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Jesus and his miracles

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Christian apologists often point to the miracles of Jesus, such as him curing the blind, the lepers, and many other miracles as proof of him being divine, and being more than a prophet as a prophet wouldn’t be capable of performing some of these major miracles.

So what are we to make of Jesus’ miracles? Do the miracles in fact prove that Jesus is God, and more than a prophet? Quite the contrary, if anything the miracles that Jesus performed, only serve to highlight how Jesus was in fact, not God.

A common error made by many Christians when reading about the miracles of Jesus, is that they tend to ignore the context. So for example they will only highlight the miracle, i.e. Jesus healing the blind, or forgiving somebody of their sins, and ignore the context in which and how those miracles were performed.

Let’s take a look at some of these miracles, and we shall examine the miracles in their context, which shall show there’s nothing divine about them, as in proving Jesus is God, but rather they serve to prove the opposite.

In Mark 7:23-26 we read about Jesus performing a miracle on a deaf man, curing the deaf man of his deafness:

And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

So the people brought a deaf man to Jesus, the deaf man also had a speech problem that is common amongst deaf people. Jesus eventually heals the deaf man, and the man's speech gets fixed as well. It’s an obvious great miracle, but notice one of the main aspects of this miracle, and what Jesus does when he performs it:

And looking up to heaven, he sighed

So right before Jesus performs the miracle, he looks into the heavens and he sighs.

What this basically means is that Jesus was looking to the heavens and invoking God. The witnesses at the place see Jesus as sighing, groaning, murmuring etc. What this means is Jesus calling upon God for the miracle, and God grants the miracle and the man's deafness and speech impediment are both cured.

What does this all prove? It proves that Jesus isn’t divine or God, but he has to call upon God, he has to invoke to God for the miracle. Jesus being God’s prophet, is obviously heard by God, and grants Jesus the authority and power to perform the miracle, both as a blessing to his Prophet Jesus, and as a sign to the people who are witnesses to the event. Surely if Jesus was God, he wouldn’t have to look up to the heavens, sighing, groaning, and murmuring for the deaf man to be cured.

Another act Jesus was well known for was his exorcisms; he was always healing people with demon possession.

In the Gospel of Matthew, specifically chapter 12:22-28, we find Jesus saying something very interesting about how he performs these exorcisms:

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then thekingdom of God is come unto you.

Notice the part that comes right after the miracle. When Jesus healed this demon possessed man his accusers became suspicious and started reasoning amongst themselves, they had concluded that Jesus was using the help of other demons to do what he was doing. Yet Jesus refutes them saying such a belief is absurd, since Satan cannot stand against himself, as it makes no logical sense, and that a divided nation shall fall. After refuting their absurd claims Jesus tells them that he is performing these exorcisms by spirit of God. Jesus didn't say I am performing this by my own Godly powers, rather he says he does it by the spirit of God.

In other words when Jesus says I do this by the spirit of God it means he does this with the help of God, and the assistance of God.

Let’s now move on to what is perhaps the most famous and favorite miracle brought up by Christian apologists, when Jesus raised the dead man Lazarus. Christians assert that this must prove Jesus is divine, for how can he raise the dead? So let’s read about this incident in the Gospel of John, chapter 11:32-43:

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

This is perhaps one of the greatest proofs that Jesus is not God, and is in fact a prophet. Notice what is happening, Jesus is praying and calling unto God, and God eventually hears Jesus, and Jesus thanks God for the miracle, and thanks God for listening to him. So this proves that Jesus didn’t have neither the authority, nor the power to do such a miracle on his own, rather he had to call upon God, and God would hear the call of his prophet, and would bless him and allow him to perform the mighty miracle.

What makes this even more interesting is that Jesus purposely prayed out loud so the people could hear him, and could know that he is asking God for the miracle and that God sent him.

So Jesus is trying to make it crystal clear that he is not divine, that he is not God, but rather God sent him and that it is God who is doing the real work.

Jesus makes things more clear in John chapter 17:6-8, he says:

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me

Jesus says that everything he has been given is from God, and Jesus says everything has been given to him! A double proof that he is not God, and crystal clear proof that God granted all the miracles to Jesus, and that all power really belongs to God, and not to his Prophet Jesus.

In the book of Acts we even read the following that was taught by Jesus’ disciples concerning Jesus:

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22)

So Jesus was a man approved by God, a man in which God used to perform miracles and wonders amongst them. This passage makes it 100% clear that Jesus wasn't doing the miracles by his own supposed divine power; rather God did the work through him, basically meaning that God granted Jesus the authority and blessing to perform such miracles.

All of this corresponds very neatly with what the Quran also says about Jesus’ mighty miracles:

"And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe (3:49)

So the Quran also makes it clear, that when Jesus performed his mighty miracles, he did this all with God’s help, that God gave Jesus such blessings and authorities to perform such mighty miracles.

So in conclusion, Jesus was able to perform mighty miracles because God granted him the authority and power to do so, Jesus did not have this authority or power on his own, he had to rely on God to give him such authority in order to be able to carry out miracles, showing that in fact he was a prophet of God, not God himself.

 

 

Addendum

 

Christian apologists often highlight the miracles of Jesus, yet what’s confusing is they tend to ignore the other miracles performed by other men of God according to the Bible.

Here are some examples of other mighty miracles being carried out by other men of God according to the Bible:

Moses splits and controls the sea:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt. ”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing towardit, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. (Exodus 14:21-29)

Elisha’s bones raise a man from the dead:

Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. (2 Kings 13:21)

Elisha (just like Jesus) cures a man of leprosy:

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talentsof silver, six thousand shekels[c]of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!” When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said. (2 Kings 5:1-19)

Elijah causes fire to come upon alter:

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahsof seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (2 Kings 18:18-39)

 

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