There are times in our lives when we hope and pray for miracles. It could be for a loved one or for our own benefit. Our hope is to have our supplication answered, the broken situation fixed, the bitter soul softened, and the Lord of miracles giving the resolution we desire. When the result is not what we expected or in the timetable we prayed for, we usually wonder why.
Moroni teaches, “And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men” (Moroni 10:19).
Are those gifts and miracles recorded in the scriptures still available in our day? How can we qualify for those blessings? Is the Savior aware of what is going on in our lives and willing to rescue us from our challenges?
What Can We Learn about the Savior’s Mission from His Miracles?
To understand a miracle’s impact on us and in our lives, let’s start by defining what a miracle is. Miracles “were intended to be a proof to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. … Many of them were also symbolic, teaching … divine truths. … Miracles were and are a response to faith and its best encouragement. They were never wrought without prayer, felt need, and faith.”1
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles simply and beautifully said:
“Miracles are divine acts, manifestations and expressions of God’s limitless power, and an affirmation that He is ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever’ [Moroni 10:19]. …
“… Miracles are extensions of God’s eternal plan; miracles are a lifeline from heaven to earth.”2
Thus, a profitable way to study the Savior’s miracles and learn from them is to remember that each miracle points to something larger than the event itself and to look for specific truths about God and His work.
Let’s discuss some of the truths we can learn from the Savior’s miracles of restoring sight to the blind. They can be divided into four lessons as follows.
1. Restoring Sight Was a Sign of the Messiah
Ancient prophets who testified of the coming of the Messiah spoke of the miracles He would perform, including giving sight to the blind.
To King Benjamin, a holy angel said that the Savior would “go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight” (Mosiah 3:5; see also Isaiah 35:4–5).3
Thus, the miracles of restoring sight to the blind confirm those prophesies about the Savior’s coming and His ministering to the children of God.
2. Jesus Is the Light of the World
This truth was clearly stated when Jesus came across a man who was blind from his birth (see John 9:1–11). When the disciples asked if the man had been born blind due to sin, Jesus said no, “but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (verse 3). Then, before restoring the man’s sight, the Savior declared, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (verse 5).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Before opening the eyes of the blind, physically, Jesus reminded his hearers of his previous pronouncement, ‘I am the light of the world,’ as though to teach: ‘Whenever you remember that I opened the blind eyes, physically, remember also that I came to bring light to eyes, spiritually.’”4
We need to remember how commonly sin is contemplated in the scriptures as a moral blindness and deliverance from sin as a removal of this blindness. He who is the “light of the world” was using this event to symbolize the higher work that He came into the world to accomplish.
3. Faith Precedes Miracles
As Jesus passed through the streets of Capernaum, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.” Then He spoke to them, asking, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” And they replied, “Yea, Lord.”
The evidence of their belief that the Lord could help them was in their persistence in following Him and in their prompt and open confession of that belief when asked. The Savior touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it unto you.” The effect was immediate: “their eyes were opened” (Matthew 9:27–31).
Elder McConkie observed: “Frequently in opening the eyes of the blind, Jesus, as here, coupled his spoken command with some physical act. On this and other occasions he touched the sightless eyes.”
Why did the Savior do that? “None of these unusual … acts are essential to the exercise of healing power,” explained Elder McConkie. But we know that faith precedes miracles, and so “the Master’s apparent purpose was to strengthen the faith of the blind or deaf person.”5
4. Miracles Sometimes Come Line upon Line
In Bethsaida, the people brought a blind man to Jesus. After leading the man out of the town, Jesus “spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him.” The man’s sight was only partially restored at this point, and so the Savior “put his hands again upon his eyes,”bringing about a full restoration. (See Mark 8:22–26.)
Elder McConkie pointed out truths we can learn from this event:
“It would appear that the successive instances of physical contact with Jesus had the effect of adding hope, assurance, and faith to the sightless one.
“… Men should seek the Lord’s healing grace with all their strength and faith, though such is sufficient for a partial cure only. …They may then gain the added assurance and faith to be made whole and well every whit. Men also are often healed of their spiritual maladies by degrees, step by step as they get their lives in harmony with the plans and purposes of Deity.”6
By performing this miracle in two distinct steps, the Lord helped the blind man to get prepared to receive the full blessing. Can we see this pattern also in our own search for miracles—something that we need to do, or not do, before being ready for a higher intervention?
Faith Not to Be Healed
Although we can see the importance of faith to accomplish miracles, it is important to notice that sometimes even the most faithful Saints will not have their wishes and supplications answered.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught us:
“Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in moving mountains—if moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the sick, deaf, and lame—if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Thus, even if we have strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated.
“Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can be received only through the things we experience and sometimes suffer. And God expects and trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in eternity.”7
I want to add my testimony to the testimonies of prophets ancient and modern. Miracles are still happening in our midst. The Savior Jesus Christ is the source of all power, light, and relief. I testify that through our faith in Him, we can be healed, and in case we are not healed, we may still find peace through the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World, and the Healer of Healers.
1. See Bible Dictionary, “Miracles.”
2.nullRonald A. Rasband, “Behold! I Am a God of Miracles,” Liahona, May 2021, 109, 110.
3.nullSee Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary (1973), 1:320.
4.nullBruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:481.
5.nullSee Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:320.
6.nullBruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:379–80.
7.nullDavid A. Bednar, “Accepting the Lord’s Will and Timing,” Liahona, Aug. 2016, 22.