Lesson 1: the Miracles of Jesus As Signs
(In the synoptic Gospels)
LESSON 1: THE MIRACLES OF JESUS AS SIGNS
- The Miracles of Jesus were signs of God's saving presence and action among men. Many miracles of Jesus indicate that the Kingdom of God – a time of peace, love and hope, especially for the poor, has dawned.
Actually miracles give us a glimpse into the kind of world God wants for his children, a world free from hunger, disease and other man-made suffering.
- The four kinds of miracles of Jesus
Jesus was giving us a sign of God's loving concern for all human persons
e.g.- Jesus healed the blind, the deaf, the paralytics, the lepers
- the man with the withered hand
- Peter's mother-in-law sick with fever
Through these miracles in which Jesus freed the people from the power of the evil one, He gave us a sign that there is no other force greater than God Himself, and that the devil does not have ultimate power over human beings.
e.g: -The two demoniacs of Gerasa
- A man with an unclean spirit
- Gentile woman's possessed daughter
Through the nature miracles that Jesus performed He gave us a sign that God the Father is the Lord of the Universe, and that throguh Jesus He desired to rule
Nature and the World.
e.g: - The stilling of the storm
- The wonderful catch of fish
- The multiplication of the loaves and fishes
d)Raising to Life:
Jesus was giving a Sign that God is the creator and Master of life and that in Him (Jesus), God was inviting us to a better and fuller life.
- The most important element in any miracle story is the faith-response it wants to evoke
Jesus performs the miracles as signs to evoke the faith-response from the co-lookers,
Jesus Heals a Crippled woman (Lk 13:10-13)
Jesus was pointing to the Father's love for all women in pain- the Father wants to restore health of mind, body and spirit through His Son Jesus to all those who are not in good shape.
LESSON 2: JESUS HELPED PEOPLE WHO WERE ILL
- The healing of the paralytic (Mk. 2: 1-12)
- The significance of healing miracles
a)Jesus healed the sick persons who had faith
b)The faith of our friends can also help us
c)Jesus' miracles prepared the way for the Sacraments
Jesus slowly prepared the Church for the Sacraments of forgiveness and reconciliation especially Confession and the anointing of the sick. If Jesus were to have instituted the Sacraments without a visible and gradual preparation, His disciplines would never have understood the nature of the Sacraments.
The healing miracles have two parts
- Inner Healing
- Outer Healing
Jesus helped people who were ill
- The paralytic man (Mk 2: 1-12)
- The leper (Mt 8: 2-4)
- The centurion servant (Mt 8: 5-13)
- The afflicted woman (Mt 9:20-22)
LESSON 3: JESUS OVERCAME THE POWERS OF EVIL
- Jesus has overcome the powers of evil
The exorcism miracles of Jesus give us a clear sign that we need not be afraid of the powers of evil in our lives.
- The need for prayers for healing
We can help one another to get rid of our fears and tensions by praying for one another.
We can avert a nervous breakdown by leading a healthy spiritual life, by prayer, especially, community prayer for healing.
- There is a no need to take recourse to witchcraft
Sometimes people are afraid that they think they need to take recourse to witchcraft to rid themselves of evil spirits.
Jesus exercised by the power of His word alone
If we trust the power of Jesus, we do not need witch-craft
Jesus overcome the power of Evil
- The two demoniacs of Gerasa (Mt 8:28-34)
- A man with an unclean spirit (Mk 1:23-26)
- Gentile woman's possessed daughter (Mt 15:21)