Published on January 17, 2008
MIRACLES: MIRACLES Passages to Know: Passages to Know Jesus drives out an Evil Spirit Mark 1:21-34 Jesus heals a Paralytic Mark 2:1-12 Calming the Storm Mark 4:35-41 A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman Mark 5:21-43 Feeding the Five Thousand Mark 6:30-44 Jesus walks on the water Mark 6:45-52 The Faith of a Syro-Phoenician Woman Mark 7:24-30 The healing of a boy with an evil spirit Mark 9:14-29 What Do I Need To Know: What Do I Need To Know understanding of the importance of the miracles of Jesus for Christians today. The Passages! Important topic for Coursework BACKGROUND INFORMATION: BACKGROUND INFORMATION What is a Miracle? A miracle is an extraordinary event which is contrary to the laws of nature. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: BACKGROUND INFORMATION What is the point of the miracles in Mark’s Gospel? The miracles in Mark’s Gospel reveal the beliefs that the early Christians had about Jesus, they also help modern Christians to understand who Jesus was. The miracle accounts are used by Mark to illustrate what he wants to say about Jesus. RELATED TOPICS : RELATED TOPICS The topic of miracles links with the topic of faith. Faith is an act of trust. For Christians faith leads to miracles, miracles properly do not lead to faith. The idea of healing also links to the idea of miracle. Healing is making someone whole again in body mind and spirit. RELATED TOPICS : RELATED TOPICS The miracles display the struggle between good and evil and the ultimate triumph of good, (e.g Exorcisms). The miracles bring Christians closer to the Kingdom of God, and reveal God’s goodness and power. TYPES OF MIRACLES : TYPES OF MIRACLES There are two main types of miracles in Mark’s Gospel. HEALING MIRACLES NATURE MIRACLES HEALING MIRACLES: HEALING MIRACLES EXORCISM The Man with The Evil Spirit. (The Capernaum Demoniac) ~ (Mark1:21-28): The Man with The Evil Spirit. (The Capernaum Demoniac) ~ (Mark1:21-28) The first miracle in Mark’s Gospel. Jesus is recognised to be different from conventional teachers. The demon recognised who Jesus is. (God’s holy messenger). Jesus is displaying his power over evil. The Syro-Phoenician Woman ~(Mark 7:24-30): The Syro-Phoenician Woman ~(Mark 7:24-30) This miracle occurs in Gentile country far from Galilee. This shows Jesus’ fame is spreading. Jesus is again shown to be helping a Gentile, the message is universal. Universalism (The Kingdom of God is for everyone.) The Syro-Phoenician Woman ~(Mark 7:24-30): The Syro-Phoenician Woman ~(Mark 7:24-30) The faith of the women is central to this miracle. All things are possible if you have faith. Jesus is recognised as the Saviour in this miracle. The Boy with an Evil Spirit (The Epileptic Boy) ~(Mark 9:14-29): The Boy with an Evil Spirit (The Epileptic Boy) ~(Mark 9:14-29) The failure of the disciples to help the boy is due to their lack of faith. This is important for the early Church and Christians today because faith will often be tested. True faith will bring healing, (wholeness). HEALING MIRACLES : HEALING MIRACLES MIRACLES SHOWING FAITH The Paralysed Man ~(Mark 2:1-12): The Paralysed Man ~(Mark 2:1-12) Faith is shown as causing the miracle. This time it is the faith of the man’s friends. Jesus claims to have the power to forgive sins, a job usually reserved for God, therefore he is the Messiah. This is the only place in Mark’s Gospel were this claim is made. The Paralysed Man ~(Mark 2:1-12): The Paralysed Man ~(Mark 2:1-12) The ability of Jesus to heal and forgive sins reinforces the belief that Christians have about Jesus, that he is the Messiah. Forgiveness is offered through Jesus and this serves to bring those who have faith closer to God. Here Jesus is seen as the Son of Man, he uses the title for himself. Jairus’ Daughter ~(Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43): Jairus’ Daughter ~(Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43) The girl is reported to be dead. The three key disciples are present with Jesus (James, John and Peter.) Jairus shows faith in the worst of circumstances and Jesus encourages them not to lose this faith. It is central to the healing. Jairus’ Daughter ~(Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43): Jairus’ Daughter ~(Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43) God’s power through Jesus over death is shown. Here we are in a sense being told that there is life after death. The Women with the Haemorrhage ~(Mark 5:25-34): The Women with the Haemorrhage ~(Mark 5:25-34) Supreme faith is shown by the women and Jesus says this is why she is healed. The idea of being made ‘whole again’ is expressed here. This is not just physical wholeness, rather mind body and spirit. The Women with the Haemorrhage ~(Mark 5:25-34): The Women with the Haemorrhage ~(Mark 5:25-34) Jesus in this miracle is being seen as the Saviour who is here to bring us closer to the Kingdom of God, to make us whole again. NATURE MIRACLES: NATURE MIRACLES The accounts of the nature miracles are usually understood to emanate from the early disciples as it is only they who witnessed them. The Calming of the Storm ~(Mark 4:35-41): The Calming of the Storm ~(Mark 4:35-41) This occurred on the Sea of Galilee. Many consider this miracle to be an allegory for the early church and indeed for Christians today. The message is that when we are in times of deepest despair Jesus is in command and that we should have faith. (Persecution of early Christians.) The Calming of the Storm ~(Mark 4:35-41): The Calming of the Storm ~(Mark 4:35-41) Many see the way Jesus deals with the sea as a type of exorcism. Jesus is seen to have power over evil. (The sea was through to be evil unknown and unpredictable). Here we see Jesus as Saviour. Walking on Water ~(Mark 6:45-52): Walking on Water ~(Mark 6:45-52) Similar to the Calming of the Storm, also thought to be an allegory. The message is that in times of greatest fear and despair, when everything seems to be going wrong Jesus is there. Walking on Water ~(Mark 6:45-52): Walking on Water ~(Mark 6:45-52) Jesus uses the phrase ‘It is I’ (Mark6:50) which alludes to his divine nature. It is an obscure Messianic title. Jesus is also seen as Saviour. Feeding of the 5,000 ~(Mark 6:30-44)Feeding of the 4,000 ~(Mark 8:1-10): Feeding of the 5,000 ~(Mark 6:30-44) Feeding of the 4,000 ~(Mark 8:1-10) Many scholars suggest these are the same events, perhaps they were both recorded to stress that Jesus’ message was for both Jew and Gentile. (UNIVERSALISM). There is an anticipation of the Last Supper in these miracles, Jesus is seen as providing nourishment, both physical and spiritual, he is the Saviour. Feeding of the 5,000 ~(Mark 6:30-44)Feeding of the 4,000 ~(Mark 8:1-10): Feeding of the 5,000 ~(Mark 6:30-44) Feeding of the 4,000 ~(Mark 8:1-10) The Messianic banquet which is expected at the end of time (Parousia) is being alluded to here. SUMMARY: SUMMARY Miracles help to teach Christians who Jesus was, i.e. the Messiah. They are not historical reports rather summaries of the types of things Jesus did. Mark uses the miracles to express the AUTHORITY of Jesus, the SALVATION which is offered by Jesus and Jesus’ CONQUEST OF EVIL. Summary : Summary Jesus is concerned with helping the people no matter who they are and we should try to help people if we claim to be Christians. Jesus does the right thing, he is not concerned with disagreeing with things that are wrong, he understands the consequences but still does the right thing.