The miracle-working prophets
Many readers of the New Testament Gospels today believe that if Jesus did all the miracles attributed to him, then surely he must be God. Who else would be able to make nature obey him, or heal the sick with just a word or a touch, or raise someone from the dead. The one who does such things could be none other than God in the flesh. Right?
Anyone who has read their Old Testament carefully knows the answer to the question. Throughout the Jewish Bible, prophets of God such as Moses, Elijah, and Elisha can do spectacular miracles – in fact, very similar kinds of miracles to those reported of Jesus. This is not because any of them was God himself come to earth but because the power of God was at work through them. And so, in the narratives of 1 and 2 Kings, we find both Elijah and Elisha multiplying the food to feed those in need miraculously (1 Kings 17:8-16; 2 Kings 4:42-44; compare Jesus’ feeding the multitudes);
making nature obey their commands (1 Kings 17:1-6; 18:41-45; 2 Kings 6:17; compare Jesus’ calming the storm);
healing the sick (2 Kings 5:1-14; as does Jesus);
even raising the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:8-37; as does Jesus).
at the end of his life, Elijah ascends to heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:1-12).
When Jesus does his miracles in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is not because he is God Almighty. It is because he is God’s prophet. This is recognised even by those he helps, as in Luke 7:11-17, where Jesus raises a boy back to life, and the crowd responds not by declaring that Jesus must be God but by exclaiming, “A great prophet has risen among us!”
The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction by renowned biblical scholar and New York Times Bestselling author Dr Bart D. Ehrman, p. 125.