by Catherine Ong
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, miracles in the English language is defined as “an event that is not explainable by natural causes alone.” Meanwhile, miracles in the Hebrew language is pronounced as “Nes” which brings the meaning as an action by God that is supernatural.
One of the main objectives that Jesus performed miracles during his period was to increase people’s faith that He is the Son of God and truly nothing was impossible for Him, in order to add more people to His Kingdom. Not only that, another purpose of the numerous miracles that Jesus had performed was because He also had the indirect intention to teach us various lessons that were written about the miracles so that we can
reflect and incorporate them in our daily lives.
One miracle that was performed by Jesus pertaining to nature was that during Jesus’ journey back to the city, He cursed a fig tree to immediately wither and die as it did not bear any fruits as written in Matthew 21:18-22. There is also a similar scripture relating this miracle under the parable of
the unfruitful fig tree:
“He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to
the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the
ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after
that you can cut it down.’ ” – Luke 13:6-9.
God was trying to imply that He does gives opportunities for everyone to give their best effort to bear fruits for His kingdom by giving us a reasonable amount of time and resources to do so. Hence, we should take every opportunity to spread the good news of Christ to the acquaintances around us be fore it is too late because we cannot predict when our time on earth will come to an end as written in Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Besides that, a miracle in relation to sickness was written in Luke 17:11-16, where Jesus healed 10 men who were infected by leprosy, after these men
had begged Jesus to have pity on them during His journey back to Jerusalem. Based on the study made by the US Center of Disease Control & Prevention, leprosy is an infection caused by slow growing bacteria called “mycobacterium leprae” which can affect the bodily nerves. If left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands
and feet, paralysis, and blindness.
After the 10 men were healed, only one of them turned back, praised God and gave thanks to Jesus. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus said to the Sa-
maritan in Luke 17:17-19 “So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go our way. Your faith has made you well.”
Samaritans were highly disliked and ostracized by both Jews and Gentiles as they were of mixed blood (half-Jews and half-Gentiles) and were foreigners in that land. Furthermore, they were also shunned by many as Samaritans have created their own unique religion and have rejected the writings of the prophets and Jewish’ traditions. Despite the large number of people who had always looked down on Samaritans due to their background and pagan-like religion, some Samaritans have still shown better attributes compared to Jews who were considered “good” people of God as can be seen by the actions of the nine ungrateful men.
Another example in the bible that a Samaritan portrayed a more people of God-like trait than other people of God was written in the parable of the
Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-35, where even a priest or a Levite did not care about a man who was attacked by robbers during his journey to Jericho. This man was stripped of his clothes, beaten badly and left half dead on the road. Levites back then were members of the tribe of Levi and were priests that were selected to serve God in the holy temple. Only a kind Samaritan took pity on the attacked man and bandaged his wounds, brought him to an inn, took care of him and even gave two denarii to
the innkeeper as compensation to look after the wounded man the next day.
The miracle and parable as previously mentioned above about good Samaritans demonstrate that we should not judge a person based on his or her background. This lesson can also be related to the scriptures mentioned in Matthew 7:1-3, where we are taught not to be a hypocrite and judge others, but to judge ourselves first in order to make right any wrongdoing that we may be doing. Moreover, we should also love our neighbours as how we love ourselves as seen in Mark 12:31.
However, although many scriptures have directed us to be loving and accepting of everyone despite their differences, we also need to be wary and to stay away from bad company as we have been warned. This warning was written in 1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.” This warning can be linked to us to not follow or encourage the ways of other Christians who are not completely following the ways of the Lord such as using curse words in their daily life and resorting to drinking alcohol as a means to forget their troubles or treating them as part of their weekly social activity.
Furthermore, Jesus is so powerful that He even managed to raise the dead such as in the case of Jairus’s daughter in Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26. Jairus
was a ruler who came and begged Jesus to raise his daughter who has just died. Jesus went to Jairus’s house and told the people who were mourning for his daughter to leave as she was just sleeping but they just laughed and snickered at His claims. After successfully raising her from the dead, the news of her revival spread throughout the whole district and those who initially mocked Jesus finally believed His supreme power. This miracle shows that we should believe in His presence and powers despite how impossible it might seem to be at first.
This is because the strength of Jesus and God is incomparable when compared to human strength and intellect as was revealed in 1 Corinthians 1:25 “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” It may seem harder for us to imagine that all these miracles did occur since it was only written in the bible for our reading and the fact that we are no longer living in the generation when Jesus Christ was alive on earth in the flesh. However, we should always keep in mind of Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Based on all of the miracles mentioned above, we
should take note that Jesus would always help those who come and seek help from Him and this has been written in Matthew 11:28 – “Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Therefore, do not lose hope despite the many trials and tribulations that we humans face on this earth. This is because God has given us assurance of His plans for us as mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”