The set miracles are:
· Healing of the Centurion’s Servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
· Resuscitating the Widow’s Son at Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
· The Gadarene Demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-34)and the Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)
· Feeding the Five Thousand (Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17)
The English word comes from the Latin miraculum which means ‘a wonderful thing’. In philosophical terms miracles are often defined as acts which violate the order of nature.
Types of Miracle attributed to Jesus
· Healing – especially healing blind people, deaf people, lepers and paralysed people. About half of Jesus’ miracles come into this category.
· Exorcism - casting out ‘evil spirits’ which were thought to be the cause of mental and physical illness. John’s Gospel does not have any examples of this type of miracle.
· Resurrection – raising from the dead. Apart from Jesus own resurrection there are three other examples in the gospels of where Jesus raises someone else.
· Nature – Jesus’ power over the natural world itself is demonstrated in this type of miracle.
Examples of each type of miracle
· Healing – Healing of the Centurion’s Servant (Mt 8:5-13, Lk 7:1-10); The Ten Lepers (Lk 17 v11-19); Woman with a haemorrhage (Mt 9 v20-22; Mk 5 v25-29; Lk 8 v43-48); Paralysed man (Mt 9 v2-7; Mk 2 v3-12; Lk 5 v18-25); Sick man at the pool of Bethesda (Jon 5 v1-9)
· Exorcism - The Gadarene Demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-34)and the Gerasene Demoniac (Mk 5:1-20); The man possessed at the synagogue (Mk 1 v23-26;Lk 4 v33-35); The boy with epilepsy (Mt 17 v14-18; Mk 9 v17-29; Lk 9 v38-43)
· Resurrection – the widow’s son at Nain (Lk 7 v11-15); Jairus’ daughter (Mt 9 v18-19; Mk 5 v22-24; Lk 8 v41-56);Lazarus (Jn 11 v1-44)
· Nature – Feeding the Five Thousand (Mk 6:30-44, Mk 6 v30-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6 v1-13); Stilling the Storm (Mt 8 v23-27; Mk4 v37-41; Lk8 v22-25); Water into wine (Jn 2 v1-11)
Characteristics of Jesus’ Miracles
· Bring glory to God not Jesus so not like rabbinical
· No payment so not like magi
· Linked to one God not many gods – again not like magi
· Part of a wider ministry so not like the Hasidim
· The miracles of Jesus really need to be put in the context of his whole ministry eg how they relate to the Kingdom of God, to what he taught etc
Key Features in Jesus’ Miracles
· Can be performed by touch and/or command eg healing of the leper (touch); stilling the storm (command)
· Can be performed from a distance eg the Centurion’s servant, Jairus’ daughter
· They usually need a faith response but the faith does not have to the recipient's eg the paralysed man whose friends lowered him through the roof; the woman with a haemorrhage.
· Where faith is…