“… or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” John 14:11
Jesus’ miracles were object lessons he used to encourage faith. Jesus wanted people to consider his miracles so they would believe in him. Previously Jesus said to the Jews, “even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (10:38). Another time Jesus said, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe” (11:14-15). Miracles are signs which point to God. They tell us about his compassion, his power and his grace.
Seeing miracles won’t necessarily create faith. After the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea on dry land, we read the people put their trust in the Lord because they had seen “the great power of the Lord displayed” (Exodus 14:31). However, three days later, the people grumbled because of lack of water (Exodus 15:22-24). This is one of the many times when the people of Israel saw God’s miracles and then forgot. They didn’t allow God’s miracles to teach them God could be trusted to take care of them.
Moses was different. He saw what God did and considered it. Moses trusted God in the hard times because he had learnt from the miracles he had seen. Moses prayed, “teach me your ways” (Exodus 33:13) and later we see this answer, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (Psalm 103:7). This tells us Moses knew God’s ways, but the people of Israel only ever knew God’s deeds. They didn’t allow God’s deeds to teach them God’s ways.
Far better to know God’s ways than only his deeds.