Rudolph Bultmann (1884–1976) was a theologian of the Lutheran denomination who espoused a scholarly ideology known as Liberal Protestantism (which had nothing to do with politics). He is best known for his term demythologization, the process of explaining all supernatural events recorded in the Bible through logical and rational explanations. He did not believe the miracles of Jesus as told in the Gospels really happened; however, most Christians, including the Catholic Church, reject this ultimate skepticism. The miracles are pivotal since they prove the divinity of Christ. Bultmann was right on one thing—no mere human being could cure the sick; give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the mute; or raise the dead. Only a deity could expel demons, command the sea and the wind, multiply five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand, and walk on water.
The fact that miracles are rare and do not happen every day is what makes them miracles. They are essentially exceptional occurrences where God intervenes in the physical world. The laws of nature are not violated or broken, but rather the natural effects or consequences are suspended. When Jesus rose from the dead, He had a glorified body that enabled Him to walk through doors and walls, yet He was no ghost since His apostles, especially Doubting Thomas, were allowed to touch His hands and side.
If only one person witnessed a miracle, not many people would believe it since anyone can be mistaken or make an erroneous judgment. When hundreds and thousands witness a miracle, it cannot be easily dismissed. Jesus miraculously fed five thousand men (not counting the women and children who were there) and the crowd wanted to carry Him off and make Him king.
Bultmann and other skeptics claimed that in this particular miracle, Jesus did not really multiply five loaves and two fish to feed thousands; rather, he took the little they had and inspired the mob to share the food. Again, if that had been true, then why would the crowd react to Him as they did? Only if He actually fed a multitude by miraculous power would people flock to Him, as we see in John 6.
Because people truly believed Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb for three days, the enemies of Christ plotted His death. They feared His growing popularity among the people for being a miracle worker. The bottom line, however, is that someone today in the twenty-first century either believes the miracles of Jesus as told in the Gospel or does not. There is no empirical evidence to prove these supernatural events took place, but the New Testament does provide witness testimony. Faith allows a person to believe in what cannot be seen or proved. Physical evidence leads to knowledge, whereas the lack of it leaves only two choices: belief or disbelief. The fact that an entire religion is based on the believed miracle that one man was crucified, died, and on the third day rose from the dead by his own power, and that this religion has endured two millennia and comprises over a billion members speaks for itself.