“The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes” by Bassano Francesco

They weren’t all cast from the same mould, the apostles. Only four of them could raise the dead, and even they needed warm corpses, bodies from which souls had recently departed. Resuscitations rather than resurrections. Faced with Lazarus or the Shunammite’s son, they would have been powerless. None of them could call down fire from heaven or set bears on their persecutors. None could multiply fish or curse fig trees. They were imperfect vessels, bad conductors of divine lightning. Supplicants who came to them for healing sometimes left with new ailments. They would ask the Lord for bread and he, in his wisdom, would give them scorpions. So what powers did God’s mystery men have? Thomas was impervious to snake venom. Bartholomew could hold his breath for an hour. Andrew could tell if an unborn child was male or female. And they could all kill with a word. One pointed finger and a man’s heart would stop. Action at a distance. Judgement from on high.

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