There’s an important observation to be made about Jesus’ critics from Matthew 12:22-24:
“Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.’”
As you read through the gospels, it’s apparent that, unlike so many religious fakes today, Jesus was doing his miracles right out in the open. He didn’t rent a private venue and sell tickets to his supporters; He routinely performed miracles right in the plain sight of the public—which included His critics.
And those miracles were so legitimate that not even the worst of those critics could deny that they had actually taken place. The Pharisees didn’t even try to say, “He’s not really casting out demons. It’s just a show.” It was obvious even to those who hated Him that He had this power, and so their only alternative to actually believing in Him was to cook up the weak excuse that His power came from Satan.
John 11:45-48 is another passage that demonstrates this dynamic: “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’”
There’s a lot of hucksters around today who claim to perform miracles. It’s easy to be skeptical of so many of these claims, and that fact alone puts them in a different category than Jesus. His miracles were so public, so verifiable, so legitimate, that nobody tried denying them. And that says a lot.