A miracle is an event that cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being (a deity), magic, a miracle worker, a saint or a religious leader.
In a blog, “Are Miracles Real?” Craig S. Keener writes, “Many people today are familiar with miracle stories in the Bible — the parting of a sea, water turned to wine, and, most frequently in the New Testament, healings, even of blindness, leprosy, and the reversal of recent death. Yet it is not just people in the first century who have believed in miracles. Various polls peg U.S. belief in miracles at roughly 80 percent. One survey suggested that 73 percent of U.S. physicians believe in miracles, and 55 percent claim to have personally witnessed treatment results they consider miraculous.”
Jesus the Miracle Worker: Jesus of Nazareth performed many miracles, demonstrating his power over nature and spirits, and thus confirming that the Kingdom of God is at hand. One notes that only three miracles appear in all four Gospels: his own Resurrection (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20), the greatest miracle of them all; the feeding of the 5000 through the multiplication of the loaves, found in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-14; and, while different individuals are involved, Jesus heals the blind (Matthew 9:27-31, Mark 8:22-26, Luke 18:35-43, and John 9).
A Common Denominator of Miracles: When we consider the miracles perfumed in Matthew and the other Gospel, we see “Faith” being the common denominator. It is quite true that faith is an important aspect in healing, and that the healing is often required to demonstrate it. But it is not only the faith of the person being prayed for that is necessary—the faith of the “pray-ers” have also produced miraculous faith healing results.
The Faith of the Centurion: ‘“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”’ (Matthew 8:5-10)
The Woman Sick from Bleeding: ‘“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22).
The Gospel of Matthew: READING OUTLINE for February 27- March 5, 2017
Herod’s Reaction to Jesus’ Ministry (ch. 14:1-12)