God the Father's Testimony of Jesus' Coming

God’s method for ensuring truthful, binding testimony required two or more people to present the same account. In Jesus’ case, His Father was His supporting witness. And the sum total of the Father’s testimony was way beyond what man could invent.

After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. (Hebrews 2:3-4)

This passage stresses that Jesus’ message was from God –and that multiple witnesses heard Him announce it. Moreover, God the Father insists that He was the originator of His Son’s message. That testimony is made up of signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

These have become the topic of many discussions and have in many cases displaced the gospel. –So let’s delve into what the Bible says about them.

Signs and wonders are supernatural indications of upcoming events. John the Baptist’s life itself was a sign –arrayed with wonders– to let the Hebrews know that the Son of God was among them. Jesus had arrived!

  • The archangel Gabriel appeared to John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zacharias, to announce and explain their son’s birth.
  • John’s father was silenced to take attention away from himself –his priestly importance– and put it on his son.
  • John leaped when Jesus came into his presence –while they were both still in their mothers’ wombs.
  • God told John to watch for the Holy Spirit to descended on Jesus. It was the sign for him to herald the arrival of the God’s own Lamb –the fulfilled Passover sacrifice.
  • John graciously deferred to Jesus –saying I baptized with water, but He baptizes with the Spirit and with fire” and “I am not worthy to untie his sandal. (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus’ birth was proclaimed with a sign in the heavens and His life was marked with wonders to warn the Hebrews that their security in the world was about to be pulled out from under them.

  • Gabriel foretold Jesus’ birth to Mary and Joseph.
  • A celestial angel reported it to the shepherds in the field.
  • The Magi saw the sign in the heavens and came bearing gifts.
  • Jesus amazed the religious experts with His teaching in the synagogue as a young boy.
  • He demonstrated His identity and authority by fulfilling prophecies in the Scriptures.
  • The disciples heard the Father’s audible voice saying This is My Son in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 17:5)

His death and subsequent resurrection brought more signs confirming that the Hebrews’ purpose changed on that day.

  • The sun grew dark and the earth quaked violently.
  • The temple veil was torn.
  • Tombs were opened and their occupants were raised from the dead.

Miracles are something that almost everyone hopes to experience. Jesus’ miracles weren’t done on the spur of the moment. Isaiah prophesied about them approximately 700 years in advance. And Jesus said that all of what He said and did was from His Father (John 8:25-29). His whole life was planned out from the beginning. Here are some of Isaiah’s predictions about Him.

  • Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6)
  • The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Isaiah 61:1-2)

The apostles continued ministering with miracles for a while after His death –deliberately using each miracle as proof that Jesus was the source of life and all goodness. However, as time passed, and Jesus’ reputation became more accepted, the apostles used miracles less and turned to preaching the good news with their words and their way of life.

Even the miracles performed by the Old Testament prophets had the same purpose –to reveal God’s Son. They either hinted of His first coming as the Messiah walking among them –or His second coming as the returning Judge.

Spiritual gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and Romans 12:6-8. It’s common enough to jump directly to those passages and read about the gifts. But both passages have unmistakable lead-ins that should be read. Here’s the first –it’s found in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7:

  • Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. –There’s only one Holy Spirit and He is the motivating force behind the gifts.
  • And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. –There’s only one Jesus and He is the One to be exalted.
  • There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. –There’s only one Father and He is the One using the gifts to bring about salvation for all who believe.
  • But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. –All three entities of God are working in unison so that His people are also brought into unity.

The second equally important preface is in Romans 12:4-6:

  • For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function. –Regardless of the gift, we all belong to a single body.
  • So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. –We owe allegiance equally to each and every believer.
  • Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly. –We are to live our lives as a testimony that Jesus is Lord and Savior exercising whichever ones He has given to us.

The Bottom Line is that those gifts –along with signs, wonders and miracles– have become cheapened by self-promoters who use them as their own credentials –as proof that they are extra-special messengers sent by God. This Hebrews 2:1-4 passage explains that they are actually God the Father’s testimony that His Son’s message of salvation is authentic, accurate and urgent.