Wrestling with the Bible: Does (Can?) God Do Miracles?

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Does (can?) God do miracles? I wonder. Mostly I kind of doubt it. I’ve never witnessed a miracle personally, though I’ve asked for enough of them, large and small, over the years.

My son at age 5. He survived to adulthood. Is that the miracle?

The Bible is full of miracle stories, of course. In the synagogue at Capernaum, just for starters, Jesus is confronted by a man possessed by a demon. With a few words, Jesus silences the voice for evil and the man is healed.

Right now I’m asking for a healing miracle for a six-year-old boy who is being tormented –like the man at the synagogue – by a terrible illness.

I don’t know whether God does miracles any more, if God ever did. But I’m praying anyway.

As I form the words, I imagine that I’m asking God to heal a small boy who is suffering. But maybe I’m praying for something else – something that God actually can and does provide.

What would that be?

LECTIONARY, Epiphany 4: 


Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

“Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching– with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.”  — Mark 1:21-28 NRSV

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© 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Barbara Falconer Newhall. and www.GodsBigBlog.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog's author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full and clear credit is given to Barbara Falconer Newhall and www.GodBigBlog.com with appropriate and specifc direction to the original content. Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA. The Psalms are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Material originally published and copyrighted by the Oakland Tribune is posted here by permission. WordPress theme adapted from Thematic Theme Framework