In "Evidence is for believers, not mockers" I make the case that miracles, one of the strongest proofs of the truth of the gospels, and a validation of the message and ministry of Jesus, is meant for those who already believe, or are ready to believe. They are not meant for mockers like hardened atheists and agnostics or doubters not really looking for the truth. This is true for a number of reasons which I list in the article, so I won't repeat them here. I'll simply encourage you to read the article for the detailed reasons.
As I watched The Chosen (an excellent series I highly recommend about the life of Jesus starting with the call (the choosing) of the disciples) I noticed that they gave a strong defense for why that thesis true - that miracles are for believers, not unbelievers and mockers. The difference in the approach between those willing to believe and those unwilling to believe a miracle can be seen in how they answer this question: Was that impossible, or merely improbable?
Impossible or Improbable?
How you deal with the truth of an eyewitnessed miracle - whether you consider it impossible or merely improbable is a very clear indicator of whether or not you're willing to believe the truth of the gospel. This is true for a very simple reason: If something is clearly impossible, beyond the realms of the physical laws of nature and science, and yet it happens, what does that point to? It points to something outside of the realm of the physical world that has intervened into the physical. It points to a cause that is outside of the physical world; outside of space, matter and time yet free to interact within the bounds of space, time and matter. Simply put, that which is physically impossible yet nevertheless occurs, must have a non-physical cause. In the miracles of Jesus that non-physical cause is God.
For those who are unwilling to accept God, or the supernatural as a cause of manifestations in the physical world, how are they to deal with such phenomena? Simple. They need merely say the event was not impossible, merely improbable. Thus with a wave their magic wand for denying the truth, they have taken what is clearly impossible, and thus squarely in the realm of God, and removed it from God's control. In so doing they place it in within the reach of men and natural physical causes. This has been a favored trick for hundreds of years. You hear it all the time in the explanations of Darwinian evolutionists and Big Bang supporters. Have you noticed that when they give odds, the odds, however small are always within the realm of the possible? They never say something is impossible - regardless of the fact that it clearly is impossible. But that's to be expected. If they say part (or all) of their theory is impossible, that is self-defeating. And though they may be unbelievers - they're not necessarily stupid. So they avoid self-defeating statements.
In my series on 15 Reasons Why Evolution Never Happened I give reasons why evolution cannot be true. Each one is not an improbability, each one is an impossibility; something that cannot occur by unguided physical processes. But that does not deter people - the educated and uneducated unlike - from believing such fairy tails, does it? Why is that? Because they have convinced themselves, that these are not impossible, they are merely improbable. And once they move them out of the realm of the impossible and into the realm of the improbable, they need merely to convince themselves that the improbable happened. And such improbable things happened an impossible amount of times. But that too, they reason, is not an impossibility, merely an improbability.
The Miraculous Catch of Fish - Impossible or Improbable?
The Chosen does an excellent job of exploring the question: was the miraculous catch impossible, or merely improbable? It shows the reactions of various people to the same evidence. How to explain such a catch? Was it merely an improbability? A hoax or deception? Or was it impossible - and thus a miracle? The Chosen explores these questions and explanations for that event that had many eye witnesses. You can explore them too in the video below which contains pertinent scenes regarding the question.
By way of introduction let me highlight some key points they make. In their presentation, they support my contention that a person's view of the existence of a transcendent, supernatural God can be determined by their reaction to a miracle: whether they see it as an impossible event and thus miraculous; or merely an improbable event that has some other explanation. Let me outline the facts they present that bring that point in sharp relief:
With that introduction - I'll let you view how The Chosen brings these points out as a result of the responses to The Miraculous Catch of Fish (Luke 5.1-11)
(Note: This video opens with Matthew's
initial conclusion, then follows
Duane Caldwell | May 27, 2021
1. A cause outside of the physical world is a
spiritual cause. While the miracles of Jesus are clearly done by God,
scripture predicts the day is coming (and appears to be here now) when
Satan would imitate some of those miracles. (Mark 13.22) - I'll address
that in a coming article - likely the next one.