Buddy Scott of buddyscott.com © 2000 ALLON PUBLISHING
Read the way Peter Jennings described the miracles of Jesus Christ involving nature in his ABC News Special, The Search for Jesus:
The Gospel stories describe Jesus impressing his followers by performing supernatural feats. Walking on water, turning water into wine, and feeding thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. But most scholars we talked to think these stories were invented by the Gospel writers as advertisements for Christianity in its early years. Christianity, after all, was competing for followers with Judaism and with Greek and Roman pagan religions.
To support his statements, Jennings interviewed the author of Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World, Marvin Meyer. Meyer said:
Moses feeds a multitude in the wilderness just as Jesus feeds a multitude in the wilderness. Jesus walks on the water just as the Greek god Poseidon rides his chariot over the water; that's his miracle. Jesus changes water into wine just as the Greek god Dionysius, as his chief miracle, changes water into wine. And the message of the New Testament Gospels really is that Jesus can do the same kind of good stuff that Poseidon and Dionysius can do. So those stories really are adopted then and adapted to the figure of Jesus.
According to Jennings and Meyer, some of the nature miracles are worse than not true as recorded in Scripture. They are a part of the scheming fabrications of the early Christians who were trying to start a new religion. Another of Jennings's scholars didn't agree.
Read between the lines when Jennings made this open-ended statement to another scholar: "By your definition then, Jesus is not an heroic figure at all until He gets in the hands of all the people who are going to write and embellish about Him afterwards." (Wow! I'm not used to people representing New Testament writers as bottom feeders. What's with Jennings and ABC News?)
The scholar answered that Jesus was a heroic character in the sense that He died for the integrity of His vision (social and political, not being the Savior of the world). He was a heroic character simply because He was unwilling to compromise, He didn't look out for Himself, He didn't ask anything for Himself, and He didn't even ask His followers to do anything in particular.
That's it? That's it. Nothing divine? Nothing divine.
I think my readers will be sharp enough to see through that without any help from me. According to the New Testament and Jesus' own words, He didn't come to start a new religion. He came to fulfill the Jewish religion, to be the Messiah about whom their prophets had prophesied. When Jews didn't acknowledge Him as their Messiah, the pulsating energy He had set in motion couldn't and wouldn't evaporate like mere tons of steam. A new religion became its expression.
The miracles Jennings refers to as supernatural feats weren't the scheming fabrications of New Testament writers and early zealots. Jennings's scholars looked in the wrong place. Rather than comparing Jesus to pagan gods, they should have related Him to His Heavenly Father.
Remember how Jesus told His parents, "I must be about My Father's business." The miracles were the fruit of a beautiful relationship of LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. Since Jesus was the Son of the Creator of the whole universe, why wouldn't Jesus be creative? The miracles were Jesus creating with His Father--commanding nature and creating health, wholeness, peace, and fresh supplies of food and drink.
God and Jesus performed miracles involving nature. Examples...
God the Father spoke the universe into being.
God created water and grapes.
God created streams, rivers, lakes, and seas.
God created winds and the waves.
God created the fish of the sea and the wheat of the fields.
God and Jesus performed miracles involving health. Examples...
God created human bodies.
God created sight.
God created hands and legs.
God created life.
And God the Father and Son performed miracles involving salvation. Examples...
God created human souls to be sanctuaries for Him.
God created us to commune with Him.
In all of the miracles of God and Jesus...
A + B = C
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