Seven miracles of Christ

From Anthroposophy

Christ-Jesus performed many miracles during his three years on Earth, many more than those mentioned in the gospels.

From these, Rudolf Steiner extracts seven miracles as signs of an increase in power of the Christ working through the bodily structure of Jesus.

  1. marriage at Cana
  2. healing nobleman's son - young man of Nain
  3. healing sick man Bethesda
  4. feeding five thousand
  5. walking on water
  6. healing blind man
  7. initiation or Raising of Lazarus

Aspects

  • these seven signs are also as linked symbolically with the cultural ages (1911-01-21or23-GA264)
  • other important miracles such as the below may be
    • the raising of the 12 year old daughter of Jairus
    • the raising of the son of the widow of Nain, as a initiation of this Individuality that would come to fruition in the next incarnation (as the teacher Manes) (1909-09-26-GA114)
    • cleansing a leper

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.025 provides an overview of the gradual increase in the Christ power as developing (purifying) and using the lower bodily structures of Jesus. Note that in the 1909-07-GA112 lectures referenced, a) Rudolf Steiner combines miracles 2 and 3 as well as 4 and 5, and b) he does not mention the bodily principles used other than those listed (etheric, astral, higher I). The light grey are additions not mentioned in the lectures.

FMC00.025.jpg

Schema FMC00.281 shows Alfred Heidenreich's description of the incarnation of Christ and the progressive purification of the lower bodily principles of Jesus through a few key milestone events. This is not described in this way by Rudolf Steiner but Heidenreich's description can be held against Schema FMC00.025 with the seven signs or miracles.

FMC00.281.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

1909-07-02-GA112
1909-07-03-GA112  
1909-09-26-GA114

In what manner Christ made such provision for the ages following the Event of Golgotha is related by the writer of the Gospel of St. John. He shows us how, in Lazarus, Christ Himself ‘raised’, ‘awakened’, that Individuality who continued to work as ‘John’, from whom the teaching proceeded in the form described in the lectures on the Gospel of St. John.

But Christ had also to provide for the appearance, in later times, of an Individuality who would bring to humanity in a form compatible with subsequent evolution, that for which men would by then be ready. How an Individuality was ‘awakened’ by Christ for this purpose is faithfully described by the writer of the Gospel of St. Luke. Having declared that he would describe what ‘seers’ endowed with the vision of Imagination and Inspiration could say about the Event of Palestine, he also points to what would one day be taught by another — but only in the future. In order to describe this mysterious process the writer of St. Luke's Gospel has also included an ‘awakening’, a ‘raising’, in his account (Luke VII, 11–17.) In what we read concerning the ‘awakening’ of the young man of Nain lies the mystery of the progress of Christianity.

Whereas in the case of the healing of the daughter of Jairus, to which brief reference was made in a previous lecture, the mysteries connected with it were so profound that Christ admitted only a few to witness the act and charged them not to speak of it, this other ‘raising’ was accomplished in such a way that it might immediately be related. The former healing was an act presupposing in the healer a profound insight into the processes of physical life; the latter healing was an ‘awakening’, an Initiation. The Individuality in the body of the young man of Nain was to undergo an Initiation of a very special kind.

There are various kinds of Initiation.

  • In one kind, immediately after the process has been completed, knowledge of the higher worlds flashes up in the aspirant and the laws and happenings of the spiritual world are revealed to him.
  • In another kind of Initiation it is only a seed that is implanted into the soul, and the individual has to wait until the next incarnation for the seed to bear fruit; only then does he become an Initiate in the real sense.

The Initiation of the young man of Nain was of this kind. His soul was transformed by the event in Palestine but he was not yet conscious of having risen into the higher worlds. It was not until his next incarnation that the forces laid in his soul at that earlier time came to fruition.

In an exoteric lecture names cannot now be given; all that is possible is an indication to the effect that the Individuality awakened by Christ in the young man of Nain subsequently appeared as a great teacher of religion; in later time a new teacher of Christianity arose, equipped with the powers implanted into his soul in a previous incarnation.

Thus Christ provided for the subsequent appearance of an Individuality able to bring Christianity to a further stage of development. Moreover the mission of the Individuality who had been awakened in the young man of Nain is destined to permeate Christianity later on, and to an ever-increasing extent, with the teachings of Karma and Reincarnation — teachings which when Christ was on Earth could not be proclaimed explicitly as wisdom, because the human soul had first to receive them into the life of feeling.


Discussion

Strengthening versus weakening

Scope

Schema's FMC00.025 and FMC00.281 above illustrate the gradual purification of the body of Jesus of Nazareth by the progressive working of the force of the Christ in the lower bodily sheaths, thereby purifying the blood.

The seven signs or miracles show an ever greater increase of the power in Christ-Jesus, whereby Rudolf Steiner explains it is obviously not the power of Christ that had to develop, but the workings of the Christ power in Jesus of Nazareth (as a result of the above process).

On the other hand however, it is described how the Jesus, and the body of Jesus, became ever-weaker, so that during arrestation and crucifixion Jesus had become a mere shadow of the great Christ-Jesus that had walked the Earth the years before.

This discussion note is about this contradiction and how it is to be understood.

Relevant materials

  • on the process of purification of blood and what this means for the lower bodies upto the physical
  • The Fleeing Youth:
    • is described by Rudolf Steiner in 1912-09-23-GA139, o.a.

      No Gospel other than that of St. Mark tells how only the Son of Man remained, and that the cosmic element only hovered around Him. Thus in no other Gospel do we perceive the cosmic fact in relation to the Christ event expressed with such clarity, the fact that at the very moment when men who failed to understand laid their violent human hands upon the Son of Man, the cosmic element escaped them. The youthful cosmic element which from that turning point of time entered earth evolution as an impulse, escaped. All that was left was the Son of Man; and this is clearly emphasized in the Mark Gospel. ... Who is this youth? Who was it who escaped here? Who is it who appears here, next to Christ Jesus, nearly unclothed, and then slips away unclothed? This is the youthful cosmic impulse, it is the Christ who slips away, who now has only a loose connection with the Son of Man. Much is contained in these 51st and 52nd verses. The new impulse retains nothing of what former times were able to wrap around man. It is the entirely naked, new cosmic impulse of earth evolution. It remains with Jesus of Nazareth, and we find it again at the beginning of the sixteenth chapter. ... [after three days at the tomb] ... they saw a youth sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white robe; and they were startled. This is the same youth. In the whole artistic composition of the Gospels nowhere else does this youth confront us, the youth who slips away from the people at the moment when they condemn the Son of Man, who is there again when the three days are over, and who from now onward is active as the cosmic principle of the earth. Nowhere else in the Gospels — you should compare the others — except in these two passages does this youth confront us, and in such a grandiose manner.

    • the Freeing Youth is discussed by o.a. (unqualified, meaning the contents of these book is not especially recommended or believed to be consistent, it is left upto the reader to assess)
      • Oskar Kuerten in 'The son of Man and the cosmic Christ'
      • Edward R. Smith in 'The disciple whom Jesus loved'
      • Richard Distasi: 'The Fleeing Youth: The Cosmic Principle of Christ'

Marriage at Cana

Regarding discussions on the location of Cana in Galilee


Related pages

References and further reading