Even though He had done so many signs (attesting miracles) right before them, yet they still did not believe and failed to trust Him— This was to fulfill what Isaiah the prophet said: “Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm (the power) of the Lord been shown (unveiled, revealed)?” Therefore they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, to keep them from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their heart and being converted; otherwise, I [their God] would heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him. Nevertheless, even many of the leading men believed in Him [as Savior and Messiah], but because of the Pharisees they would not confess it, for fear that [if they acknowledged Him openly] they would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated); for they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God. – John 12:37-43
Without the miracle of the resurrection, Christianity would have long since passed from the scene. Understanding the role of miracles in the birth and spread of our faith is essential for today’s Christian. Unlike the modern world, the ancient world was not suspicious of miracles. Ancient people not only typically believed that supernatural powers existed, but that they intervened in human affairs; so miracles did not present a problem to the early Church. By definition, a miracle is an action that runs counter to the commonly observed processes of nature. In the Old Testament they are viewed as a direct intervention of God in human affairs. The most significant miracle in the OT is God’s parting of the Red Sea in delivering the children of Israel out of Egypt. This miracle is the centerpiece of Hebrew history and OT religion, and is a demonstration of God’s power and love in action. This emphasis on miracles as the “redemptive activity of God” is continued in the NT, where they are an integral part of the proclamation of the good news that God has acted on man’s behalf, and has entered into human history in the person of Jesus Christ. The central miracle of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Christ three days after His crucifixion. It is presented by Paul as the keystone of the Christian faith (1 Cor 15). The phenomenon of the “Eucharist” (i.e., “Communion”) would be unexplainable without the knowledge of the risen Christ. Without the miracle of the resurrection the early Church would not have come into being. The Bible teaches that miracles are more than mere wonderful works, they are “signs,” but they are only signs to those who have the spiritual discernment to recognize them as such. Without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, they only seem to be extraordinary “wonders.” – D.W. Ekstrand
John makes it clear that people believe when circumstances or a community of faith empowered by the Holy Spirit attest to Jesus’ Sonship. It is then that signs may direct the believer to the transcendent reality, that is, God Himself. Signs contribute to the stages of faith; but they are never an end in themselves. A community of faith which relishes miracles above the God who gives them is on the wrong track. The signs they see dazzle and blind them to the God who loves and extends eternal life. Faith is not a once-for-all intense possession. Faith grows and flourishes through a willingness to see and hear the continuous activity of God, in His Church, and in the nexus of the life, light, truth, love and glory authenticated by the Son.