Yesterday we had a 3 hour discussion with a Maronite priest and 2 of his companions. After failing to deny that Jesus was a man, we asked what makes Jesus divine and the answer was: “because he performed miracles that no one else did.” At this point we were thinking “we had him cornered“, so we said: what miracles? The reply was that he had raised the dead.
What a typical answer!
So we said, Elijah raised the dead:
Elijah raised the son of the Zarephath widow from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-22).
His “strange” reply was that the boy had been dead for few hours, the man that Jesus raised was dead for four days. To make it more strange, his companion affirmed that it is not the same kind of miracle. After a long discussion we couldn’t figure out why is it that they believed that if you raise someone who has been dead for less than four days, it doesn’t count as “raising the dead“, but if the person has been dead for four days then that makes you a God.
(thinking about this now, we should have pointed out that they believe Jesus died for three days, i.e. it doesn’t count since it’s not four days). Figuring out there is no reasoning about the “4 days” minimum requirement we pointed out that a man came alive by touching Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21). An objective/honest observer would definitely agree that a dead man raising another dead man exceeds a living man raising a dead man, but I guess “objectivity/honesty” serve as the key words here, as we got nothing from the priest and his affirming companions that concluded that Jesus’ four days miracle was better/mightier.