Monday, 13 June 2011


A large portion of the New Testament is Jesus performing miracles, mostly to do with healing. I have decided to feature just three of these divine acts; healing the blind woman, raising Lazarus from the dead and curing the Leper. I remember listening to these stories in school and being bored, because they were predictable. An afflicted person is lost and downtrodden, Jesus come and heals them, they are eternally grateful and in return spread the word, like clockwork.

The largest group of miracles mentioned in the New Testament involve cures. The Gospels give varying amounts of detail for each episode, sometimes Jesus cures simply by saying a few words, at other times employs material such as spit and mud. Generally they are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels but not in the Gospel of John.

The canonical Gospels report four separate cases of Jesus healing the blind. The Gospel of Mark[8:22-26] is the only place that tells of Jesus healing the Blind man in Bethsaida.
Each of the three synoptic gospels tell of Jesus healing the blind near Jericho, as he passed through that town, shortly before his passion. The Mark [10:46-52] tells only of a man named Bartimaeus being present and healed, as Jesus left Jericho, making him one of the few named people to be cured by Jesus. Matthew[20:29-34] is a similar account of two blind men being healed outside of Jericho, but gives no names. Luke[18:35-43] also tells of two unnamed blind men, but seems to place the event instead as when Jesus approached Jericho. The Synoptics state that Jesus met a beggar (Mark gives the name: bar-Timai or son of Timai) who, though blind, still identified Jesus as the Jewish Messiah; Jesus said that the man's faith has healed him, and he "received his sight," and was allowed to follow Jesus.

The Gospel of Matthew [9:27-31] also reports of Jesus healing two blind men in Galilee, at some earlier time, who also called him "Son of David." Jesus touched their eyes and restored their sight.

Healing the man blind from birth is discussed in the Gospel of John[9:1-12] and is placed during the Festival of Tabernacles, about six months before his passion. Jesus stated that the man's blindness was not because either the man or his parents sinned. Jesus mixed spittle with dirt to make a mud mixture, which he placed in the man's eyes. Jesus then asked the man to wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. This done, the man was able to see.

The Jesus cleansing a leper miracle appears in Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16. Early in Jesus' ministry, he healed a leper, whom he then instructed to offer the requisite ritual sacrifices as proscribed by the Deuteronomic Code and Priestly Code. Jesus instructed the ex-leper not to tell anyone who had healed him; but the man disobeyed, increasing Jesus' fame, and thereafter Jesus withdrew to deserted places, but was followed there.

In the Cleansing ten lepers miracle, Luke 17:11-19 states that while on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent ten lepers, who had sought his assistance, to the priests, and that they were healed as they went, but that the only one that came back to thank Jesus was a Samaritan.

The Cure of a bleeding woman miracle appears in Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56, along with the miracle of the Daughter of Jairus. The Gospels state that while heading to Jairus' house Jesus was approached by a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for 12 years, and that she touched Jesus' cloak (fringes of his garment) and was instantly healed. Jesus turned about and, when the woman came forward, said "Daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace".

Healing the mother of Peter's wife. The Synoptics describe Jesus as healing the mother-in-law of Simon Peter when he visited Simon's house in Capernaum, around the time of Jesus recruiting Simon as an Apostle (Mark has it just after the calling of Simon, while Luke has it just before). The Synoptics imply that this led other people to seek out Jesus.

Jesus healing an infirm woman appears in Luke 13:10-17. While teaching in a synagogues on a Sabbath, Jesus cured a woman who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years and could not stand straight at all.

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