Miracles of Our Lord
Jesus performs many miracles, demonstrating his power over nature and spirits, and thus confirming that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15). In ... Show synopsis Jesus performs many miracles, demonstrating his power over nature and spirits, and thus confirming that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15). In a physical miracle, such as making the blind see, or walking on water, or calming a storm, the laws of the universe are suspended through divine intervention. In a moral miracle, such as forgiveness of sins or driving out demons, the blessing of Jesus purifies the soul. In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus performed a physical miracle, healing the paralytic, to demonstrate a moral miracle, the forgiveness of sins. Only two miracles appear in all four Gospels - his own Resurrection (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20), the greatest miracle of them all; and the feeding of the 5000 through the multiplication of the loaves, found in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-14. What is striking is that Jesus performs those miracles that, referring to Isaiah 35:3-6, were signs of the Messiah. Jesus not only heals the leper (Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16), but also instructs the leper to show himself to the priest, in observance of Leviticus 13-14 in the Torah. He heals a man born blind (John 9), and perhaps the most dramatic of all, raises Lazarus on the fourth day (John 11). John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus or Yeshua - "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect another?" Jesus reassures John by naming the miracles of the Messiah: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them" (Matthew 11:3-5). The miracle stories are an integral part of the Gospel narrative, as in Mark, where nearly half of Mark's account of the public ministry (Chapters 1-10) describes miracles. The ministry of Jesus is centered on the establishment of God's imminent Kingdom, which ended the dominion of the evil one over the world, present ever since sin and death entered mankind. The miracles were Jesus' chief weapon in the struggle with evil (Mark 3:22-27), the most direct being the exorcism of demons, which defeated the power of evil and liberated humanity. That is why a miracle is an act of power in the Synoptic Gospels. In the Greek New Testament, the Synoptic word for miracle is (act of power), the origin of our English words dynamic and dynamite. John in his Gospel utilizes the word (sign). The word (wonder) is found in the works of the Apostles in the Book of Acts. The symbolic element of the miracle becomes primary in John. For example, in John 9, the interest in giving sight to the man born blind is not just the gift of sight, but in his coming to the spiritual insight of faith, an insight made possible by Jesus, the light of the world. The Gospel of John enumerates seven signs of Jesus: he turns water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana (2:1-12); the healing of an official's son in Capernaum (4:43-54); the healing of a paralytic on the sabbath by the pool in Bethesda (5:1-47); the feeding of the five thousand (6:1-14); walking on water (6:16-21); the healing of a man born blind (9:1-41); and the resurrection of Lazarus (11:1-57). John also records three appearances of Christ to his disciples following his Resurrection. The Gospels record twelve miracles in Capernaum, more than anywhere else in the Holy Land. The third millennium is more receptive to miracles as compared to the skepticism of the post-Enlightenment. Case records of inexplicable cures from cancer, the healings at Lourdes, France, and Fatima, Portugal, and reports of near-death experiences have produced an openness to the miraculous.