Are the miracles of Christ merely an influence of impressiveness?
Impression is an influence on one’s heart and thoughts to be convinced of something,
1. Can there be any relation between impression and raising of the dead?
A person may impress a living person and influence his heart and thoughts, but cannot have any influence on the dead whereas the Lord Christ raised the dead such as the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:41, 42), the son of the Widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17) and Lazarus (John 11:17-44) and all of these are of course beyond impression.
The son of Nain was raised by Christ while carried in a bier on the way and Lazarus was raised after four days in the tomb in front of the consolers. Did the impression extend to the consolers and to those who escorted the dead? Or did the impression enter into the tomb or the bier of the dead to influence him?
2. No relation is there between impression and the insane or possessed.
How can one impress an insane who has no control over his mind and feelings? or impress a possessed who is controlled by the devils?
The Lord Christ healed many insane such as the demon – possessed, blind and mute (Matt 12:22) and the insane of the country of the Gadarenes who was seized by the demons and was always bound with chains and shackles and was driven by many demons (Legion) (Luke 8:29-32), can such a person be influenced by an outer impression?
3. No relation is there between impression and casting out of unclean spirits.
An unclean spirit cannot be impressed, we have an amazing example the man with the unclean spirit who was crying out but the Lord Christ rebuked him, saying, ” Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” (Mark 1:25-27).
What impression is here? This miracle was in the Synagogue in Capernaum in front of all the people there and they felt the power and authority of Christ. The same happened when the Lord healed the mute demon-possessed man. He cast out the demon and the man spoke, so the multitude marvelled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel.” (Matt 9:32,33).
In another miracle of healing, the Lord Christ rebuked the unclean spirit, saying, “You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more.” (Mark 9:25, 27) and the man was cured from that very hour (Matt 17:18).
4. No relation also is there between impression and nature: sea, wind and trees.
Even if it is possible to have impression on rational beings, it is completely impossible to have impression on non living and non rational beings.
For example the fig tree, which represents hypocrisy, which the Lord Christ cursed, saying, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” (Mark 11:14) and immediately the tree withered away (Matt 21:19). Did it wither by impression? And when the great tempest arose on the sea and the boat was covered with the waves, the Lord Christ “arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ and the- wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39). Is it by impression or through authority over nature? Let the greatest psychologists in the world calm a stormy sea through impression.
Besides the nature miracles, there are the miracles of fishing.
The first miracle was with Peter the Apostle before being invited. He had spent the whole night without catching any fish, but on the word of Christ the fish increased and filled the two boats till they began to sink because of the great number of fish (Luke 5:1-7).
The second miracle was after the Resurrection (John 21:10-14). Of course the fish did not come suddenly into the net due to an impression but upon the word of Christ!!
5. No impression is there in healing a person from afar.
The Lord Christ healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman at the request of her mother. That daughter in her home had not been under any impression. The Lord-glory be to Him- said to the Canaanite woman, “Go your way, the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out and her daughter lying on the bed (Mark 7:29-30). In the same way the Lord said to the king’s nobleman, “Go your way, your son lives.” (John 4:50) and the son was healed from that hour though he was at home not exposed to an impression. Likewise the centurion’s servant was healed through the word of Christ from far away (Matt 8:13).
6. Creating works as well cannot be performed by impression.
Feeding the four thousand men besides women and children by seven loaves and a few little fish (Matt 15:32-38) cannot be by impression. Moreover, seven large baskets were left full of the fragments which means that a new substance was created.
And the feeding of the five thousand men, besides women and children by five loaves and two fish cannot have been by impression! Even if they had the impression that they were filled, how would there remain twelve baskets full (Matt 14:20)? From where had such a quantity come unless they were created by a miracle not by impression?
The same happened in the miracle of giving sight to the man born blind.
The Lord Christ created eyes to him, a matter which cannot have been performed by impression especially that the way Christ used for this was capable to cause the opposite! The Lord put clay on the eyes of the blind man and this may cause blindness to one having sight! Then He ordered him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:6, 7). Such washing was easy to remove clay not to create an eye with tissues and nerves!! The clay cannot be a means of giving impression of sight to the man!
In the same way the water was turned into wine by a miracle.
The Lord created a substance that was not before, because water has not the compounds of wine. He did this without any process whatsoever; He just said, “Fill the water pots with water.” (John 2:7) then said, “Draw some out now….” Thus, a new substance was created by the Lord’s mere will. There was no impression because the guests who drank it knew nothing about what had happened, it was done by the servants not by one of the guests. Where is the impression then?
7. Healing of infirmities cannot be effected by impression.
A blind cannot have sight by impression or a lame have a leg by impression: nor a dumb, a mute or a deaf can be healed by impression.
The Lord Christ worked many such miracles. For the blind, He healed Bartimaeus (Mark 10:52) and another one with him (Matt 20:34). He healed the blind man of Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), the blind and mute man (Matt 12:22) and two blind men (Matt 9:27-31).
He healed the deaf and the mute (Mark 7:31, 37), (Matt 9:32- 33), (Luke 19:42) and many other examples such as healing the ear of Malchus the servant of the high priest which was cut off by someone (Luke 22:50, 51).
8. Healing of the leper cannot be effected by impression.
The leper had to stay away from the community and when he is healed the priest examines him to make sure that he got well so he can be allowed to join the community after offering a sacrifice. However, the Lord Christ healed the leper by a touch of his hand and immediately they were cleansed (Mark 1:41) (Matt 8:2,3). He healed ten leper men at one time (Luke 17:11- 19) and they showed themselves to the priests as usual. Were the priests also under impression?
Many other incurable diseases were healed by Christ.
9. No impression can be effected in case of so many miracles and so many onlookers.
Perhaps one person may come under impression and be influenced, but when hundreds of people with various diseases and different psychological and mental abilities are healed, the matter becomes different as in the miracles worked by Christ. St. Luke the Evangelist says, “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” (Luke 4:40, 41).
St. Matthew the Evangelist says about the Lord that He was “healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” (Matt 4:23). And St. Mark the Evangelist says,
“they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons.” (Mark 1:32-34).
Were all those and the onlookers as well “under impression”?
10. The miracles that happened in the life of Christ Himself could not have been due to impression.
Such miracles as His Resurrection, His appearance to eleven then to all His disciples, His transfiguration, His virgin birth… etc., all such miracles could not have been due to impression.