Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 17 – Did Jesus do miracles?
Christians believe that Jesus* worked miracles*. For example, the Gospels* describe numerous healings of the sick by Jesus. However, Jesus is not a magician who conjures up rabbits from his hat. His miracles are not tricks that he performed to impress. But what then?
In the time of Jesus, everyone believed in miracles. There was no understanding of the laws of nature. Thunder and lightning, for example, were taken as signs of God’s anger and not an easily explained natural phenomenon. Everything that happened in the world was directly attributed to God’s intervention. What was unusual was called a miracle. This is no longer the case for us today.
Is a miracle, then, something that modern science cannot explain? Again, this is not enough to explain. Science is not perfect. There are still many things that cannot be explained. Yet these are not all miracles. In other words, it is not science that can decide whether something is miraculous or not. But on what does it depend?
There is something special about the miracles of Jesus. Sometimes he manages to perform a miracle immediately, but there are also cases where he has to start again. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. The reason for the latter is people’s unbelief. Here is the heart of the matter. The miracles of Jesus ultimately have to do with faith in God. A miracle is a special sign in which the believer sees God’s goodness and care for man at work. Whether it is about a healing or a special natural phenomenon, it is ultimately the faith that makes that you can see a certain event as a sign of the greatness and the goodness of God. That is why Jesus, after a miracle, says several times ‘Your faith has saved you’ (Mk 5:34).
– Are there miracles of Jesus that particularly appeal to you?
– Do these miracles teach you something about Jesus and about his message?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, reflections or comments below.
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 18 – Did God want Jesus to be crucified?
Follow these links to go back to Question 1 – Is believing exceptional? , Question 2 – Is Faith for simple souls? , Question 3 – Can you be a Christian and yet doubt your faith? , Question 4 – Can a believer be critical? , Question 5 – Can faith and science get along? , Question 6 – Are you born a Christian?, Question 7 – Can a human being meet God?, Question 8 – Did God create the world in seven days?, Question 9 – What did God do before he created the world?, Question 10 – Is God a man or a woman? , Question 11 – Can you be a Christian without believing in Jesus?, Question 12 – Did Jesus really exist?, Question 13 – What is the importance of the hidden life of Jesus?, Question 14 – What is the message of Jesus?, Question 15 – Is Jesus God or human? and Question 16 – Is Mary a virgin?
If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.