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Christianity through a study of Luke and Acts

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Paper 1 - Christianity through a study of Luke and Acts Title 1 (a)(i)Explain the term 'miracle' The term miracle is viewed in more ways than one depending on many factors. A Christian's definition would be somewhat different to that of a non-religious person's. The Chambers Family Dictionary defines a miracle as "a wonder, a prodigy, and a supernatural event - a mediaeval drama founded on Old or New Testament history or on the legends of the saints". The term through a Christian's eyes is a more religious one in which God plays a vital part. A Christian might describe a miracle as "an event that happens through an act of God. God's work becomes clearly seen in an unexpected way such as an answered prayer. Miracles don't break the laws of nature they are signs that God is at work". A typical non Christian's definition might be "when something good happens to anyone whether Christian or not. It is just a coincidence and they rarely occur. Whether a person is religious or not everyone has an equal chance of one happening to them". (a)(ii)Describe how Jesus was presented as a worker of miracles giving examples from Luke's Gospel. Jesus was a performer of miracles. In Luke's Gospel he tells us that Jesus performed many different types of miracle. Jesus performed miracles for a number of reasons. He wanted to show people that he was the Son Of God. The miracles showed God was working through him in a special way and that he was the true Messiah. Universalism also plays a big part in why Jesus performed miracles. He wanted to help everyone no matter what they looked liked or how they acted, he knew that everyone was equal and wanted to prove he had nothing against anyone, he did this by healing anyone who came to him no matter what their background. ...read more.


This is a significant part of Christian understanding of God as a personal being. When Christians pray for miracles, this also implies to them the idea that the motive must be pure and not for an egotistical reason. For example a Christian would not pray to win the lottery. Jesus had the ability to perform miracles as he was one with God and he did them for people in need, not for himself. However, for many people, miracles have become hard to accept since science has disproved or explained many of them. Miracles appear to break the laws of science and so many people say that miracles don't happen today so therefore they cannot exist. However, many Christians still consider miracles to be very important today, as they demonstrate who Jesus really was. They believe that the miracles were one of the few things that convinced others that he was the Son of God through the power that he had. Christians in society today can learn a lot from the miracle stories and go about their life living accordingly. When Jesus heals a paralysed man (Luke 5:17-26) he is proving to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law that he has the authority and the ability to forgive sins, '"Who is this man who speaks such blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!"... "I will prove to you then that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins." "I tell you get up, pick up your bed and go home!" At once the man got up'. This teaches Christians today to follow his example and find forgiveness for those who have sinned. Christians learn that everyone deserves a chance and that they should not be selfish and hold a grudge. The healing of the leper (Luke 5:12-16) teaches Christians to follow Jesus' example and reach out to those who are on the edge of society and to accept everyone equally without discrimination. ...read more.


Christians might say that it is not surprising that such people do not experience miracles, as they do not have faith. There are many differences in those 'healing miracles' performed today and those of Jesus years ago. Non-believers may say that some people's experiences with miracles at present may have been interpreted as a miracle because they are out of the ordinary, yet, they do not feel they are necessarily miracles. For example in one case "a man who was confined to a wheel chair is known to have walked out of a burning house, saving himself and some children." Many people would regard this as impossible so as a result would believe it to be a miracle. However, it is known that some illnesses are 'the product of the human mind'. Perhaps in this case there was never any illness. People are sometimes physically hurt, because they have been aggravated by psychic or emotional processes (psychosomatic illness). So in this case because he was in danger he tried to save himself resulting in him being 'healed' due to 'auto-suggestion' - there was nothing physically wrong, just mentally. 'Faith healers do not heal by the Holy Spirit today. They only seem to cure when in reality there was no real physical problem.' (www.rogersvillecoc.org/sermons/miracles) I believe that Jesus performed miracles a long time ago. I do not believe that they can still be performed today as none of us in this world are Jesus and so I don't believe that anyone else can perform miracles but him. In conclusion, many people have different views on whether healing miracles are still present today. For some people they are still relevant today and form a big part in today's society, for others they do not exist and aren't important. This is possibly beause over the years, science has got in the way of miracles being easy to accept, therefore, the amount of people today still believing in them is far less then that in biblical times. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rosie Murdoch L5R ...read more.

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