From the beginning of time, God has utilized miracles to create the world, guide individuals into relationship with Him, clear away the corruption from the earth, and lead the nation of Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land. The miracles do not stop there; in fact, the greatest is was yet to come in the person of Jesus. Throughout his ministry on earth Jesus is able to execute many amazing miracles that identify him as the Messiah. In the Gospel of John (3:1-2), Nicodemus addresses Jesus: "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." This address brings focus on the miracles and signs that Jesus was fulfilling before the people’s eyes.
The greatest miracle that Jesus will complete is his own resurrection and in evidence of this an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene saying: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come; see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6)” One of the miracles of Jesus that exudes His drive to bring the people of Israel into relationship with Him is found in Acts 9. Here we are able to observe Saul of Tarsus (Paul):
“4And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"5And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." 7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
The now bodily resurrected Jesus appears to Saul and brings him to the point of belief. These miracles are the background for the events that will transpire over the course of Paul’s missionary journeys.
It is here that we begin our examination of the miraculous events of Paul. From the three day blindness and scales falling off his eyes to regain his sight, to the variety of escapes that Paul was able to do, the miracles that were achieved through Paul continued to bring people into relationship with God through the work of Jesus on the cross. This section will examine two occasions that Paul was utilized to accomplish miracles: Acts 19 and Galatians 3.
In Acts 19, Paul is passing through to Ephesus preaching the gospel and this will continue for two years so that all of Asia will hear the gospel (Acts19:10). The next two verses sets the stage for the first part of our discussion: “11And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” Now, the miracles described in this passage are exquisite and quite diverse when compared to those of Jesus. First, the miracles are barely described in this passage. We are able to observe that the Holy Spirit working through Paul enables handkerchiefs and aprons to be utilized for the transferring of healing providing regained health and release from demons. Yet, this is the only description that we have. Second, the only explanation provided is that “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul (Acts 19:11).” When Paul writes a letter to the believers in Ephesus he does not address the miraculous events that took place by his hands. Lastly, this is the only instance that handkerchiefs and/ or aprons are utilized to accomplish healing or exorcism in the entirety of the Old and New Testament (outside of Jesus’ hemline in Matthew 9 they are the only inanimate objects utilized). With this examination of Acts 19, we will move to the actual writing of Paul to identify any example or exegesis on the topic of miracles.
When reading through the written works of Paul, with a focus on the miracles that were accomplished at his hands there is an immediate void that can be identified. Paul does speak of miracles (1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 3), but this is not to discuss exact events (like Acts 14 and 20) rather to discuss the miracles done in a more general discussion. It could be argued in 1 Corinthians 12 that Paul is arguing for believers to desire gifts greater than miracles and healing (i.e. s, prophets, and teachers). Then as one reads Galatians 3, we are able to observe Paul writing about the differences between faith and works: “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith…” It is hear that we begin to understand the reason for such limited explanation of the miracles accomplished in and through Paul, they were fulfilled to build individuals faith and not as works of the law. This once again points to the original works of God from the beginning and His desire to bring mankind into a personal relationship with Him. Through these miracles Paul does not want to draw attention to him, he does not want to bring people to the law rather to show them the love of God that has revealed itself in miracles and more importantly Jesus. The next section of this paper will bring the focus of Paul’s miracles from a scriptural context and into an historical context.
 Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001. John 3:1-12.
 Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001. Matthew 28:5-6.
 Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001. Acts 9:4-7.
 Ibid. Acts 19:11-12.
 Ibid. Acts 19:11.
 Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001. Galatians 3.