“Can I see some ID?” We get this question a lot. We all have many kinds of ID that verify who we are by our eye color, height, weight, where we were born, where we live, and our family of origin. Verifying a human’s identity is simple if you have the right documents, but how would God verify his identity to humans?
Jesus has something to say about this: “The works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).
Jesus claims that the works he does, the signs and wonders, verify his identity. But how do they do this?
To understand what the miracles performed by Jesus prove about his identity, we need to look at the types of miracles he performed.
The God described in the Scriptures is said to be omnipresent. This big theological term simply means that God is cognitively aware of all things in his creation. Basically, nothing happens that God doesn’t know about because he isn’t limited by geographical space. Jesus performed miracles showing he was aware of things happening away from his physical presence.
In John 1:47–49, Nathaniel comes to meet Jesus, and Jesus says Nathaniel is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. Perplexed, Nathaniel asks how Jesus knows this, and Jesus replies, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” This statement shocks Nathaniel, to which he replies, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Nathaniel was amazed at Jesus’ knowledge of his character and whereabouts because Jesus wasn’t physically present at the fig tree.
We see another example of Jesus’ awareness of distant events when he heals the centurion’s servant in Matthew 8:5–13. Jesus tells the centurion he will come and heal his servant, to which the centurion replies, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” After praising the centurion’s faith, Jesus says, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” Matthew then tells us that “the servant was healed that very moment.”
Jesus, through these miracles, verified that he was aware of things happening even when he was physically distant from them.
Another attribute of God is that he is the creator of all things, which includes time.
One of the signs that Jesus performed was accurately prophesying about future events. He foretold his death and resurrection (Luke 9:21–22) and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Matt. 24:1–2). He knew about events that would take place in the future. His knowledge of these things shows he wasn’t limited by time.
Genesis 1 tells us God created all things, including everything in the physical realm. Specifically, God separated the waters, established land, and created human beings.
Jesus performed many miracles that verified he had control over the physical realm. He told the wind and the waves how to behave (Mark 4:36–41), he walked on water (John 6:16–21), he healed non-functioning eyes (John 9:1–12), legs (Mark 2:1–12), and leprosy (Luke 17:11–19). Jesus verified his identity through his power over physical matter.
In addition to physical matter, Jesus performed miracles over spiritual realities. Multiple times, he cast demons out of people (Matt. 8:28–32). In fact, he did this so often that even the Pharisees admitted he had this ability (Matt. 12:24). Jesus also was able to return the souls of people to their dead bodies and raise them from the dead. He did this with Lazarus (John 11:1–46), the widow’s son (Luke 7:11–17), and Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35–43).
The works of Jesus verify that he had power over space, time, matter, and the spiritual realm. These miracles also verify his identity.
Jesus is described as the Word, who is God. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3).
When asked for evidence of his identity, Jesus—the creator of space, time, matter, and the spiritual realm—performed miracles showing his power over space, time, matter, and the spiritual realm.
We can know who he is by observing the works he did.