Signs and Miracles Term Paper

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Miracles and Their Meanings

The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze eight Biblical miracles, and assess their meaning. Specifically, it will briefly describe each sign/miracle and explain how this sign/miracle reveals the deity of Christ. Each of these miracles creates an aura of goodness and wonder around Christ, and unerringly indicate his deity and his mission on Earth.

Probably one of the most well-known miracles Christ performs in John is the turning of water to wine (John 2:1-12), during the wedding in Cana. Mary, Christ's mother, was at the wedding, and noted there was no wine for the guests. Jesus had the servants place the pots, filled with water, on a table. He that had the servants carry the brimming pots to the ruler of the wedding feast, who tasted it and accused the bridegroom of holding his best wine until others had drunk, but the servants knew the truth. This is the first of many miracles Christ performs in St. John, and it illustrates his abilities and his closeness to God. Only the true Son of God could create such miracles, because they are larger than life, and more important than simple "magic" tricks. Some experts call this miracle and others the "nature" miracles, because they involve manipulating natural sources. One expert writes, "I see the nature miracles as not historical, but as symbolic narratives. Symbolic narratives can be powerfully true" (Borg 18). This first miracle is indeed "powerfully true," and an indicator of even more prophetic and outstanding miracles to come - and each one will affirm Christ's place by his Father's side.

The second miracle in John is the healing of the nobleman's son (4:46-54). Jesus returned to Cana in Galilee, and a man who had witnessed his water into wine miracle beseeches him to heal his son who is dying. Christ tells him to go home, and his son will live. Indeed, when he arrives home, his son does live, and he realizes the boy began to mend as soon as Christ told him he would. This second miracle is a healing miracle, and indicates the great power of the Lord, and how those who choose to follow his ways will be rewarded. Christ is again showing his relationship to God and his great deity as he shows how increasingly powerful his abilities really are. He is obviously a messenger who can work powerful miracles, and this is a direct sign from God, who channels His miracles through His Son.

After the healing of the ailing son, Christ heals a lame man (5:1-15). Jesus enters Jerusalem on the Jewish Sabbath, and encounters many people waiting at a pool of water to be healed by an angel who troubles the water so that one person can be healed at a time. One man cannot reach the water quickly enough because he is lame, and Christ heals him as he lays in his bed, then tells him to rise, walk, and carry his bed as he spreads the news of his healing. The man tells the Jews of his healing, and they begin to persecute Jesus because he healed on the Sabbath day. This miracle indicates Christ's deity in a variety of ways. It is another healing miracle, but Christ accomplishes in on a holy day, and before the resident angel can trouble the water of the pool and heal only one victim at a time. Christ heals even without the water, which indicates his abilities are more powerful and directly related to God, rather than channeled through another entity, such as an angel. This illustrates that an angel could never contain all the power of God and His Son, but Christ can contain all that power.

The next miracle is the feeding of the 5,000 (6:1-14). As the word of Christ's powers began to spread, great numbers of people followed him to the sight of his next miracle, the Sea of Galilee, where he created enough food from a few loaves and fishes to feed 5,000 people.
His disciples were by his side, and Passover was on the horizon, so he worried how to feed the people. He spoke to his Father, and knew just what to do. He distributed five barley loaves and two fish from the Sea to the crowd, and they fed all, and filled up twelve baskets with the leftovers. The people who had eaten recognized Christ was a prophet after this. Another natural miracle, this story again shows the power of Jesus, and his great abilities. More people see this miracle and experience it, so there are more to carry the word of his powers, and they believe that he is indeed the deity who represents a higher being.

Directly after the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus walks on the water (v.15-21). The people want to recognize him as King, but this is not his plan. He leaves, and climbs a mountain to be alone, while his disciples board a ship bound for Capernaum and leave him behind. To catch up with them, he walks across the stormy Sea of Galilee. This miracle, a natural miracle is the most astounding yet, because he even surprises his disciples, who fear him at first. This shows his physical ability to transcend even the worst elements, and again establishes him as a deity who has been sent by his Father to save humankind from themselves, while sharing the great love God has for his chosen people.

In another healing incident, Christ heals a man who is blind from birth (9:1-12). The disciples want to know the man's or his parent's sins, while Christ knows the man has not sinned, and that God's works must live in him. Theologian Towns notes, "Jesus is reminding them that man was originally made from the dust of the ground, and he owes all life to his Creator" (Towns 91). Jesus sends him to wash his eyes, and the man can see for the first time. Here, Christ again proclaims he is "the light of the world," and certainly is the light of the world to this blind man. This proclaims Christ's deity yet again, but also relates back to several other areas of the Bible, including Genesis, Numbers, Psalms, and many others which prophesy the coming of the Son of God, and the role he will have on Earth. God has told believers to expect a Messiah, and that good will come to those who believe, and thus, Christ is fulfilling God's words while creating his own legacy.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead (11:38-44) is another miracle that shows Christ's true power, as he speaks to his Father for help with raising Lazarus from the dead, who has been buried four days. The people who witness the miracle to not believe a man dead for four days can come to life again, but he does, and this is an illustration of Christ's working with his Father, and his tremendous abilities. The people who see it believe even more in the power and truth of Jesus, and so, they continue to spread the word about this miracle maker who talks with God and receives replies. Each miracle is a bit more amazing than the next, and so, they create a great aura of magnificence around Christ, and his deity is unquestionable.

The final miracle is the miraculous catch of fish (21:1-14), when Christ shows himself to his disciples, and they finally recognize him as the Lord. He provides them with a miraculous catch after they caught nothing, and then asks them to worship Him above all else. This final miracle leaves no question that he is a deity, but it also is the culmination of much of the Old Testament, which continually….....

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