Radioclip en texto sin audio grabado.

“i didn’t perform miracles,” jesus christ admits

For God nothing is impossible?


RACHEL We’re broadcasting today from Capernaum. Right behind us is what was once the house of Simon Peter, not far from the town’s fishing wharf on the Sea of Galilee. And with us once again is Jesus Christ, in an exclusive interview. We give you a very warm welcome, Master.

JESUS The same to you, Rachel, and I remind you that…

RACHEL Yes, yes, I know, not to call you Master. Excuse me one more time. You know, Jesus, our radio listeners have been insisting with me to ask about the miracles you performed.

JESUS What miracles?

RACHEL If I’ve counted well, the gospels narrate that you worked as many as 41 miracles. Most of them involved the healing of different infirmities. My first question is this were those people suffering from incurable physical infirmities or rather from psychosomatic ailments?

JESUS What kind of ailments?

RACHEL That is, infirmities of the mind, psychological complaints. For example, in blindness that’s caused by hysteria, the eyes are not damaged, but the person can’t see because of a trauma that was suffered. Was this the kind of sickness you healed?

JESUS I don’t know. Let me tell you what happened one day. I was talking to the people, right here in Peter’s house. There were a lot of people around me, and some young fellows arrived. Since they couldn’t reach me because of the crowd, they opened a hole in the roof. Imagine that.

RACHEL Well, they wanted to hear you, certainly.

JESUS No, they had with them a family member who was paralyzed. And they lowered him down from the roof on a cot and all. There was a great commotion.

RACHEL And what did you do?

JESUS I talked for a while with the sick man, and he told me the many misfortunes of his life. And the last of them was that he couldn’t walk.

RACHEL And then?

JESUS Then I fixed my gaze on him for a good while. I think I could see him from within. I encouraged him and told him Get up and walk.

RACHEL And the paralytic got up?

JESUS Yes, he straightened up, he felt that his legs would sustain him… and he walked about.

RACHEL A miracle?

JESUS I don’t know.

RACHEL What do you mean, you don’t know?

JESUS Well, I don’t know it if was a miracle. In my time I knew persons, especially women, who used to encourage and strengthen sick people with their words, with their hands. I saw them do greater things than what I did that day.

RACHEL But there were other days. They used to bring you invalids, blind people, deaf people… What did you do for them?

JESUS The same thing. I would look deep within them, I would give them confidence in their own strength. And many were cured.

RACHEL Was it what we could call today healing psychotherapy?

JESUS I really don’t know what you’d call it, Rachel, but they were cured.

RACHEL Did you think they were miracles?

JESUS I thought they were signs of God’s love for the poorest of the poor, for the people most despised. They were signs, symbols, do you understand?

RACHEL But you mean you didn’t do any of those other wonders, the miracle-miracles?

JESUS And what would those miracle-miracles be?

RACHEL I don’t know, maybe that a dead person was raised, or an armless person grew arms, or a footless person suddenly found he had feet.

JESUS But what are you saying, Rachel? For God nothing is impossible, but God doesn’t do weird things like that. God doesn’t change the rules in the middle of the game.

RACHEL Hold on a second…

JESUS Who are those people coming this way?

RACHEL They look to me like competitors, reporters from other stations. We’ll take a commercial break and be back shortly. I’m Rachel Perez, this is Emisoras Latinas in Capernaum, Palestine.


ANNOUNCER Another God is Possible. Exclusive interviews with Jesus Christ in his second coming to Earth. A production of María and José Ignacio López Vigil, with the support of the Syd Forum and Christian Aid.

*More information about this polemical topic…*

In the house of Peter
The story of the paralytic cured by Jesus in Peter’s house appears in the three synoptic gospels (Mark 2,1-12). The foundation of this tiny house, in the present-day ruins of Capernaum, is one of the sites that can be most accurately and historically related to concrete events of Jesus’ life.
A miracle?
It has been amply shown that there are illnesses and that there are sick people – there is a difference – and it can be proved that the illnesses of some sick people are closely related to psychological traumas or to reversible psychic processes. We also know that in every culture there have existed – and there exist today – persons who are capable of “healing” such sick people through the vital energy of their words and through the strength they communicate by their spiritual authority, their compassion and their benevolence.
Paralysis often has a psychic origin. Doctor Nicanor Arriola, an orthopedist known and loved in Iquitos, Peru, relates the following experience: One day an old man in a wheelchair came to my office with his family. I examined the invalid’s muscles and concluded that nothing was wrong with him: he was suffering from “hysterical paralysis”. So, remembering what Jesus used to do, I got up and stood before the old man, and with a voice that was authoritative but also tender I said to him: Get up and walk! And the old man stood up and walked haltingly toward me. The family considered it a miracle.

Faith moves endorphins
How can we explain this “miracle” or so many other “miracles” of this kind? Faith moves mountains, Jesus told us. What Jesus could not know, because nobody in his day knew it, was that faith also moves endorphins.
Some healers are simply charlatans who take advantage of people’s ignorance and desperation. An intelligent and humorous film that gives a critical portrayal of the way these quacks operate is “Leap of Faith” (1992), from the director Richard Pearson. But in many cases it is not a matter of tricks. Rather, the cure is due to the well-known “placebo effect”, such as when a sick person is given a sugar-pill or is injected with an unmedicated serum, but is told that it is an effective remedy for the illness. As many as 50% of patients treated with placebos experience improvement.
Why does this happen? Doctor Arriola explains it thus: Since the sick person has faith in the medicine he is taking, his body reacts positively by producing in the brain substances called endorphins, which are like a natural morphine that calms pain and makes him feel better. The discharge of endorphins into the bloodstream explains, for example, how even an individual with a broken foot can run to escape from a burning building. It also explains how a sick woman on whom a healer or a preacher lays his hands is able to recover her strength and get up from her sickbed. And it is quite possible that that woman is truly cured, because her sickness, like that of the old man whom I “cured”, was more psychological than physical. With a dose of confidence in the doctor and a discharge of endorphins, some sick people get up and walk, or recover their sight, or get cured of their illness. Our body is the best pharmacy we have. Our body reacts to sicknesses and produces the curative substances we need. The miracle is one that we perform ourselves.

Jesus, a healer
In the four gospels, some 41 miracles are attributed to Jesus. Matthew cites the most (24), and John the fewest (9). Most of these miraculous deeds described in the gospels involve the healing of different sicknesses. Even the harshest critics of miracles admit that Jesus must have been a man with a great ability for curing sick people, for alleviating their pain, and for strengthening their faith and their confidence that they could be cured. It is difficult to define precisely what “powers” Jesus had, given the fact that the healings happened two thousand years ago and are only sketchily described in the gospels. Nowadays we know that the most effective therapies are those which take an integral, holistic view of the human person and seek to discover beneath the physical symptoms the psychic or spiritual cause of the illness. Jesus of Nazareth already “knew” all about this. And “this” is what explains his “miracles”.

Miracles that are signs
If the miracle stories in the gospels are subjected to rigorous literary criticism, it will be seen that some of them are duplicates (for example, compare Mark 10,46-52 with Matthew 20,29-34), others are expanded, and still others are fancifully embellished. All this indicates that, although there is a definite historical nucleus in the accounts of the healings that Jesus performed, the miracles should not be interpreted as a series of wondrous deeds performed by a powerful superman – they should rather be seen as prophetic signs of liberation.
To emphasize this perspective the gospel of John, when referring to the “miracles” of Jesus, always uses the Greek word “semeion”, meaning “sign”. By employing this word, John avoids the danger of turning the action of Jesus into a spectacular physical phenomenon and instead presents it as a sign or a proof that God desires life for human beings and wants them to be free. God frees us from the sickness and the sadness, from the anxiety and the dejection that are linked to illness. In Jesus’ time disease caused even more desperation than it does now, since people were quite ignorant of the scientific origins of maladies and there was a generalized belief that sickness was God’s punishment for sin or a test to which God submitted people to find out how they would react or to see how much they would put up with without sinning and cursing God.

Signs that speak
The perspective of John’s gospel is theological: the “miracles” of Jesus were not isolated marvelous deeds that he performed when he was moved by compassion for individual cases of suffering. If that had been the case, they would not be signs of anything, and their meaning would be greatly reduced. Rather, John presents the healings as signs that reveal what is at the core of Jesus’ mission.
For us today, what does it mean that Jesus of Nazareth cured a paralytic in the first century? The gospels answer this question by presenting Jesus as a messenger of God’s great project: if Jesus made a prostrated man stand up again, it was a sign that his message was capable of making all human beings get up and walk, of shaking them out of their passivity, their fears, their fatalism. Each of the healings that Jesus performed was recounted by the evangelists as a way of portraying the rehabilitation of men and women who have been victims of different existential challenges.

Those specific illnesses
In various gospel accounts, Jesus cured blind people. In those days the extremely dry climate of Palestine and the general lack of hygiene made eye disease quite common: ocular infection, glaucoma, and also hysterical blindness. Were these the illnesses that Jesus cured? Perhaps they were, perhaps they weren’t. What we do know is that he opened the eyes of the people so that they understood that neither their illness nor their misery was something desired by God.
There are also accounts of healings of the paralyzed and the disabled, of the lame and those with “withered hands” Most likely these were people suffering a variety of diseases of the bones or the muscles, people who were sick of arthrosis or arthritis. Without orthopedic assistance, such illnesses were truly a torture for the infirm. Did Jesus cure them? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. What we do know is that he gave new vigor to people who felt defeated, useless, worthless.
The gospels also relate several healings of lepers. In those days people were generally ignorant of the causes of skin disease, so that any ailments of the skin – eruptions, pockmarks, herpes, pimples, scabies – were called “leprosy”. And because of religious beliefs, people who suffered such diseases were considered especially cursed. They were “impure”, and their impurity ostracized completely from society. Today we have knowledge of the importance of nervous states in causing skin disease. Did Jesus cure lepers? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. What we do know is that he drew close to them in order to integrate them back into the community from which the religious laws of the time had banished them.
There are also gospel accounts of the curing of deaf and mute people, and of “crazy” people. Because of their enigmatic or shocking symptoms, people tended to believe that such sicknesses were caused by “impure” spirits that were present in the body of the sick persons, which meant they were possessed by demons. Did Jesus cure them? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. What we do know is that he opened the eyes of his people to make them lose their fear of the devil and regain their confidence in God.
The three accounts of “raising the dead” (the son of the widow of Nain, the daughter of the Roman centurion, and Lazarus of Bethany) are completely symbolic narratives.

The rules of the game
While a sick person’s upbeat, lively attitude and a healer’s spiritual authority and positive energy can help cure certain ailments and “reverse” the advance of serious illnesses –this has been observed, for example, in cases of cancer – we should be skeptical about the how long such cures will last. Since they are illnesses with a psychic origin, what disappears in the “healing” is often only the symptoms, while the physical causes of the illness remain. The human potential for curing or being cured, as well as for making sick or getting sick, is truly prodigious.
There are also “impossible” miracles which nobody, as spiritual as he or she may be, can perform, and which no prayer can bring about. For example, illnesses which are due to genetic defects are not curable. An amputated limb can never grow back. And a dead person cannot come back to life. Nobody can change the rules of the game of life, which are the same as the rules of the game of the limitations which culminate in our death. Not even God.