You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs…
The first of these words, as more correctly rendered in the Revised Version, means "powers," or "mighty works." By Peter, therefore, the "miracles" recorded in the Gospels are referred to the three heads of "powers, wonders, and signs," and the same terms are used by Luke to represent those wrought by the apostles and early Christians in the name of Christ. The word "powers" intimates to us the source of miraculous gifts, and the superhuman power manifested in their exercise. The second term, "wonders," which corresponds more nearly with our word "miracles," intimates their effect in producing wonder or astonishment, leading to conviction and belief; and the third term "signs," indicates their value as proofs of a Divine mission. All these aspects may be more or less presented in different miracles, or may appear in different degrees in the same miracle, and in considering the relations of miracles to nature they should all be kept in view. More especially we should bear in mind that our word "miracle," derived from the Latin, and meaning merely something wonderful, does not express the whole nature of the Biblical miracles, nor indeed, perhaps, 'their most important feature. There may be great miracles which excite but little wonder or astonishment, though they may produce important effects, as, for instance, some of those miracles of deliverance wrought for the apostles, and little known or thought of among their contemporaries. On the other hand, there are many wonderful phenomena which are not miracles. A more important aspect is that of powers, or mighty works, which indicate the presence of superhuman power, capable of controlling natural agencies, and of modifying or rearranging the laws of the universe. In this respect miracles bring us face to face with God as the only true miracle-worker. But, perhaps, the most important aspect of all, more especially in connection with the apostolic history, is that signs, or proofs, of the Divine character or mission of those who possess such powers, or to whom they are given. It is this aspect that they are most frequently referred to, and in which they approach most nearly to those moral and spiritual characters on which I am not to enter, any further than to say generally that miracles must conform in their natural relations to the higher moral and spiritual character of the message which, as signs, they authenticate.
(Principal J. W. Dawson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: