gotten dressed in ordinary street clothing, and driven to the mall. He might even stop by the food court to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a toasted bagel.

Jesus got tired, He got hungry, He sweated in the heat, He shivered in the cold, and He displayed normal human emotions.

Before starting his ministry, He learned to read and write, studied the Hebrew Scriptures (likely the Septuagint (LXX) Greek-language version that was common then), worked as an artisan, in an ordinary Galilean town. Nothing "beyond usual."

However, after Jesus had begun His earthly ministry, He DID appear "beyond usual" for He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and He spoke accompanied by signs and wonders.

And guess what? Jesus wants us to appear "beyond usual" by exercising spiritual gifts and doing the same works that He did!

Remember, Jesus says, "'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father'" (John 14:12).

If Jesus says that we can do the SAME works, wouldn't we need to be endued with the SAME abilities to do those works? Therefore, Jesus had to be equipped with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the SAME gifts of the Holy Spirit that He has made available to us!

Did Jesus Exercise Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

When asked the question, How did Jesus perform miracles? some believers respond by saying that Jesus didn't need to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit because He's God, and God is all powerful.

But, REMEMBER, Jesus had emptied Himself of His divine powers and taken on a human form. Therefore, Jesus needed to rely on a divine power beyond Himself.

It happens there are more than a few examples of Jesus exercising the gifts (supernatural abilities) of the Spirit in The New Testament. However, for the sake of brevity, let's look at just one example of each gift.

Jesus Exercised the Three Revelation Gifts

  • Word of Knowledge: Jesus exercised a word of knowledge when He perceived the thoughts of the scribes and Pharisees who wanted to accuse Him of blasphemy (Luke 5:21-26).
  • Word of Wisdom: Jesus received a word of wisdom on how to deal with the Pharisees and the Herodians who attempted to catch Him in His words over the payment of taxes to Caesar (Mark 12:13-17).
  • Discerning of Spirits: Jesus discerned an evil spirit when He delivered an epileptic boy (Matthew 17:14-18).

Jesus Exercised the Three Power Gifts

  • Miracles: Jesus performed a miracle whenever He gave sight to the blind, cast out demons, and raised the dead (Luke 7:21-22).
  • Gifts of Healing: Jesus exercised gifts of healing throughout His ministry and at times He healed all who came to Him (Matthew 4:23).
  • Faith: Jesus exercised the gift of faith when He cursed the unproductive fig tree (Mark 11:12-14; 20-23).

Jesus Exercised the Three Utterance Gifts

  • Prophecy: Jesus often spoke prophetically and on the night of His betrayal, He clearly prophesied that Peter would deny him three times (John 13:37-38).
  • Different Kinds of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues: These two utterance gifts are the only gifts for which there isn't definite biblical proof of Jesus exercising them.

    I did find one occasion in The New Testament that might possibly offer a hint that Jesus exercised the gift of tongues.

    We read in Scripture, "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit …" (Luke 10:21). Whether Jesus rejoiced in tongues, I'll leave it with you to decide. I have no difficulty in believing that Jesus prayed in unknown tongues.

    See my article Did Jesus Speak in Tongues for more information.

Did Jesus' Sinless Nature Give Him an Advantage?

Some people might argue that Jesus had a huge advantage over us when it comes to exercising spiritual gifts. After all, He was the Son of God; He was born without sin!

It is true that lacking our sinful nature, Jesus could walk in a sure faith not compromised by feelings of unworthiness, guilt, doubt, or fear.

However, we must NOT accept Jesus' sinless nature as our excuse for failing to do the same works that He did. After all, the central message of The New Testament is that Jesus endured the cross to rescue us from the consequences of mankind's rejection of God.

His sacrificial death on the cross paid the penalty for our crimes against God's law once and for all, satisfying the holiness and justice of God. As Jesus says, "It is finished! …" (John 19:30).

Scripture Text Mark 2:5Son, Your Sins Are Forgiven You (Mark 2:5)
Source: ©Hriana/

We read in Scripture, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1-2).

Jesus in human form was tempted to disobey God. Satan tried to entice Him away from the right path, BUT Jesus never allowed Himself to go His own way with no thought of God. He never missed the high mark of His calling.

Because Jesus was tempted and knows our human weaknesses, He's able to effectively intercede for us as our High Priest in the presence of God the Father.

Scripture says, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in ALL POINTS tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16, emphasis added).

Therefore, to be proficient in the gifts of the Spirit, you must be clear about your rescue from disobedience and despair. You must make a 180 degree turn from any wrong that you were doing and choose to obey God. You must know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are forgiven by God, then your conscious will be clear.

Scripture says, "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:13-14).

The Greek word συνείδησις (syneidēsis) means conscience, having second thoughts, the soul as a voice within sensing what is morally good and bad.

So, if your conscience is cleansed from doubts, guilt, and second thoughts, then you can expect to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit and serve the living God as Jesus did.

Do you need more assurance?

Jesus says, "'You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you'" (John 15:3).


How Did Jesus Perform Miracles?

Scripture says, "'MOST ASSUREDLY, I say to you, the Son can do NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does …'" (John 5:19-20, emphasis added).

And Peter says, "'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power …" (Acts 10:35).

I will readily admit that we are not God. We cannot do in ourselves what God can do. But God created us as human beings, and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our lives, we should be able to do what Jesus, the Son of Man, was able to do in His earthly ministry. …

I am persuaded that our Lord Jesus, while He was on earth, did not accomplish His powerful deeds in the strength of His deity. I believe He did them in the strength and authority of His Spirit-anointed humanity.1 —A.W. Tozer

It's beyond certain that Jesus performed miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit resided within Him, so Jesus had all the attributes of the Holy Spirit — all His fruits and all His gifts (supernatural abilities).

We need to keep reminding ourselves that Jesus' miracles, signs, and wonders were preformed through His HUMAN NATURE that He shares in common with us.

I cannot recall where I either heard or read the following example, but I've never forgotten it, and it has often encouraged me to step out in faith to minister:

Let's suppose Jesus suddenly appeared beside you and asked you to minister to someone's need using the gifts of the Spirit, the nine spiritual gifts that He has freely made available to you. What would you do? Would you respond by saying, "Jesus, since you're here, I'll step aside, and let you do it."

A similar situation happens in prayer meetings when someone expresses a need, let's say for healing. However, instead of ministering to the need by exercising their spiritual gifts through power of the Holy Spirit, believers launch into prayer, asking Jesus to do it. Meantime, Jesus is waiting for them to do it, and a potential blessing is lost. After all, Jesus sent His Spirit to empower them! Is it any wonder that we see so few results?

Hopefully, you would realize that Jesus was giving YOU His authority and approval to minister, and YOU would step out in faith and exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit expecting to see the same results as though He were the one ministering.

Whenever ministry needs arise, ask yourself the question, How did Jesus perform miracles? and simply follow His example to meet the need.

The more we push Jesus into a mystical religious realm, then the harder it is for us to believe that we could ever do His works.

However, the more we can relate to the MAN Christ Jesus, the more faith we'll have to follow His example by doing His works and ministering to others.


1 Tozer, A. W., Jesus, Our Man in Glory (p. 60). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Don Bell of Kingdom Anointing

By Don Bell, follower of the Christ.

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