On Icons and Miracles…

“DO ICONS AND RELICS WORK MIRACLES?

To put this question in proper perspective, let’s consider a few other questions: Did the Ark of the Covenant work miracles (e.g. Joshua 3:15ff; 1st Samuel 4-6; 2nd Samuel 11-12)? Did the Bronze Serpent heal those bitten by snakes (Numbers 21:9)? Did the Prophet Elisha’s bones raise a man from the dead (2nd Kings 13:21)? Did St. Peter’s shadow heal the sick (Acts 5:15)? Did aprons and handkerchiefs that had touched St. Paul heal the sick and cast out evil spirits (Acts 19:12)?

The answer to these questions is, yes, in a manner of speaking. Nevertheless, to be precise, it was God who chose to work miracles through these things. In the case of the Ark and the Bronze serpent, we have images used to work miracles. God worked a miracle through the relics of the Prophet Elisha, through the shadow of a Saint, and through things that had merely touched a Saint. Why? Because God honors those who honor Him (1st Samuel 2:30), and thus takes delight in working miracles through his Saints, even by these indirect means. The fact that God can sanctify material things should come as no surprise to those familiar with Scripture. For example, not only was the Altar of the Temple holy, but anything that touched it was holy as well (Exodus 29:37). To reject the truth that God works through material things is to fall into Gnosticism.

So yes, loosely speaking, Icons can work miracles—but to be precise, it is God who works miracles through Icons, because He honors those who have honored Him.”

Daniel Lewis

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