Friday, February 13, 2009
Gioacchino Assereto, Christ Healing a Blind Man, ca. 1640
Even in his miracles Jesus falls short of both pagan and Hebrew models of heroism. His wonders are mostly "little" ones -- healings and exorcisms, nothing like spectacular physical feats of killing monsters or parting seas. If the Gospels were fictions, wouldn't they have given us something on a more epic scale than curing sick people? Imagine Hercules healing lepers! Any mythmaker would have outdone the evangelists in mere scale; but Jesus' miracles are of a piece with his teachings about showing mercy to everyone, however humble. And instead of glorying in his deeds, he tells their subjects, "Your own faith has cured you," charging them to tell nobody.
Posted by theo at 10:51 PM