As I look at John 6 yet again through the eyes of a Christian (and not a naturalist) it makes a lot of sense for miracles to be prevalent in the Bible, and for those miracles to be read as recorded history.
The miraculous have been abused in many ways. While some make miracles to be a constant, authentication of faith (to be constantly looked for) while others discard the idea altogether.
A notable example from the more naturalistic view is from “The life and morals of Jesus of Nazareth” written by Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd US president). Completed in 1820 the book was a look at the Bible through the eyes of a naturalist, taking the King James Bible and cutting out all instances of the miraculous. This book is still being published and can be bought on amazon surprisingly (though you can buy anything there these days).
The point is that many attack the historicity of the miraculous. I don’t doubt a single instance of one in the Bible, because if God can create everything then He can certainly bend the elements to His will and Glory however He likes. But just as a disclaimer I’m not a Charismatic in the sense of miracles being exercised regularly in the Church, though I do believe Christ does still work them, just not of the magnitude and concentration of Biblical times.
Back to John 6. From verses 16-21 we see a very interesting miracle. The sea had become rough and the Disciples were struggling in the boat when Jesus (who, as you remember “withdrew” earlier) began walking on the water to them. There have been claims against this, for example in the midst of the tumult the Disciples saw Jesus on the shore and it only appeared that He was walking on the water. But that really makes no sense in the text because Jesus enters the boat and John then makes the claim that the boat was “immediately” taken to land where they were headed. This indicates that where they were wasn’t where they were headed, so they naturally would have been far away from shore if they weren’t close to their destination. (if that makes sense)
Jesus performs a miracle to get them where they needed to be, out of the storm and on the shore. I find these passages fascinating demonstrating that He is in control no matter what. If He can get the disciples through a crazy storm like that, then He can take care of you and I.
So why are these miracles historical? Because the writers believe them to be. As a Christian I believe the Bible is 100% true and have done plenty of research on the subject of textual criticism and have come out still believing in its reliability. Though many coming into this subject with a naturalistic mindset will disagree, leave a comment telling me why!
Thanks for reading!