Here is a related question but they are not the same Do miracles violate the laws of physics?

Looking at most miracles in the bible, they can be explained based on what we already understand (physics, chemistry, etc) and sometimes they were even explained in the bible. Like in the case of God parting the red sea, the east/west wind had to be strong to drive the water apart and made the children of God passed. There are others like that.

But there are 2 miracles that are difficult for me to explain.

I know God is omnipotent and can do all things, but in the case of the Red Sea, we learned how He did it.

My question is, when Jesus had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, how does breaking them increase them till they could feed 5000 people (I know it's a miracle)

I am even more concerned about the Shunamite woman. Having a jar of oil, and pouring into several jars and could have continue if there were more to fill. How did the oil keep pouring when there was a finite amount inside (diluted with water - I don't think so)

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    "I know it's a miracle." Do you? It's true He told us WHAT He did, (example, caused the wind to separate the Red sea) But as to how He did those things, that's not the case. How did He cause the wind to change course? All how explanations are based speculation and most are debated.
    – 2tim424
    Jun 3, 2013 at 21:11
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    It's simple; they had access to cheat codes. /joke But seriously, miracles don't divide into two categories of being able to be explained or not. We never "learned" how to do miracles; if we did, we should be able to to them. Jun 3, 2013 at 22:50
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    @tunmisefashipe True. You know, we could try to part the Red Sea... Just to "sea" what we can do. Jun 4, 2013 at 0:37
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    They are hard to explain because we keep seeking a rational basis for them. We are like those who satisfy ourselves that the magician used smoke and mirrors when he did not. OK, the wind blew and parted the sea; but the real miracle is that it did not blow away the Israelite as they walked in the midst!
    – Steve
    Jun 4, 2013 at 3:49
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    "in the case of the Red Sea, we learned how He did it". Actually we have not. We we have is a proposal by someone of a possible mechanism that might have resulted in what was recorded. They haven't been able to test even that it's possible for the wind to do that, let alone prove that is what actually happened. Jun 6, 2013 at 14:28

3 Answers 3


Any answer to this question will be pure speculation - the Bible doesn't say why there are these two "classes" (the question of the existence of said classes I'll leave alone for now), so we don't know.

With that said, here are two potential reasons that are Scripturally based:

  1. God is sovereign over everything, and is pleased to work out his will through his Creation, often utilizing secondary and tertiary causes. The Parting of the Red Sea shows this , and it is no less a miracle because God used one part of his creation to affect another - after all, God created it all in the first place!

  2. God hides things from us. There are things we cannot yet know. While God's power is manifest in the Red Sea, marveling us, his mystery and wisdom are manifest in the feeding of the 5000, keeping us grounded in our own frailty.

That is, God demonstrates different attributes through different miracles that serve different purposes.


Not all miracles can be explained by natural causes. A magician can bring a rabbit out of a hat as long as he has three things: some jiggery pokery, a hat, and a rabbit; but only God can bring an entire universe out of literally nothing.

In the two miracles you especially mention, there are spiritual lessons to be learned which surely are more important to take note of than the mechanics. The lad brought everything he had to Jesus and so must we; when he brought everything Jesus was able to multiply it to feed all - if we bring our all to Jesus, though it is so very little, Jesus will be able to multiply what we bring; Jesus, the bread of life, will only be able to feed all if He is broken; Jesus did not feed the crowds directly but used his disciples, and we must be willing to be used by our Saviour too; and probably several more applications in Matthew Henry's Commentary for this and the oil miracle.

In your comments you say "I believe God is not a magician" - That is true: a magician tries to make it look as if he has special powers and has done a miracle; but God, on the other hand, DOES have special miraculous power and actually does miracles.


Consider the six days of creation, which in itself is a miracle. God spoke things into existence that did not exist before.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrew 11:3)

So to your question, yes, God has the ability to control elements (Matt 8:27), but He can go further. He has the ability to bring elements into existence from nothing in the first place. And as a God of order, once the elements are in place, He places them under His laws, but God as the originator is not bound by His laws.

Finally, the giving of life, which is the ultimate miracle of all, is not even considered in your two categories. That's because we simply cannot explain the spark of life through the scientific framework.

If God only did miracles that can be explained by us, would He not be limiting Himself?

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