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16. The Great Teacher — Miracles

As we have learnt earlier, Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam (his peace be upon us) is not just a prophet, He is much more than that. The Bible declares Him to be the King of kings and Lord of lords.[1] His teaching and miracles confirm His authority and power. He once said to some unbelieving Jews: "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."[2]

Both the Qur'an and the Bible tell of some of the great miracles that Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam performed. He gave sight to the blind, gave the deaf hearing, made the lame walk, and He raised the dead to life, as well as many other signs that displayed His uniqueness as a Prophet of God.

So, in the Gospels we see that through His sayings and miracles, Sayyidna Isa demonstrated that He was indeed from God. It was also part of His character to always perform miracles in response to people’s need. He never performed miracles to merely prove that He could, but He wanted to heal and bless people, and teach them the ways of God.

1) The First Miracle

In the Injil we read that at a wedding party Sayyidna Isa al-Masih changed water into wine. This wine had such a beautiful taste the guests had never tasted anything like it before![3] Yet, what was Sayyidna illustrating by this? This act of changing plain water into a wonderful drink was a reflection of the fact that He was bringing in a new order of things, namely His Kingdom, which is far better than anything that has gone before.

We learn from this miracle that God is the Master of quality. Whoever and whatever we may be when we accept Sayyidna Shafi'u'llah as our Saviour, He changes us and moulds us into something of great quality and worth. This is what the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”[4] When we accept Isa al-Masih, His sinlessness, righteousness and goodness is given to us in salvation.

2) Life to a Child

A father came to Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam and asked Him if He would go back with him to the village where his child lay dying. Sayyidna Isa said to the man, "You may go. Your son will live."[5] The father trusted Him and as he was still on his way home his servant met him and told him that the boy was alive and well. Upon asking when his son got better they realised that it had been the exact time at which Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah had said, "Your son will live." Due to God’s goodness in this, the father and his whole household believed in Sayyidna Isa al-Masih.

We learn from this event that Sayyidna Isa al-Masih has the power to overcome distances. God is never far from us. Sayyidna Isa said, "...surely I am with you always."[6] No wonder He was also named ‘Immanuel’, which means “God with us”[7].

3) A Man at the Pool

The pool of Bethesda was well known in first-century Jerusalem. Crowds of sick people used to gather around this pool everyday. There was a legend that when the water was stirred up, the first sick person into the water would be healed.[8]

One day Sayyidna Isa went to visit the pool and saw a sick man lying there on his mat. For thirty-eight years this man had been paralysed. Sayyidna Isa said to him, "Do you want to get well?" Then He told him to get up and pick up his mat and walk. The man did what Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah had told him and was immediately cured.

4) Feeding Five Thousand People

On one occasion Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam amazed a crowd of over 5,000 by feeding them all with only a few loaves of bread and some fish. Many people had gathered around Him to listen to His teaching and the place was very remote. Because it was so late in the day the apostles wanted to send the people away so they could eat, but Sayyidna Isa wanted to feed them Himself.

One of the apostles found a boy who had five small barley loaves and two small fish. He asked Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam, "How far will they go among so many?" but Sayyidna did not answer.

Instead He directed His disciples to make all the people sit down in groups on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, He gave thanks to God, and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to His disciples to set before the people. They all ate, and afterwards they collected twelve baskets full of food left over.[9]

5) What Do We Learn?

These people were looking for a Messiah who would look after their bodily needs, rather than their spiritual needs. They ran after Sayyidna Isa al-Masih to make Him their king, but later Sayyidna told them clearly that His real purpose in coming to the world was to save them spiritually.[10] He told them that their forefathers had been given food by God that had helped their physical needs in the wilderness, but those people had not lived long. Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah told them that He gives food that will last forever and give ever-lasting life. He said that He was the source of this spiritual food and eternal life. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

6) Sayyidna Isa al-Masih Walks on Water

After feeding the multitude, Isa bin Maryam asked His disciples to take a boat and go ahead of Him. They left, and rowed towards their destination, but because of a strong wind blowing against them it was very hard. It was already dark and Sayyidna had not yet joined them. After they had rowed about three miles they saw Sayyidna Isa al-Masih approaching the boat, walking on the water. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him they thought He was a ghost and cried out. Immediately He said to them, "Take courage ... Don't be afraid."

When Peter saw this, he asked if he also would be able to walk on the water. Sayyidna Isa said, "Come." Peter got down and walked on the water towards Him, but when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink. Immediately Sayyidna Isa bin Maryam reached out His hand and saved Him.[11]

7) A Lesson for Us

Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah is the master of all creation. He says, "Come and follow me", and in following Him we know that even when we face troubles and hardships He will always be there to help and save us. He calmed a storm and enabled Peter to walk on the surface of the water. This teaches us that in every situation of life, Sayyidna Isa is present and His confidence and peace are available to those who believe in Him.

Today Isa al-Masih calms the storms in the lives and hearts of all His people. No matter what trouble, pain or sorrow there may be in a believer's life, with Sayyidna Isa Shafi'u'llah there is peace.

References:

  1. [1] Revelation 19:11-16
  2. [2] John 10:37-38
  3. [3] John 2:1-11
  4. [4] Isaiah 61:10
  5. [5] John 4:46-54
  6. [6] Matthew 28:20, 1:22-24
  7. [7] Matthew 1:22-24
  8. [8] John 5:1-9
  9. [9] John 6:1-14
  10. [10] John 6:22-71
  11. [11] John 6:16-21, Mark 6:47-50, Matthew 14:22-32

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