The Nature of Miracles
There is More to This Art Than is Covered by the Comprehension of Most
Have We Missed Something Important?
The greatest miracle that no one has yet explained is the nature of existence and consciousness. Yet, we all look for wonderful signs that stand above natural experience, as if to prove that there is an intelligence in the cosmos that can step outside of nature and be supernatural. Further, we hope that that supreme intelligence will come to our personal aid. It is to this intelligence that most appeal in prayer, supplication and sacrifice in a bid to solve some issue, to receive as it were, a personal miracle out of the blue that steps outside of normal cause and effect and/or the laws of physics as we know them. And yet, almost all prayer appears to go unanswered. Let's have a look how the whole idea of miracles got twisted from its source of cosmic understanding of the day to the supernatural gibberish of today that flies in the face of sense. The miracle described in the NT and to a lessor extent in the OT have a meaning alright, but the essence is lost in a simplistic explanation of a complex subject. God does not make laws just to break them willy-nilly as human beings are wont to do. Nor is there a double standard where the maker of the law is immune from the effects thereof, unlike those for whom it is applied. Jesus said he came to fulfil the law and not end it.
We begin our journey into understanding with the verses in Luke chapter 23 where Herod has taken custody of Jesus and is excited by the prospect of Jesus performing some supernatural feat in line with what he has heard from the rumour mill. When he finally had Jesus in his presence, he cross-examined him with many questions to try to come to an understanding and prompted him to perform one. He also wanted some concrete proof for himself. But Jesus remained quiet and he was passed back to Pilate by a frustrated and disappointed Herod. Elsewhere, Jesus is tasked about signs and replies that an evil generation seeks after signs, but that the only sign they will get is the sign of Jonah, i.e., a call to repentance. We will come back to Jonah shortly. But in one instance, Jesus was approached by the apostles who said another was casting out demons in his name and they forbade them. Jesus rebuked them on the grounds that they were on the same side and the miracle in question is translated from the Greek as having to do with uttering poetry in the force of Jesus' name. This has been translated into miracle in the KJV Bible and sign in other translations. Almost everywhere else, the word miracle derives from ether a sign, a point or some other word in the Greek that carries a similar meaning. The word miracle in modern Greek has developed to fit modern language outside of Greece and it does not occur in the ancient Greek scriptures. Other words have been translated into miracle or sign. The latter word is of significance as this is the form used in many other translations.
Returning to the story of the sign of Jonah, almost all Christians are familiar with the story of Jonah who was three days in the belly of a fish for refusing to prophesy to Nineveh on the account for repentance. When Jonah himself repented of his refusal, the fish spat him out on the shores of Nineveh where he then called for repentance, whereon the people of Nineveh did just that and were spared destruction from God. Celestially, the story is of the sun transiting through the constellation of the whale. Now, Cetus is not on the main zodiacal ecliptic, but it is aligned with Aries according to the layout of the celestial sphere. The timing then for Cetus to be at the point of the winter equinox would have been about 7,000 year prior to Jesus time. So when the sun was at its lowest point at winter solstice, it would have been in the sign of the whale for three days, just as it is in late Sagittarius (sidereal) in the current time over Christmas. This is the sign to which Jesus was referring to as the type that people would see. Elsewhere, we learn that his is considered a prophet on many occasions and even compared to some of the OT prophets; Elijah in particular. A prophet is all about being familiar with cycles and how they repeat in the great zodiac year as they repeat in the solar year. Thus they are able to make stunning and accurate forecasts that give them the aura of superhuman ability.
There appears to be little question as to Jesus being a rabbi as he is addressed as such repeatedly in the NT in all translations. He would be familiar with the Torah, the Talmud and the Kabbalah. He would also be familiar with healing techniques as they existed in his day. Jesus is reported to speak in parables in order to keep certain information available only to the initiated. He is also seen as a saviour, but we must again look to what the OT and NT say on this matter. Nehemiah in the 9th chapter explains that Jehovah periodically sends enemies and saviours conditioned on how the Israelites follow his laws or not. This can also be seen as true for any other nation or peoples. If they do not follow the law, enemies are allowed to swallow them up and if they do, a saviour is sent to deliver them from the oppressor and enemy; to set them free. It is conditional! We read further testament to what a saviour is in the prophecies of Isaiah chapter 19 and this one refers to Egypt specifically. The story of Moses then is a classic rendition of a saviour according to the description. A saviour according to the OT rendition is a great leader who leads his people out of captivity, saving them from the agonies of exploitation and slavery. In order to be freed, they often have to endure trials and war. It is a collective rendition covering the whole of the people. In the NT, we get a different take; particularity in anything edited by Paul/Saul and subsequent translations and renditions. The figure of the saviour is transformed from a collective rendition to one for the individual. There is little doubt that the objective collective sense must be taken together with the subjective individual sense and that they should not be separated, which is what we see in common today, that is the alienation of the two. Politically we see a concentration on the objective side of salvation where left leaning political types are concerned in the class struggle against an imperialist oppressor. On the religious-spiritual side, lead mainly by the right, there is a concentration on the subjective-personal-individual salvation from ones own ignorance and sin. On the one side we have collective salvation where society as a whole must deliver itself, or be delivered by an enlightened leader/saviour from the oppressor. On the other, the individual is expected to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” in the cult of the individual, or rely on the power of a supernatural intervention to render salvation from personal sin oppression with the help of some intermediary. The two separate streams must be united where the salvation of the individual must be tied up with the salvation of an entire class.
Jesus, in keeping with tradition, was also a messiah, as was Shimon Bar Khokbah later on. Both sought to deliver Israel from under the oppression of Rome in a collective salvation. Both paid with their lives, so in essence were both failed messiahs, not on any account of their own, but owing to the circumstances of superior forces and a lack of readiness on the part of the people and followers. That point is made clear in the Gospels when Jesus addresses listeners as a generation of vipers. There is plenty of criticism for hypocrisy as well. During his ministry, Jesus is accused in a bid to denigrate him, as one who associates with tax collectors, prostitutes, drunkards and other sinners and therefore must be the same; guilty by association. Yet we are told that the father is not guilty for the sins of the son and visa versa. Clearly, from that corollary information, the Israelites were not ready for salvation collectively. Indeed, collaborators in the midst wanted things to remain as they were as they profited from the occupation of Rome and Rome saw fit to keep the system of corruption in place. The minority that wanted change, were too few and/or too poor to overcome both Roman might and the censure of poverty. By the time of Shimon Bar Khokbah, there was far more support, but even this was not sufficient to render collective salvation. Hundreds of thousands died in the bid of the third Roman-Jewish war.
For three great religions, this is the center of the world!
The Miracles of Jesus by BBC
There are even today, accounts of unexplainable phenomena that would by many accounts, appear to be miraculous. They are no doubt occurrences due to the cause and effect of natural forces. The point of this is that for many things, we are still ignorant. There are, for instance, many strange sounds that people record coming from the earth or sky, some of which sound like trumpets, and these seem miraculous. Some would even say that these are the trumpets of Revelation and thus expect Jesus' soon second coming. Then there are mysterious lights that have as yet, no plausible explanation. These all have some natural source. It is just that we have not found out what the chain of cause and effect is in many circumstances. Within our own experience concerning technology, much of what we have today would have been considered miraculous by almost everyone a century ago, as they had very little of what we now take for granted. We don not have to look very far to see this. A casual conversation with some elder will reveal much. The idea of the miracle came out of the difference between two sets of knowledge and understanding. When Jesus is reported to have been witnessed walking on water in at least two instances, we can see this in a number of ways. One way is the celestial way of the rising or setting sun close to the watery horizon and Jesus has been compared to the sun. Another involves timing insofar is that anyone can walk on water provided it is frozen solid. A third way involves using surface tension on water so that water walking insects do not sink, but walk on the surface. Certain animals also use it by running rapidly across the surface without sinking. The feeding of the 5,000 can also be seen in a number of ways. Again, we can approach it celestially in relation to the annual harvest, or the idea of sharing during a large gathering. Jesus himself called for sharing when he told the rich man to sell all he had and distribute it to the poor.
Many of us today still look for signs and/or miracles. Some look to the stars as Jesus himself said “There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, and upon the earth distress and perplexity among the nations...” Others look to unusual happenings on the earth, such as the plethora of mass animal deaths and deformities. Some expect to see the manifestation of Jesus in the clouds descending to earth with a host of angels to do battle with Satan and his minions. Others focus on geographical locations, particularly on Israel and Jerusalem's temple mount. Most of us watch and wait, but Jesus had some warnings. The kingdom does not come by watching and waiting, for it is within. Nor does anyone know the day nor the hour; only God the father knows. If and when (note; it is conditional) it does occur, it will appear miraculous to almost everyone.