150: Viewing the Miracles of Jesus as Invitations

For some, the miracles of Jesus presented in the Gospels are problematic. Many question their veracity. Did these actually occur, or are they stories that sought to grab the attention of people living in a pre-industrial world? Perhaps “something” happened but surely there are better explanations today than Jesus healing, raising from the dead, and casting out evil spirits. In short, especially for those in the midst of a shift of faith, the miracle stories are far more difficult to make peace with than are his teachings.

But what if we didn’t care about whether or not they occurred or how early Christians (and many contemporary ones, too) “explain” them? Are there powerful ways to view them through other lenses? In this episode, Annika Rau joins LDF host Dan Wotherspoon in such an exercise. Specifically, Annika speaks about the way she has learned to see them as “invitations.” If we pay close enough to the various stories, each in its own context, we are able to see broader themes and concepts that illustrate the way that Jesus operated in the world. 

Who did Jesus heal? In what ways were these miracles tailored to each individual according to her or his specific needs? Did Jesus require something of the individuals before healing? Why were there such a variety of methods through which he healed? And so many more things to notice. If we were to pay attention to such broader matters, how might that help us in our journey to be more like him?

The conversation in this episode draws us into the person of Jesus as well as into much deeper looks at fundamental spiritual questions. Among other things, if features a wonderful discussion of a healing episode found in Mark 8: 22-26, and a broader set of things we might explore in the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 8). And it models ways that we might each seek for new things to notice in these stories (as well as in other events, settings, and details found the Gospels).

Listen in! You will really enjoy this terrific conversation!

1 thought on “150: Viewing the Miracles of Jesus as Invitations”

  1. Annika’s cousin here ☺️ I would say grandpa meant that we get “all of this” in life that brings joy on it’s own (families for example) … and “the gospel too” as the icing on the cake and the thing that breathes life and purpose into all those other things that are great on their own but become even more delicious and significant through the lense of the gospel. That was my take-away. I would say the gospel of Jesus Christ was definitely his priority. The gospel of Jesus Christ IS love and that’s the way our grandpa lived. I always left his presence not only feeling like I wanted to do/be better but I left with a renewed spiritual energy that made me feel like I could. What a gift to have that affect on people. As Annika did, I recognized that as the kind of love Jesus has. Not that he accepts any choice or way of living but that He has the ability to inspire you to do better and become better within a space of absolute motivating, energizing and hope-filled love. Thank you for your thoughts, Annika. You have a gift for speaking 💕 I love your story of taking Grandma’s name, and I was impressed when you whipped out that quilt for her. You are good at taking great care and thought for people. Love you!

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