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Luke’s Gospel – Miracles Essay

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Paper type: Essay, Subject: Free

The definition of a miracle is: An event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event, or one transcending the ordinary laws by which the universe is governed.However, other definitions claim that a miracle is simply ‘a wonderful or amazing event’. Today we use the term miracle colloquially to mean the latter, however traditionally the first definition is technically more correct.Luke portrays Jesus as a worker of miracles, and tells us of the many miracles that Jesus performed. Luke, being a doctor and a gentile, tends to focus on healing stories and outcasts. He tells us of various people being healed, resulting in them being accepted back into the community.Section CIt is hard to say whether healing miracles happen today. As I said in section A, there are two main differing definitions of what is meant by the term ‘miracle’, which it what makes it difficult to decide either way.Christians today would say that if they have prayed and asked God to cure a particular person and they are cured, then it is indeed a miracle. Their prayers for that person’s health have been answered so they look upon this as a miracle. Now whether this is technically correct is debateable. By some definitions a miracle must ‘be an event with religious significance’. This fits that meaning, but even though it a religious occurrence, it does not usually ‘breach natural laws’ as it is not uncommon for people to be cured. A relieving and happy event, yes, but a miracle? This is questionable.Christians may also argue the case for physiological/mental healing miracles. In Luke, he tells the story of Jesus exorcising a man possessed by the devil. Jesus is cleansing him from this mental illness, and this is considered a healing miracle. Christians may translate that sort of miracle to today’s society as to when someone, who is not Christian and is sinful, finds god and is forgiven of their past sins. They would say it is a miracle for that person to be healed spiritually.A key point on this topic is a big part of our lives today in the modern society: science. Of course, something that was seen as a healing miracle in the time when the bible was written is accepted as normal procedure now as scientists now know so much about health and the body. We know leprosy not to be contagious whereas in the bible lepers were excluded and seen as outcasts. People with mental illnesses were thought were thought to be possessed by the devil, however we now recognise these people to suffer illnesses such as schizophrenia. For example, a woman in the bible had a haemorrhage that Jesus cured and this was considered a healing miracle. Today, for someone with a haemorrhage, treatment would be expected and being cured would not be a shock. So if it was considered miraculous in Jesus’ time, is it still considered miraculous today? It is the same situation but because of medical advances it is no longer seen in that status. If a healing miracle needs to defy scientific laws then we are all hard-pushed to find something worthy of being classified a miracle.Although my immediate reaction to this was that they do not happen today, I cannot ignore stories we hear of somewhat miraculous events. Perhaps a woman who was thought infertile falls pregnant; we hear stories similar to this fairly often. There is also the famous Lourdes which is well-known for its apparent ability to heal. We can look back to Luke’s gospel when Jesus heals a paralytic man. There is a similar story at Lourdes of a man in a wheelchair suddenly possessing the capability to walk. During research, I discovered there had been 30 – 40 official healing miracles recorded as such: these are persuasive statistics. It can be argued that these people were misdiagnosed, or they weren’t actually cured; but those are rather unconvincing arguments, as I think it’s hard to believe that all of those incidents were ‘coincidences’ or examples of misdiagnosis.I think that ultimately, the answer lies in the definition of a miracle. A woman having suffered numerous unsuccessful pregnancies gives birth to a healthy child: this is a joyous occasion for the woman herself, friends and family and perhaps labelled a ‘miracle’ by them. However, this is not in fact an event that was thought to be impossible, and it does not defy science, so is technically not a miracle. My opinion is that healing miracles, the way I see them, are happening everyday, but not in the literal sense that can be classified as a miracle as we can explain everything with scientific fact.Section BI think that Jesus’ healing miracles are important for a Christian’s life today and for those in the futureFirstly, it comfirms and enhances a christian’s faith in an all-powerful God, because it keeps their faith in Jesus that he is the Son of God, with the power to perform miracles.Christians see these miracles and perhaps believe that they could happen to them if they have faith because these miracles are so unimaginable. Christians may turn to Jesus when they are ill and there is no cure, such as a cancer. They put their faith in God, by themselves and their families praying. It has been known for them to be cured because they have great faith in the Kingdom of god, this is what we would call a healing miracle. We can read about Jesus’ healing miracles from Luke’s gospel, the blind beggar (18:35-43). This story happened in Jesus’ time on earth, yet healing miracles have been heard of which are similar even today.Many christians follow a career path of being a doctor. I think this shows a lot of importance of the healing miracles of Jesus, as his followers wish to do as he did, and follow his example by healing others. They wish to fulfill the good deed of helping others, rather than helping themselves. Other jobs like this include charity work, nursing, and teaching.Many of the healing stories are based around an ill person who has been excluded from the community because of their illness. Jesus helping these outcasts who are then accepted back into the community may inspire christians to not exclude people that we today exclude and reject. They may befriend these people, and not judge people the superficial way society does. Jesus’ attitude tawrds all people shows christians toward the importance of equality and selflessness.There are christians today who claim to practise ‘healing services’ for christians. There are churches with a healing organisation. The healing miracles have obviously been very influential for them. Some say these are exploiting christians faith by imitating Jesus and what he did.The importance of the healing stores has perhaps been lessened by modern medical advances and technology. It makes the stories seem less significant because so much can be done with medicine it makes jesus’ healings that bit less impressive.The miracles that Jesus performed play a big part in a christians faith. They must believe these stories and have good faith in them. This is because if they do not have faith that their God can do these things, and believe that that part of the bible is wrong, what parts of it are they to believe?

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