Examples of Miracles From Scripture and Tradition

It is important to know the difference between miracles in Scripture and miracles in religious traditions. For example, the healings that many Catholic Christians believe occur each year at Lourdes, in France, are part of tradition; they are not in the Bible. If the exam asks for an example from scripture they mean something from the Bible, or the sacred texts of another religion.

Old-NewMiracles in the Christian Bible

Jesus performed many miracles in the Gospels, and passed on his ability to do this to his apostles (messengers) according to the Book of Acts. He healed the blind, the lame and the leprous as well as raising the dead and bringing himself back to life.

One famous example would be the raising of Jairus’ daughter.  According to the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 8:

50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

This is very similar to an example found in the Old Testament when the prophet Elijah raised the son of a widow at Zarephath, so also appearing in the Jewish scriptures:

1 Kings 17

17 Sometime later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped Elijahbreathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

Examples from other religious traditions:

Buddhism – The Buddha tames an elephant

life28.jpgThe Buddha’s cousin, Devedatta, was jealous of the Buddha and tried on many occasions to kill him. One day Devedatta released a fierce and dangerous elephant, Nelagiri, to trample the Buddha. The crazed elephant ran into town towards the Buddha. A frightened woman accidentally dropped her baby into the path of the elephant. As the animal was about to trample the child, the Buddha calmly touched the elephant’s forehead. The elephant stopped and became calm. It then knelt down before the Buddha.

Hinduism – The birth of Krishnavasudev

King Kamsa was told that the eighth son of his sister, Devalki, would grow up to kill him. He imprisoned his sister, and each time she gave birth killed her child. When her eighth child, Krishna, was born, the god Vishnu appeared and told her husband to take it an exchange it with a  girl born at the same time. As Krishna’s father carried him through the prison, the prison doors opened to free him and all the guard remained asleep. When he reached the river, it parte and he was able to reach the palace where a new-born baby girl had been born to the Queen. Everyone in the palace slept as he exchanged the babies and took the girl back to the prison. When Kansa heard of the birth of the eighth child, he went to kill the child. When he grabbed the child and threw it against the prison wall, the child flew up to the sky and became a goddess. Krishna survived and grew up in his new home.

the-quranIslam – The Qur’an

The simple existence of the Holy Qur’an, the Islamic sacred text, is the greatest miracle in Islam. It was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by the angel Jibr’il and is the direct word of Allah. Through it all Muslims can lead a better life. It also contains accounts of many other miracles that were performed by Muhammad and the other prophets, including Jesus (Isa).

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