Non-Apostolic Miracle Workers

An argument often cited for Christ’s divinity is that he performed miracles such as expelling demons.

But if the Bible is to be believed, he apparently wasn’t the only one: “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.’” Mark 9:38. Pretty amazing that someone outside the circle is routinely expelling demons, but even more amazing that the Apostles don’t seem fazed by it. Their reaction is more to be miffed about who’s getting credit.

Huh? Could just about anyone perform miracles back then? What makes the miracles of Jesus and the Apostles different from those performed by this man (and presumably those of the many others who were apparently doing this at the same time, since the Apostles seemed pretty unimpressed)?

God alone “performs” all the miracles.
He does use His disciples, and the holy ones to be HIs hands and feet on earth.
I’m more concerned that people fail to see the miracles in their daily lives. :compcoff:
Praise God in all His mighty works, and be at peace.

As he was casting out demons in the name of Jesus, not his own or anyone else’s, he was indeed a follower-apostle-'though unsung. As you read the gospel and think about it, some of the original Apostles were sometimes petty. After all, they were human and even argued as to who was to become the “rock.”

“Ministry” is wider than “miracles”.

That isn’t an argument the Catholic Church makes.

Both the Old and New Testament speak of those who worked miracles.

“Routinely” is an assumption of your part, not evident in the text.

They certainly seem fazed by it, they demand Jesus stop the man

That is not how I read the text at all. They seem concerned that some on not associated with Jesus was appropriating his name and reputation.

There is no evidence to support that they could.

“Many others”, you are far off the track. One person is not “many others”.

Maybe they were miracles, maybe they weren’t. The priests of Pharoh matched Moses shot for shot, for a while.

Yes, but what those priests did was not a miracle, it was magic, theres good reason why this ‘art’ has been lost to the ages for the most part too.

Hence the “maybe not” in my prior post.

I’m not sure their art was more advanced than the art of modern illusionists. Modern entertainers can probably even manage to capture and hide a swarm of gnats until the right time. The ancient magi either had not figured that out yet, or the scale they could do it on didn’t match what Moses could do, or something else prevented them from matching Moses’s miracle. But anyhow, I don’t think there’s any evidence that the deeds of the Egyptian magi were anything other than illusions and stage tricks.

Yes, but Moses had God on his side, if those priests were just using ‘smoke and mirrors’, I think God would have recognized that and have Moses respond accordingly, but ultimately, God trumped them.

If there was nothing to it, why would there be warnings not to practice it or have any part in it? Just because we cant do it today does not mean it never existed, this is just one of those things we dont understand, one of a very long list I imagine!

There are also some that suggest SOME of todays popular ‘magicians’ are using something more than smoke and mirrors, not the David Copperfield types, Im talking about lesser known people, I remember reading something awhile back written about this younger illusionist, (England maybe?) he was in his early 20s and a couple of his public stunts, have raised some questions, many people claim they saw him doing things right in front of them, and could not explain, to the point of some suggesting they may be what the bible refers to ‘false prophets’ who would be many, and would show great signs and wonders, but their ‘powers’ are NOT coming from God.

Eventually, people will come along that will do these things, in front of large crowds too, many will be fooled by them too, thinking they are the messiah or a REAL prophet, as we get closer to the end times, people showing off supernatural powers will likely become somewhat common, but it will not be smoke and mirrors, it will be real magic, but it wont be good…hopefully Im making sense, getting late and I started work VERY early! lol

One man’s magic is another man’s miracle.

The only difference is often but the observer’s pre-existing subjective bias/assumption that God is present or not.

Which seems to limit the usefulness of “wonders” to prove anything objective about the presence of divinity?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.