John Wesley Raises the Dead for Christmas

Five days before Christmas in 1742, John Wesley received word that a man by the name of Mr. Meyrick was expected to die before the next morning. Seeing as how the doctor had done all he could do, Wesley stepped in to see him that evening after having wrapped up some preaching—but it was too late.

Mr. Meyrick was speechless and senseless and his pulse was gone. He was, it seemed, dead. For many of us, this is the end of the conversation—rest in peace Mr. Meyrick. But rather than call it quits, Wesley took a note out of the gospels and prayed with the others that were there at his bedside. Astonishingly, Mr. Meyrick’s sense and speech returned. Like Lazarus, he had come back to life (Jn 11:38-44).

But unlike Lazarus, he was not back to full health and on Christmas day he was back on his deathbed. Again, he was not expected to make it through the night. But just as Jesus had to pray twice to fully heal a blind man’s eyes (Mk 8:22-26), so did John engage in prayer a second time. Wesley then records the continuation of the miracle in his journal.

I went up, and found them all crying about him; his legs being cold, and (as it seemed) dead already. We all kneeled down, and called upon God with strong cries and tears. He opened his eyes, and called for me; and, from that hour, he continued to recover his strength, till he was restored to perfect health.—I wait to hear who will either disprove this fact, or philosophically account for it.

Wesley’s ministry was full of God’s supernatural works. Perhaps we would do well to note that as we enter into the holiday season this year—remembering that Christmas is the celebration of life, the recognition that miracles do happen, and the acknowledgement that God is willing to humble himself by putting on flesh to live and die, just to make his outrageous love for us crystal clear.


See John’s public domain journal entries of December 20th and 25th, 1742 on Google Books, pages 381-382.


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