Miracles and the Healing Power of God

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The  New Testament is replete with the Miracles of God and Miracles which are caused by thepower of God working through holy individuals: The Saints.  Throughout the chapters of the Four Gospels and the Epistles, we read of testimonies where the  Lord Jesus Christ cured illness (Luke 13:10-13); people  who were possessed by demons (Mark 5:1-13) and caused natural wonders to occur (Matthew 8:23-27).  The above listed miracles are but a few in order to offer as an example the different types of miracles which are presented to the faithful throughout the Holy Scriptures.

The  Miracles which Christ accomplished throughout His  three year ministry were signs of His divinity, His  power, and the Coming of the Kingdom of Heaven which  will initiate complete love, justice and peace in the world.  After  the Crucifixion, Jesus promises His Holy Apostles and His Church that He will send upon them the All-Holy  Spirit which will infuse the Church with power, strength and the ability to accomplish miracles in the Name  of Christ.  Despite  the physical absence of Jesus after His Crucifixion  and Resurrection, the Ministry of the Church would continue in power and glory because of the presence  and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

From the first moments of the establishment of the Church on Pentecost (50 days after the Resurrection of the  Lord Jesus) until the very moment that you read this  reflection, the Church has continued to perform miracles  in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the  Holy Spirit.  The Book which is called The Acts of the Holy  Apostles which chronicles the first days and years  of the Christian Church offers us the authentic and  true witness of the Blessed Apostles who preached the Gospels of Christ throughout the World and who  were the cause of miracles.

Miracles continue to this day and will continue to occur until the Second Coming of Christ.  The Orthodox Church confesses and understands that all miracles  come about because of the Power of God.  God chooses men and women of faith as vehicles and vessels of His healing powers.  In other words, men and women who have lived holy lives of prayer, fasting, repentance, confession, giving to the poor and liturgical communion with God through the Divine Sacraments have from the ancient  days of the Church been chosen by God to accomplish  miracles in His name.  These men and women are considered Saints in the Orthodox Christian tradition.  These Saints have lived lives pleasing to God  and are intercessors before the Throne of God for  all humanity.  Quite simply put, the Saints of God have an  intimate relationship with the Lord and pray for us and on our behalf.  The Saints are our spiritual kin, friends and relatives who stand ready to pray, intercede and help us on our spiritual journey to our own relationship with God.  The prayers of the “Holy Ones” are mighty and powerful  before God and throughout the centuries have profoundly  impacted on the lives of people in need.

Throughout the New Testament, we find three terms which are related  to miracles:

1. (Thavma)  – The wonder.
The  word Thavma usually refers to something which is of extraordinary or spectacular significance.  It is an event and act of God which causes  people to watch in astonishment at His mighty power.  It is in most cases the reaction of the people to the action and power of God.

2.  (Dinamis) – Power/strength.
This word is usually seen in the Light of the power of the Most High God.  It is His strength which is manifested and  appears to mankind as it works within and through  the Body of Christ (The Holy Church), the Saints and the faithful.

3.  (Simeia) – Signs.
This third category of miracles is the word which is principally used when describing such events.  In the Jewish spiritual tradition, it is the  Confirmation of that which you are doing is pleasing  to God or is of God.

The  Evangelists, Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John use  this word to a great extent to show and reveal a more  profound and deeper spiritual meaning.  The signs are miraculous events which are pointing to a much deeper and significant teaching and purpose  for the faithful.  In the Gospel of St. John, the changing of water into wine is a sign which points to the more significant image of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion).  The healing of the blind man is a sign which  directs our attention to recurring power of man by  God and to the image and importance of Holy Baptism.  They are “miracles” and “signs” which point  to that which is greater – Faith in God.

Miracles happen every day of our lives.  The rising and setting of the Sun, the flow  of the tides of the oceans, the rivers and streams  and the winds of the air are miraculous.  The creation in all its glory is a miracle.  The love between husband and wife, between  children and parents, the birth of a child and the creativity of the human mind and the gift of the human  body is all miraculous.  We need to open our eyes and see and recognize the daily miracles of God.

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