There are countless stories of supposed miraculous sightings of Jesus or the Virgin Mary on natural objects. But is this really the supernatural at work? How should we view this and what does the Bible say?
We hear tales of strange phenomena all the time in the natural world. Among these are images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary in or on natural objects–everything from clouds to potato chips. But are these really signs from above or just a case of an overactive imagination?
One of the most famous of these was the portrait of the Virgin Mary that was found on a grilled cheese sandwich at a casino. It was auctioned off on eBay and sold for a whopping $28,000, as reported by Time.
But people of faith should be cautious with giving too much credence to such things. For true believers, such things should be considered false miracles, thus false teachings. Here’s why…
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:8
In the above verse, the Apostle Paul wrote that certain miracles and prophecies were only intended for the time of Jesus original apostles.
Many Bible scholars say that the time of miracles, as well as prophecies, has ceased. The supernatural acts and miracles in the first century were there for a very specific purpose of confirming the word of Jesus as that of God.
“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
– Mark 16:20
A book called Why People Believe Weird Things by Dr. Michael Shermer attempts to explain as well as debunk why people believe seemed religious iconography is proof of the miraculous and/or supernatural. Keep in mind, Shermer is a Humanist and founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine. He is no friend of religion or creationism. Many reviews on Amazon call the book a rant against religion and all views contrary to his own beliefs.
Writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Lawrence Samuel disagrees with Shermer and declares “our faith in the supernatural is perfectly natural.” Samuel cites author John F. Schumaker, who states that religious belief helps “provide self-worth, meaningfulness, and power.”
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
– Romans 1:20
In this verse, the Apostle Paul writes that the magnificence of the natural, of nature, is itself a proof of the invisible – the supernatural. Science uncovers depth, only to find further depth and more complexity.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
The other main message here is the evidence for having faith in God is all around us. God believes this evidence is so strong, that we “are without excuse” to deny His existence. His power and divinity are on full display throughout the universe.
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”
People of faith, recognize biblical supernatural events as a demonstration of God’s power. Prophecies proven by history verify the authenticity of God’s word and the reality of the supernatural.