If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
JESUS – THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIS MIRACLES AND
What is the evidence then that the Christians present to persuade us that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God and to be obeyed without question? The Church argues that the spotless goodness of Christ plus his miracles – acts contrary to the usual workings of natural law – prove that he was who he said he was, the revelation of God.
Sinlessness alone would prove nothing.
Anyone could claim to be sinless and availing of the doctrine that God’s ways are strange, could say that her or his sins were not sins but were done for a good purpose. We all know people who seem impeccable and if Jesus’ goodness is evidence that he was of God then it means that they are of God as well and telling the truth if they say they are divine. Jesus did things that look evil like pulling his death on the cross on himself, risking the apostles lives by taking them around with him when he was a wanted man, insulting the woman whose daughter was possessed and I could go on for a year.
The Devil would make a sinless man think he was the Son of God for a greater evil that we cannot understand. When God is so weird he might allow it to happen. Moreover, if there is a Devil he will have to be a gentleman in order to bring about a greater evil (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The New Testament may say that Jesus was sinless but there are few if any statements that he was always sinless. And these are problematic for they were not written by people whose expertise in ethics and morality can be substantiated. We know precious little about the writers except that they were prejudiced in favour of Jesus and were writing to get people to flatter them by agreeing with them. St Paul the Apostle and first Christian writer and first person to mention Jesus being holy was raving with bigotry, had a vicious tongue and disliked women and condoned slavery. He was hardly even a half-paragon of virtue.
Also it is boastful to describe somebody you know as sinless. It means you claim to know thoroughly what is and isn’t sinful. You believe you know it all. You know what the best experts in the world don’t know – how to create a system that is perfectly moral. And because of your superiority, you are able to know if Jesus was sinless and can sit in judgment of him and work out that he has never sinned. The doctrine of Jesus’ sinlessness speaks more about the people who preach it than about Jesus. The idea that Jesus was sinless and formed a Church which is so close to him that it can be described as being his body means that the Christian religion has a right to dictate what to believe and do to the world. What makes the Christians so sure they are right about Jesus being sinless? Not everybody would believe that a man who claimed to be God or at least the Son of God and who twisted the Old Testament prophecy to make it seem to be speaking of him (Nostradamus style) and who waltzed off to Calvary Hill to be crucified is really sinless.
If you advertise your sinlessness through miracles as Jesus allegedly did you are hardly sinless are you? True goodness hides itself. Jesus himself said that it was a sin to allow yourself to be seen doing good when you could have done it more discreetly. Christians may say Jesus didn’t do them for that reason. Even if he didn’t claim to be sinless he did them to show that his teaching was of God and that he was the Son of God which by implication shows he was claiming to be a saint. I am using saint along the vein of somebody who sins but who starts again and is very righteous.
The diabolical agency theory is the idea that Satan did Jesus’ miracles for him. Some believe that the demons and Satan cannot do real miracles but use natural forces such as the power of hallucination and illusion to make people think fake miracles have happened so that they can use the wonders to draw them to a false system of religious belief or a false prophet. Obviously if Satan has such powers then he might as well be able to do proper miracles.
It is certain that for Jesus’ miracles to prove that he was the supreme revelation of God, he would have to be sinless so that the diabolical agency theory could be made less probable.
Believers say that Jesus’ miracles proved that he was indeed the sinless Son of God and the man whose teaching must be obeyed. They say the diabolical agency possibility isn’t even slightly an option. The problem with that view is that you need to be as wise as Jesus allegedly was to know that he was sinless. Miracles cannot prove him sinless if he is not sinless.
So the sinlessness and miracles are needed to make an argument for Jesus - and yet neither works.
You shouldn’t reason, “Jesus did miracles therefore he was sinless”. That is making the miracles testify for Jesus. It is not taking Jesus’ testimony. It amounts to following miracles not Jesus. It is not a compliment to Jesus to call him sinless on the basis of miracles. You should be able to see that without them. And especially when you claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus. And in that case, the miracles are good for nothing. If Jesus wanted to draw attention to his holiness he should have taught and nursed the sick often falling ill himself but battling on - and lived until he was 100 when he was murdered trying to rescue a battered wife from her husband. He shouldn’t have been doing miracles to get attention. What the miracles prove is that Jesus’ lifelong and absolute holiness should be put under suspicion.
If Jesus made the claim that he was gifted with lifelong and absolute freedom from sin and was in fact sinful, doing miracles to back up his claim would show that the miracles would be of little use. They would be supporting the “revelations” of a man who isn’t dependable.
Miracles need a religious context before they can be taken to be signs that the religion or religious personage who manifests them is true. Many of Jesus’ miracles didn’t worry about religion at all. For example, he cured lepers and told them not to tell anyone. He didn’t ask them to convert or believe in him. He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead having put all the people out of the room and despite claiming she wasn’t dead.
The miracles would be useless in the absence of proof that Jesus was sinless even if he was sinless. And no such proof exists.
Perhaps if we can prove Jesus did miracles then we can be sure he was sinless or not far off it? No. You need to prove the sinlesslessness or near sinlessness first to be able to prove that the miracles are signs. The miracles could not be signs that Jesus was sinless but they would be signs because Jesus was sinless. You shouldn’t need miracles to prove you are sinless if that is true.
The problem is we can’t prove that Jesus was sinless. Therefore we cannot say that his miracles happened or that they are signs from God proving that Jesus was telling the truth about God.
A Miracles of Jesus - Don’t prove we must make him our Lord and Master unless he is sinless. So we must see Jesus as sinless before we consider his miracles.
B Sinlessness of Jesus - Proves nothing for we have to be experts on morality which we are not to be able to judge him as sinless.
Conclusion - The miracles and sinlessness fail to help us gain faith in Jesus.
A Healing Miracles of Jesus - Not a sign that he was good. A man who rolls up his sleeves and wipes the pus from ulcers and does it the hard way instead of working magic is the truly good man. That Jesus’ wonders are upheld as the supreme good works ever done on earth is totally insulting to humanitarians and philanthropists. The miracles command you to put Christian religious faith before people by implication. They are evil miracles in their intent even if people did get cured.
B Jesus dying for sinners - Any saying that he died for this reason was written down after his death. Jesus screamed against God on the cross that he had forsaken him. That can be taken as saying he didn’t plan to die. Also we don’t have any statistical evidence or visible evidence that Jesus’ death heals the heart of evil. Even the gospels themselves don’t indicate that his crucifixion was that bad. We don’t regard a man who does nothing for others but who believes that when he dies that he is offering it to say forgive the sin of murder through the world as good.
The miracles and sinlessness fail to help us gain faith in Jesus.