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CHICAGO STUDIES

When one speaks of miracles today it is usually in the context of 19th century. polemic. There is immediate interest in the "scientific" nature of the miracle. Many times even the biblical scholar is guilty of treating the miracles of the gospels with his own mind-set conditioned by contemporary polemics. Monden's book, Signs and Wonden, gives us a more comprehensive outlook in regard to miracles and especially the miracles of Christ. We must realize that within the biblical context all power is supernatura.l, from God. All things existed only because of the ever sustaining hand of God. If someone did exceptional things it was because God acted in them in a special way. They were more apt instruments of that power of God which sustains every man. The healer, then, was. exceptional not so much in a special quality that he possessed, but rather in the degree that he was a special conductor of God's power. The question for the witnesses to Jesus' miracles therefore was not whether an extraordinary thing had occurred (their senses could tell them that) but rather what did tlutt wonder signify? What was it a sign of? In other words, who was this man and why was he wielding this power? This is the significance of Mt 12:22-32 and Lk 11 :14-22. When the Pharisees challenge Christ in regard to his casting out of the devil he answers them in their own logic. He says to them if you recognize (a) that demons have been exorcised and (b) that this has been my work, and (c) that I have done it by¡the spirit of God, .then it follows that (d) the Day of the Lord has come.

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Christ here in his answer to the Pharisees, as in his answer to the disciples of John (Mt 11 :2-4), was saying that the signs of the kingdom were around them : the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Thus Christ was, through his healing miracles, challenging the witnesses to thes:e miracles to accept the fact that they must repent and believe for the judgment day of salvation was at hand. The miracles of Jesus are powerful acts, mighty deeds, of such a nature that they are recognizable by the witnesses as signs and as a part of the present rule of God. Through these signs Jesus at one and the same time proclaims the coming of

Profile for Chicago Studies

Spring 1969  

Volume 8:1

Spring 1969  

Volume 8:1

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