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The Miracles: Exploring the Mystery of Jesus's Divine Works Paperback – August 1, 2006

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From the Back Cover

Rediscover the mystery. We've heard the stories about Jesus calming the storm, feeding the five thousand, and healing the blind. But they can seem so far removed from our experience of following Jesus today. What would it have been like to witness these events firsthand? Simon Kistemaker helps you take a closer look at the miracles of Jesus to better understand the purpose behind each one. By carefully laying out cultural background, symbolism, and Old Testament connections, Kistemaker shows you how these miracles relate to the way you follow Jesus. The result is a detailed exploration that will deepen your understanding of Jesus's miraculous works. "I love the clear, simple, yet profoundly insightful way Simon Kistemaker explores the miracles of Jesus. This is a rich and rewarding study of all the major signs and wonders recorded in the Gospels. These events illuminate our understanding of the earthly life and work of the Savior--and reveal his true glory--in a unique and powerful way."--John MacArthur, author; president, Grace to You "What a wonderful book! I've been reading The Miracles devotionally and it has fed my soul and my mind. If you've never studied the miracles of Jesus, been overwhelmed by their power, and rejoiced in what Jesus does for his own, this is the place to start. Read it! You'll be so glad you did."--Steve Brown, author; president, Key Life radio program; professor, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida Simon J. Kistemaker is professor emeritus at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and the author of numerous commentaries and studies, including The Parables and The Conversations of Jesus.

About the Author

Simon J. Kistemaker is professor emeritus at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and the author of numerous studies and commentaries, including The Parables and several volumes of the New Testament Commentary series.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801066077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801066078
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,512,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Dowler on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
After reading Kistemaker's book on the Parables of Jesus, I was looking forward to using this book to serve as an outline and source material for a home Bible Study.

Kistemaker has done a good job in categorizing the miracles, and each miracles receives it's own chapter, as well as "Points to Ponder". There is some good background information that helps bring the miracles to life and that helps in understanding the culture and times in which they occurred.

The main problem I have with the book is that when Kistemaker uses his imagination to "visualize" the events around the miracles, he often writes these visualizations as fact without providing any distinction between them and what the scriptural texts actually say. here are just a few examples:

* He writes that the woman with an issue of blodd "squatted in the road" and that a "tassel at the bottom of His robe slipped over her hand when he walked past." The scriptures actually state that she "came up behind him" and "touched the edge of his cloak".
* He says of the crippled woman in Luke 13 "...due to her condition she had trouble focusing on Jesus during the service." Again, not backed up by scripture.
* Of the demoniac in Gadara he states that "the town had banished him to dwell in an underground graveyard among the tombs." The scriptures merely state that he lived there - whether of his own choosing or not is speculation.
* Of the epileptic boy with a demon, Kistemaker writes "First Andrew had uttered a foolproof formula in casting out demons: 'In the name of Jesus of nazareth, I tell you, come out of the boy.' Nothing happened. Then Bartholomew wanted to exorcise the demon. he uttered the same words..." All of this is pure speculation with absolutley no scriptural verification.
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Format: Paperback
Jesus was renown throughout Israel not just for His teachings but for His power. He was the rabbi who opened the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf, and made the crippled walk again.

In The Miracles: Exploring the Mystery of Jesus's Divine Works, Simon J. Kistemaker takes an in-depth look at each of Jesus's powerful works, reflecting on both the historical and cultural background as well as their impact on our faith. Kistemaker divides Jesus's miracles into categories, including the "nature miracles," "sick made well," "ears to hear," "demons expelled" and "raised from the dead." As a result, readers get a solid look at the style and continuity of Jesus's interactions with others.

One of the most fascinating sections of the book is the examination of the nature miracles. Moments such as Jesus turning the water into wine, stilling the storm, feeding the thousands and cursing the fig tree are looked at from a fresh, Biblical perspective.

When reflecting on the miracle of paying the temple tax with a coin pulled from a fish's mouth, he writes:

"Of all the four Gospel writers only Matthew, the former tax collector, tells the story of Jesus paying the temple tax --- a tax that had to be paid annually for the upkeep of the religious services at the Jerusalem temple. It amounted to a half shekel, which was the equivalent of a worker's earnings for two days, and every Jewish male above the age of twenty had to pay this amount."

Throughout the book, Kistemaker offers rich insights and observations on the Bible text. For example, he notes that when Jesus instructed Peter to go to the Lake of Galilee and the disciple returns with the coin to pay the tax, this is the only miracle where Jesus was a partial beneficiary.
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