The Healing Miracles of Jesus Christ Within this research paper, the healing miracles of Jesus Christ have been discussed in detail. The effects that these events had on societies, present and past is overall positive. The research done supports two basic concepts, one being that Jesus did perform miracles and second, the fact that miracles do take place in the present day is probably true. The research obtained from magazines also shows differing views on each sub-topic discussed and is helpful in determining the conclusion of the paper.
Various supporting examples are discussed to prove that Jesus Christ was a true healer and still is today. Personal thoughts and opinions have been added to this paper. When the name Jesus Christ is mentioned one finds it almost impossible not to think of the word miracle. A miracle is an event that cannot be explained through the known laws of nature" (Fetzer 615). The definition of the word miracle is vague, therefore leaving a considerable amount of room for discussion. Throughout the course of history, Jesus has been referred to as a preacher, healer, exorcist, and miracle worker.
Present day debates continue as to whether or not Jesus actually performed the many miracles as noted in the gospels. The people who lived during Jesus' time were quite similar to the people who make up today s society. Some followed him, believing he was God s anointed one, while others dismissed him as a pretender and a troublemaker" (Sheler 58). It is true that some of our society follows and believes in the miracles of Jesus, whereas others protest and claim, "miracles are not real events in time and space" (Meier 52).
It appears as though almost everyone has their own opinions regarding the topic of miracles. Jesus teachings an his view of the Kingdom of God were so different, people wanted to follow him or persecute him. During the time of Jesus life, people were looking for the Messiah. There were many different meanings of this term in Jesus time. People expected a military leader, a prophetic teacher, or a figure that would bring down God s wrath (Sheler 62). In studying the miracles that Jesus performed, it is important not to take everything that is written in the Bible word for word.
Critics and theologians both agree that the deeper meaning of Jesus miracles lies within the action itself. Jesus often spoke in parables. He made the stories easy to understand because of the important lesson that was being taught. One of Jesus most important attributes was that he could speak reassuringly to the poor and oppressed. He criticized the Pharisees for following the letter of the law, but not its spirit.
Jesus was able to work with people in order to prove a point. Jesus performed two different types of miracles. Physical healing miracles such as allowing the blind to see and walking on water, and spiritual miracles like the forgiving of sins. The spiritual miracles require an act of will on the receiver's part to go on with their lives and let go of their mistakes. Whereas physical healings are far easier to deal with in a sense that the miracle worker is the only participant. In an excerpt from the Bible, Jesus proves this point; "Which is easier, Jesus asked, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven', or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'" (Yancey 82).
The answer is obvious, and Jesus proved this point continually throughout his entire ministry. Jesus critics referred to him as a deceitful magician. Yet there is supporting evidence within the Bible that Jesus did not perform miracles to impress people or to draw attention to himself. Jesus would not perform miracles on demand to prove himself to others, nor would he expect fame or encourage a sense of mystery and magic. Most importantly, Jesus would resist the requests of his disciples to perform miracles of retaliation. Jesus would often times order people to keep quiet about witnessing miracles.
He wanted his followers to make a lifelong commitment, not just show up for an occasional magic show. Jesus did not like to perform spectacular miracles in front of large crowds who were just there for entertainment purposes. Jesus felt as though extreme miracles created distance between his followers and their ability to feel comfortable with him. For example when, "Jesus calmed the storm on the lake, his own disciples drew away from him, terrified" (Yancey 80).
Jesus performed miracles of healing out of compassion for others. A suffering individual moved Jesus so deeply, that he felt he needed to help. It is fair to state that Jesus had the healing touch. The evidence found within the Gospels supports the claim that Jesus was a healer of physical maladies. At the same time, he was also known as an exorcist. There are four different stories in the Gospels that retell Jesus performing exorcisms.
Exorcisms were a regular part of life in Palestine. Many "so-called" exorcists used magical props such as amulets, rings, stones, and other artifacts to cast out demons. Jesus set his own example for his followers and they, too, were known to perform exorcisms. Critics still debate as to whether or not the exorcisms recorded in the Gospels were actual events. Among the most famous of the miracles are the two stories that depict Jesus raising the dead. Scholars suggest that there may have been, "honest misunderstandings, that the victims were mistakenly thought to be dead and were simply revived" (Sheler 65).
Also, some of Jesus miracles can be understood in other ways than their literal meanings. For example, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, "may be a metaphor for the Risen Christ feeding the faith of his followers" (Sheler 65). Jesus was faced with many critics and sinners he could not convert, but never a disease he could not cure or a demon he could not exorcise (Yancey 82). This idea reflects the value that institutions place on physical miracles.
As one can see, not many social factors have changed from Jesus time to the present day. It is easy to make physical changes, but the most important change, the one we do not put enough emphasis on, should come from within. Although there are many negative aspects within the structure of our society, my research lead me to uncover positive aspects as well. The article titled, God and the Americans found that "almost all Americans say they believe in God.
Four out of five believe in miracles. 72% of Americans believe in angels. Nine out of ten own a Bible. 44% of Americans go to church weekly" (32). These positive national statistics may appear to be shocking, but they are true. As children, we are shaped and molded by the "fables and legends from the Bible" (Shore 16).
We are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated. These stories often appear intriguing and full of wonder. Maybe it is not that big of a coincidence after all, that these miracle stories affect individuals for the rest of their lives. People always pray for miracles in times of distress and fear. Author Eliezer Shore states "such tales give us hope that no matter how bleak a situation may be, a miracle is always possible and can occur at any moment" (16). Possibly the most important lesson we can learn from miracles is that each life has a purpose.
We realize that life is precious and a change for the better can improve the bleakest situation. Unfortunately, in some cases, society tries its hardest to conceal God s presence. Miracles can only do so much, they cannot guarantee change, and individuals must accomplish that part on their own. The most important change has to come from within.
People in Jesus time needed to change, just as people need to in the present day. Taking into consideration all of the different studies and beliefs regarding miracles, it is probably true that Jesus did perform miracles throughout his life. "And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking on the sea" (Matthew 14: 25). When one reads this quote, whether it is true or not, the image does not leave the mind.
If people can carry with them the belief that good things happen, a small part of Jesus teachings would become a part of the daily routine. One must keep in mind that "the greatest miracle of all is that a person can change" (Shore 17). People need to believe in their neighbors and in their own faith. "Jesus' miracles were a sign of how the world should be, and someday will be" (Yancey 83). An optimistic view can lead to positive change within the world. It is an instinctive human response to pray for a miracle when things go wrong.
We should spend more time praying for the kind of miracles Jesus modeled through his ministry. The foundation for Jesus healings and miracles was hope. If a person had faith and belief in God, they had power. Jesus could only perform miracles if an individual had faith. The miracles that Jesus performed were real because his followers had the power within themselves to have faith and hope in God and Jesus. Hope is faith, seeking and understanding.
Jesus performed miracles based on an individual's faith, hope, trust, and belief in God. The power of faith is the power of goodness, which is the power of truth.