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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
46- Miracles of Christ Testify to Him
With Respect to His Miracles
(1) The reader is advised to read the two questions on the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ in Part Two of our book entitled People's Questions Over The Years.
(2) As an introduction to this proof, we state that the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ are innumerable. It suffices to mention the concluding words of the Gospel according to St. John the Apostle: "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen" (Jn. 21:25).
For example, St. Luke the Evangelist says: "Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them" (Lk. 4:40). The miracles performed here are collective and innumerable.
St. Matthew the Evangelist says: "Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people" (Matt. 4:23). Then the Apostle continues, saying: "And they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them" (Matt. 4:24). Can we enumerate what is implied by the phrases "all kinds of sickness" and "all sick people"?
(3) Therefore, we will confine ourselves, in proving the Divinity of Christ, to the few miracles which are recorded in the Gospels.
(4) The miracles of Christ were of many different types. Among them were miracles of creation, of raising the dead, of walking on the sea and rebuking the wind and waves, ascention to heaven, descent from heaven, entry while doors were shut, His Virgin Birth, casting out demons, opening the eyes of the blind, healing chronic diseases such as leprosy, paralysis, lameness, dumbness, deafness, and illnesses that had continued for thirty-eight years and for eighteen years, which physicians had failed to cure. In brief, as St. Matthew the Evangelist said, "all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease". in "all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments."
Who can heal all kinds of sickness and has authority over nature and demons with this mightiness and in such variety, except God, the Author of nature?
(5) The miracles of Christ were performed by His mere order or rebuke, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. In healing Simon's mother-in-law from her fever, He "rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them" (Lk. 4:39). Here, the illness left by His mere rebuke.
In healing the paralytic, Christ the Lord said to him: "Arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house" (Mk. 2:9). His mere order restored the man's health so that he rose up and even carried his bed.
In healing the man who had a withered hand, the Lord said to him: "'Stretch out your hand.' And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other hand' (Lk. 6:10). The Lord performed the miracle with His mere order, healing a disease which medicine had failed to cure.
The Lord Jesus Christ also used His command and rebuke in driving out unclean spirits, and they were cast out. That is why it was said: "For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him" (Mk. 1:27). The Lord also used His command in silencing the waves and calming the sea. It is written that "He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm (Mk. 4:39).
Commands to nature and to sickness and disease can not be given by a human being. It is a Divine power which, in most cases, made those who watched Christ confess His Divinity, as we have mentioned previously.
Even in raising the dead, we see the element of command. In raising Jairus's daughter, the Lord said to her: " 'Talitha, cumi.' Immediately the girl arose and walked" (Mk. 5:41,42). The Lord nullified death by His order, and restored life to the little girl by His order.
Also, in the miracle of raising the son of the widow of Nain, it is written: "He said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise.' And he who was dead sat up and began to speak" (Lk.7:14,15). And in the miracle of raising Lazarus, we read: "He cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!' And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes" (Jn. 11:43,44).
(6) Sometimes the miracle was performed by mere touch or by laying His hand on the sick person. It is written: "He laid His hands on every one of them and heated them" (Lk. 4:40). When the ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant, was cut off, "He touched his ear and healed him" (Lk.22:5 1). In healing the two blind men, He "touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight and they followed Him" (Matt. 20:34). When the Lord put His hands on the blind man at Bethsaida, the man was able to see (Mk. 8:25). And the woman who had a flow of blood and had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse, when she merely touched His garment, "immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed' (Mk. 5:29).
(7) Miracles were performed by the Lord's mere will without Him giving a command. The leper implored Him, saying: " 'If You are willing, You can make me clean.' And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing, be cleansed (Mk. 1:40,41), "And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (Matt. 8:2,3).
In the miracle of changing water into wine at Cana of Galilee, the Lord Jesus Christ created a new element by His mere will, without even giving a command, or by touch, but by His mere inner will (Jn. 2:7-9).
(8) All Christ's miracles were performed without prayer.
He performed them with His own power; with the power of His Divinity. The only miracle which was preceded by the Lord addressing the Father was the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. Probably the reason for this was that He wanted to hide His Divinity from Satan, because there were only a few days until the Cross. And also, if there was one miracle among His numerous miracles which was preceded by a prayer, it may be to teach us to pray, and it might have been a reply to the Lord's enemies who accused Him of using Belzebub's power in performing His miracles. Nevertheless, in raising Lazarus from the dead, the Lord also used His command, saying: "Lazarus, come forth!" (Jn. 11:43)
In the miracle of feeding the thousands, it was said that He looked up, gave thanks and blessed the loaves (Mk. 6:41); (Matt. 15:36). Neither of the two miracles mentioned that He prayed. His looking up and blessing the food before eating may be to teach us.
(9) The miracles performed in the New Testament in Christ's name are numerous. In healing the lame man at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, Peter said to him: "Silver and gold, I do not have, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazarus, rise up and walk" (Acts. 3:6). This is also clear from the Lord's words: "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons" (Mk. 16:17).
(10) This is the difference between the miracles of Christ and those of His disciples or saints: He performed the miracle with His own power whereas the disciples' miracles were performed in His name or by the power they took from Him by His authority. So the power is Christ's. That is why the Apostle said: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).
The Lord gave this authority -to His disciples: "He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease" (Matt. 10: 1). And He said to the twelve Apostles: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons" (Matt. 10:8). And He also said to the seventy disciples: "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy" (Lk. 10: 19).
(11) The Lord Jesus Christ offered His miracles as a leading cause to believe in Him. He said: "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves" (Jn. 14:11).
And He said to the Jews: "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him" (Jn. 10:37,38).
Christ's words, "I do the works of My Father" mean that He does the very works of God Himself and this is a definite proof of His Divinity. That is why He reproached the Jews, saying: "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin" (Jn. 15:24). These works which no one else did are the Divine works of which He said: "I do the works of My Father" (Jn. 10: 3 7). In this way Christ proclaims that His miracles are proofs of His Divinity.
(12) The Lord Jesus Christ blessed those who believed in Him through His miracles and called for that belief. He blessed the belief of the centurion who said to Him: "But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed" (Matt. 8:8), while his servant was lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented. The Lord gave him a promise that his servant would be healed and the servant was healed that same hour. And the Lord Jesus said: "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matt. 8: 10)
Truly, the faith of the centurion was amazing. He believed that the Lord Jesus Christ's word was capable of healing his servant; without Him touching the servant or laying His hands on him to bless him, but that His mere command was sufficient. The Lord Jesus Christ praised that faith and confirmed it by healing the servant.
(13) Christ's miracles are proof of the truthfulness of His discourse about His Divinity. The Lord Jesus Christ performed extremely extraordinary miracles and at the same time said: "I and My Father, are One" (Jn. 10:30), "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (Jn. 14:9), and: "The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (Mk. 2: 10). He said that He was the only Son of God (Jn. 3:16,18), and that He had ascended into heaven and had descended from heaven and that He was in heaven (Jn. 3:13), and that He will come on the clouds of heaven and will send His angels to gather together His elect (Mt. 24:30,3 1).
If His words were untrue, He would not have been able to perform the miracles after saying them. If, by saying such words, He. had unlawfully ascribed to Himself God's authority and attributes, He would not have been able to perform miracles after saying those words.
(14) We should not forget that the life of the Lord Jesus Christ was a unique miracle. He was born of a virgin (Is. 7:14), which is a unique occurrence in the history of the world; it had not happened before nor will it happen again. An unusual star appeared proclaiming His birth (Matt. 2:2-10), and He was worshipped by the Magi. In His childhood, He astounded the Jewish elders. The Lord Jesus Christ was a miracle in His baptism (Matt. 3), in His transfiguration on the Mount of Tabor (Lk. 9:2-8), in His rising from the dead and coming out of the tomb while the tomb was sealed and without anyone being aware of Him (Matt. 28), in His appearances to many persons after His resurrection (Mk. 16) and in His entry into the Apostles' room while the doors were shut (Jn. 20:19). The Lord Jesus Christ was a miracle in His ascension into heaven and in His sitting at the right hand of the Father (Mk. 16:19). The whole life of the Lord Jesus Christ was a series of miracles, indicating His Divinity which was united with His Humanity throughout the period in which He appeared in the flesh, and also forever.
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