Do Miracles Require a Charlton Heston Voice?

To learn the do’s and don’ts of healing, you need to watch TV faith-healers in action. Healing someone requires strutting around a stage in front of a lot of people. Healing requires using a deep, authoritative voice to say, “Be healed!” Healing requires knocking somebody in the head so they topple over. Just ask Benny Hinn.

James Martin, in “Jesus: a Pilgrimage,” suggests a different approach. He notes that Jesus described himself as “gentle and humble in heart.” With that image in mind, he mentions the demon-possessed man in Mark 1 whom Jesus healed in the temple at Capernaum. We sort of imagine Jesus silencing the demon by shouting loudly in a Charlton Heston voice. But Martin writes: “Isn’t it possible that when Jesus saw the terrible force that consumed the man, he first paused in silent pity, as any compassionate person would do when faced with such torment? Maybe Jesus simply turned to the man and said quietly, ‘Come out of him.'”

There’s nothing magical about tone of voice when it comes to God doing a miracle. At the Bridge at Khazad-dum, Gandalf yelled at the balrog, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.” If that were Jesus, he could have just wagged his finger and mumbled, “That’s far enough.” No booming voice required.

Now, John says that when he raised Lazurus from the dead, Jesus “called out in a loud voice.” But he didn’t need to. He could have walked up to the tomb, gently rested his cheek against the stone, and whispered, “Lazarus, you can come out now.” And it would have happened. Amazing to think about.

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