Explain the term miracle

In this essay I shall explore the different ways of explaining the term ‘miracle’.

A dictionary definition of a word ‘miracle’ is; ‘an event contrary to the laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause’ [-Collins dictionary.] This means, that a miracle is something that is opposite to the laws of nature and mystical.

Christians believe that a miracle is something caused by God. It might tell us a bit from the life of Jesus. St. Augustine stated that a miracle is an event we cannot forecast or ‘expect with our present understanding of nature’.

This reflects the view that miracles are somehow violations of the laws of nature and presupposes, that God is the only power who can do this. Miracles are unexpected and fortuitous events. It is God that intervenes directly into our lives to suspend the laws of nature. These events are said to be signs of God or His help. Wonders can be used to prove Jesus’ divinity or tell us something of the nature of Jesus.

B) Describe how Jesus was presented as a worker of miracles giving examples from Luke’s Gospel.

During the life of Jesus, He worked four types of miracles – Power over the Nature, Exorcisms, Healing and Raising People from the Dead. One of His disciples-Luke, tells us all about them in his Gospel.

One of the stories is about Jesus calming the storm. Here, the disciples have no faith in Jesus’ powers. Jesus orders the wind and the water to calm.

In the Old Testament only God had power over the Nature, so it shows us that Jesus acts as only God can act.

Luke also describes how Jesus worked exorcisms in a story of a Demon Possessed Man. In this case Jesus heals this man by commanding the evil spirits to come out of the man. By doing this He shows us that He is overcoming the power of Satan’s rule and also as a proof that He is sent by God, because the man was shouting in top of his voice “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!”

Healing from sickness is the third type of miracles described in Luke’s Gospel. One of those miracles is a Healing of a Sick Woman. It tells us that woman’s faith has healed her and that this miracle was a sign that Jesus is God. Just touching His cloak healed the woman, because she believed in Jesus Christ.

The last kind of wonder is Raising from the Dead. Every time Jesus raised people from the dead, He showed that He is acting as only God can act. In the story about Jesus raising a Widow’s Son He also acted out of compassion. The woman, who had lost he only son, was a widow and Jesus’ heart ‘went out to her’. After the boy was raised people were ‘filled with awe and praised God’, so this tells us that Jesus not only acted out of compassion but also established the rule of God in people’s lives.

Jesus worked miracles to show us that God is one and only, and if we have faith in Him and live as He told us to, we can wish for anything and receive it. Jesus also wanted us to know that God sent him and to show His rule in our lives.

Section 2

Discuss the meaning of healing miracles with reference to present day belief and Christian life.

Miracles don’t happen so often today as they did in medieval or ancient times. Although we read more about them in Old Testament than see them, miracles are still as much important as they were to the first followers of Jesus Christ. Some people, by the term of Healing miracle, understand only physical healing. These people travel hundreds of miles to places like Lourdes, Fatima or Canterbury just to be healed from sickness or disease. They think it’s a waste of time, when that won’t happen. People need have faith in what they are doing; otherwise it is a waste of time. Those are not only healed physically. They might be cured spiritually and emotionally as well.

Christians, who want to be cured bodily or want someone else to be healed, usually involve churches to pray for these persons. Most of the faiths- especially Christians – have the Healing Services in their churches. Also, the hospitals have their priests and chapels, where people are anointed with oil, as a healing service.

Also all Christians, have the Prayers of Intersession. This means, that if somebody is very ill, families or friends will involve the church for a group prayer for this particular person. If people have faith in this individual’s recovery, God might help him or her to completely recover form any sickness, or at least help coping with this person’s illness. There are few examples of these kinds of miracles in today’s life.

Full of faith or not, millions of people walk, ride, swim or fly on the pilgrimages to the holy places, every year. Lourdes in France is one of the most known and popular places to go on a pilgrimage. People visit the place, pray and beg for a miracle. Afterwards, some of them decide to change their lifestyles for better, some – themselves. Many people go on a pilgrimage in case of someone else, to ask God or the Virgin Mary for help to this person, etc. another place, similar to Lourdes, is Jasna Gora on the south of Poland. This place in now a convent, and in a chapel it has a miraculous image of the Mother of God. People go there from all over the Europe and this place has many evidences of the physical healing miracles. The walls of the chapel are covered with crutches and walking sticks, as evidence, that people were cured. When the painting is uncovered, people kneel, cry, beg the Virgin Mary for a miracle, pray and are full of faith and love for one another. Every pilgrimage is an amazing event, because we not only have faith, but also the knowledge, that few hundred years ago miraculous things happened in that place.

People believe in miracles, because they have faith. All Christians believe in Resurrection, but also because Jesus said that, “blessed are those who believed but did not see”. Most of us believe in miracles because they saw evidence of it.

Section 3

“Healing miracles do not happen today”. Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. Refer to Christianity in your answer.

I do not agree with the statement ‘healing miracles do not happen today’. In my opinion these miracles do happen. As a Christian I believe in a miracle of Resurrection, but also I have faith in other kinds of wonders. It happens in everyday life. Isn’t a Confession a healing miracle? It heals our souls, and God forgives our sins. Moreover, some people are healed emotionally, by going to the church or on a pilgrimage. Others might get some courage to fight with their sickness. This means that, the power of Jesus in our world today is as powerful as it was when He was on Earth with us.

However, a Scottish writer and philosopher – David Hume, stated, that the miracles might be explained as natural occurrences and that Christians and other religious believers might be blinded by their faith; their faith led them to believe that God performed miracles because they wanted to believe. Also another writer – John Hick, believed, that many of Old Testament miracles, such as the Plagues of Egypt and the Crossing of the Red Sea, were probably natural occurrences, which happened so fortuitously, that they were called miracles from God. But even if it was so, where did a man like Moses come from? In the Bible, he was told by God to go and free the people in Egypt.

One needs a gift of faith to believe in any kind of miracle. For atheists miracles don’t exist. If one has no faith in God, one has no faith in miracles.

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