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According to Mark 16:17-18, Jesus predicted, “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” These divine powers were necessary, especially in the early Church during its budding stage and while Christians faced severe persecution. The preachers and their listeners needed them to confirm their faith in Jesus. Some signs benefited others, while others saved the lives of the disciples during their missionary trips. Although these miracles were not intended to continue forever, even later, some holy Christians performed wonders and had miraculous experiences.

Casting Out Demons

The Acts of the Apostles reports instances of apostles performing exorcisms. “The people gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and all of them were healed” (Acts 5:16). Acts 16:16-18 describes how Paul expelled a demon from a slave girl who was a fortune teller. Luke gives another instance in Acts 19:11-12: “God did extraordinary deeds of power through the hands of Paul. Even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were laid upon the sick, and their illnesses were cured, and evil spirits also departed from them.”

Gift of Foreign Language

The apostles, who had limited education and language skills, could preach in the languages of the local people. This gift started on the Day of Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit. “Now there were staying in Jerusalem devout Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each one heard them speaking in his own native language” (Acts 2:5-6).

Picking Up Snakes

The Bible documents that when Saint Paul was in Malta, a viper fastened on his hand, but he escaped unharmed (Acts 28:3-5).

Unhurt by Poisonous Drink

Papias records the oral tradition that Joseph Barsabbas, one of the 70 disciples of Jesus (Luke 10:1), drank a cup of poison without harm. Joseph was a candidate for apostleship along with Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot. Another tradition is that the Roman authorities took Saint John the Apostle to Rome for trial during the reign of Emperor Nero (56-68), where he drank a cup of deadly poison but remained alive.

Healing the Sick

The Acts of the Apostles gives several instances of the disciples healing the sick:
1. Peter healed a lame man in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1-11).
2. Apostles healed many in Jerusalem (Acts 5:15-16).
3. Peter healed Eneas, who was paralyzed for eight years (Acts 9:33-34).
4. Peter raised Tabitha to life in Joppa (Acts 9:36-41).
5. Paul healed a crippled man in Lystra (Acts 14:8-10).
6. Paul healed a multitude in Corinth (Acts 19:11-12).
7. Paul restored the life of Eutychus, who fell from a third-story window (Acts 20:9-12).
8. Paul healed the father of Publius and others in Malta (Acts 28:7-9).

The miracles performed by Jesus’ disciples demonstrate the continuation of Christ’s mission and the power of the Holy Spirit working through His followers. According to the Bible, Jesus empowered His apostles and other disciples to perform miraculous acts both during and after His earthly ministry. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commissions the Twelve Apostles, granting them authority to “cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons” (Mt 10:8). This delegation of power was not limited to the Twelve. Luke’s Gospel recounts Jesus appointing 72 disciples and sending them out in pairs (Lk 10:1). Upon their return, these disciples rejoiced, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name” (Lk 10:17).

The Acts of the Apostles, authored by Luke, provides numerous accounts of miraculous works performed by the early disciples. Peter, for instance, healed a man who had been lame from birth at the temple gate (Acts 3:1-10). The apostles’ ministry was marked by extraordinary signs: “Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them” (Acts 5:15). Paul, though not one of the original Twelve, was also granted miraculous powers. In Ephesus, “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11-12). This practice foreshadowed the Catholic tradition of venerating relics of saints.

These miraculous acts served multiple purposes. They authenticated the apostles’ message, demonstrated God’s power and love, and contributed to the rapid growth of the early Church despite severe persecution. These miracles were not performed by the apostles’ own power but through the power of Christ working through them. As Peter declared after healing the lame man, “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” (Acts 3:12). The Church maintains that God continues to work miracles through the intercession of saints and in response to the faithful’s prayers.


For Christians today, the miracles of the early disciples serve as a powerful reminder of Christ’s ongoing presence in His Church. While we may not perform the same dramatic signs, we are called to be instruments of God’s grace and healing in the world. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the most outstanding works of prayer were the miracles of the saints” (CCC 2003).

As followers of Christ, we are invited to cultivate a deep faith that allows God to work through us in ways both ordinary and extraordinary. Our “miracles” may take the form of acts of charity, words of comfort, or steadfast witness to the Gospel in challenging circumstances. By remaining open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power, we continue the mission of the early disciples, bringing Christ’s healing and transformative presence to our world today.

As Christians, we are reminded that Jesus’ empowerment of His disciples to perform miracles is a testament to the enduring power of the Holy Spirit at work within us. Just as the early disciples were sent out to heal, to cast out demons, and to spread the Good News, we too are called to be channels of God’s grace and love. In our everyday lives, through acts of kindness, compassion, and faith, we can participate in the ongoing mission of Christ. Let us pray for the strength and faith to be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit, allowing God’s miraculous love to shine through us, bringing hope and healing to those around us.

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