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Miracles of Jesus

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According to the canonical Gospels, Jesus also called Christ worked many miracles in the course of his ministry. The large bulk of them are various cures, though there are also a large number of exorcisms, three raisings of dead persons to life, and various other miracles that don't fit into these categories.

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Critical scholarship and the miracles of Jesus

Especially since the 19th century, the movement of higher criticism has put the life of Jesus under very fine-grained examination. The Tübingen school was a major center of this examination. Many critical scholars reject all of the miracles out of hand, because they reject the concept of a God who intervenes in human history. Others are more nuanced in their arguments. The modern Jesus Seminar holds that the various cures are probably true, since there were many others in the ancient world credited with healing power, but rejects most other miracles, at least in their literal interpretation from the Bible.

The exorcisms of Jesus are particularly disliked among the critical scholars. As they claim there is no empirical evidence for diabolic possession, they generally conclude that the statement that a person was possessed by the devil really means that that person was suffering from some sort of psychological disturbance, so that most exorcisms can be lumped together with the cures.

Miraculous cures

The largest group of miracles is his various cures. The manner of his healing varies from one case to the next, according to the reports in the Bible. For instance, often he lays hands on the person to be cured, other times, only a word suffices to perform the cure. One notable cure of a blind man involves the making of a paste of mud and spittle which is rubbed on the blind man's eyes and then washed off (Cf. Gospel of John 9). The woman with a haemorrhage was healed simply by touching the fringe of Jesus' garment.

There are records of several wandering healers at Jesus' time. However, Jesus allegedly performed a few cures that are not recorded as having been done elsewhere, such as the healing of the man born blind, cited above.

Dominion over the demons

Belief in supernatural creatures was very common in Jesus' time, especially due to the preaching of the Pharisees. The Bible records several cases of the expelling of demons from the possessed. Many critics seek to explain away these demonic influences, reading them as cases of psychological sickness or epilepsy, which would provide the external symptoms without requiring the need for a supernatural force.

Nonetheless, many Christians accept these exorcisms as having really happened. The Roman Catholic Church, in particular, still maintains a detailed protocol of what is to be done to perform an exorcism. This is only done with the explicit permision of the bishop and after eliminating all possible natural causes of the behavior attributed to demonic possession.

Power over nature

Another group of Jesus' miracles reported in the Bible show his sovereign power over the created world. Jesus was reportedly able to feed large multitudes with very little bread (a miracle that took place in Tabgha), and to change water into wine. With a word, he calmed a storm at sea, and himself walked on the surface of the sea. Catholics, Orthodox and some Anglicans would add the changing of bread and wine (the transubstantiation) into his body and blood to this group.

Power over life and death

The Gospels report three cases where Jesus calls a dead person back to life. In one, the daughter of Jairus had just died, and Jesus says she was only sleeping and wakes her with a word. Another case involves a young man being brought out for burial. When Jesus sees his widowed mother, he has pity and raises him from the dead. The third case involves a close friend of Jesus, Lazarus, who has been four days in the tomb.

To these must be added Jesus' own resurrection from the dead, if the Gospels are to be taken at face value. Most Christians accept this as fact without question, indeed almost defining being a Christian with belief in the resurrection. Others, like Rudolf Bultmann, claim that the resurrection was not a historical event. Most secular scholars would point to a lack of evidence and precedent and reject the resurrection.

Power over the mind

Scholastic Theologians taught that the act of Jesus' casting out the moneylenders from the temple was a miracle showing the power of Jesus over the minds of those in the temple. They reason that it would not be possible for one man to eject everyone from the premises without being attacked.

List of the miracles of Jesus

It is not always clear when two reported miracles refer to the same event. An attempt has been made to indicate those that probably are related.

Miracle Matthew Mark Luke John Other Biblical sources
Clay pigeons brought to life Infancy Narrative of James
Playmate killed and raised from dead Infancy Narrative of James
Water made into wine Jn 2:1–11
Cure of royal official's (centurion's) son (servant) Mt 8:5–13 Lk 7:1–10 Jn 4:46–54
Miraculous catch of fish Lk 5:1–11 Jn 21:1–14
Cure of a demoniac Mk 1:23–28 Lk 4:33–37
Cure of Peter's mother-in-law's fever Mt 8:14–15 Mk 1:29–31 Lk 4:38–39
Cure of a leper Mt 8:1–4 Mk 1:40–45 Lk 5:12–19
Cure of a paralytic at Capharnaum Mt 9:1–8 Mk 1:40–45 Lk 4:12–19
Cure of a sick man at Bethesda Jn 5:1–15
Healing of a man's withered hand Mt 12:9–13 Mk 3:1–6 Lk 6:6–11
Raising of the son of the widow of Nain Lk 7,11–17
Healing of a blind and dumb demoniac Mt 12,22
Calming a storm at sea Mt 8:23–27 Mk 4:35–41 Lk 8:22–25
Expulsion of demons in Gadara Mt 8:29–34 Mk 4:35–41 Lk 8:26–39
Raising (curing) of Jairus' daughter Mt 9:18–26 Mk 5:21–43 Lk 8:40–56
Healing of a woman with a hemorrhage Mt 9:20–22 Mk 5:24–34 Lk 8:43–48
Restoration of two men's sight Mt 9:27–31
Healing of a mute demoniac Mt 9:32–34
Feeding of the 5000 Mt 14:13–21 Mk 6:34–44 Lk 9:12–17 Jn 6:1–15
Walking on water Mt 14:22 Mk 6:45–52 Jn 6:16–21
Exorcism of a Canaanite (Syro-Phoenecian) woman Mt 15:21–28 Mk 7:24–30
Healing of a deaf-mute Mk 7:31–37
Feeding of the 4000 Mt 15:32–38 Mk 8:1–9
Restoration of a man's sight at Bethsaida Mk 8:22
Transfiguration Mt 17:1–8 Mk 9:1–7 Lk 9:28–36 2 Pet 1:17–18
Exorcism of a possessed boy Mt 17:14–21 Mk 9:13–28 Lk 9:37–43
Payment of temple tax with a shekel taken from a fish's mouth Mt 17:23–27
Healing of the blind man Bartimaus Jn 9:1–38
Healing of large numbers of crippled, blind and mute Mt 15:29
Healing of a woman on the Sabbath Lk 13:10–17
Raising of Lazarus from the dead Jn 11:1–44
Healing of a man with dropsy Lk 14:1–6
Healing of ten lepers Lk 17:11–19
Healing of two blind men at Jericho Mt 20:29–34 Mk 10:46–52 Lk 18:35–43
Cursing of a fig tree to never bear fruit Mt 21:18–22 Mk 11:12–14
Converting bread and wine into his Body and Blood (not accepted by all Christians) Mt 26:26–30 Mk 14:22–26 Lk 22:14–20 1 Cor 11:23–26
Healing of High Priest's servant's ear Lk 22:49–51
Resurrection Mt 28:1–10 Mk 16:1–8 Lk 24:1–12 Jn 20:1–18

There are 40 miracles of Jesus during his life-time which were recorded in the bible, 37 of them are recorded in the Gospel and 3 other miracles were recorded in other sources.

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