THE SIGN MIRACLES OF JESUS
The Gospel of John, as the writer himself declares, was written for one purpose only: that all who read its pages would believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Anointed One from God. When it comes to the miraculous works that Jesus wrought, John does not include an exhaustive list of each miracle. He includes a select seven, which are called sign miracles. A “sign” is “…a miraculous happening that points to some spiritual truth.” These miracles are “signs” because they express the deity of Jesus. Since John’s sole purpose of writing is to provoke a belief in Christ as the Messiah, the seven sign miracles he enumerates certainly provide substantial proof that Christ was not just a great prophet, but that He was God incarnate. Seven of the eight signs are either preceded or followed by a discourse, which provides the meaning The first sign miracle Jesus performed was the turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Jesus and His disciples were attending the wedding celebration feast, and as was the custom, wine was being served to the guests. For reasons that the Bible does not explicitly enumerate, the wine ran short and eventually ran out. Mary, Jesus’s mother, notified Him of the problem, and Jesus with a little hesitancy, eventually instructed His disciples to gather pots of water. Jesus then instructed them to pour out from the water pots and take a cup to the bridegroom. As they obeyed Jesus, the water was changed to wine. This miracle was certainly meant to show the power Jesus possessed to bring about new beginnings. It stressed His power of creation. The master of the feast stated that the wine brought to him after the miracle took place was, in fact, better than the wine they had before. Whenever Jesus brings about a new beginning in His creation, the end result is always better than what was there before. The second sign miracle Jesus performed was the healing of a nobleman’s son. This nobleman, although he worked for Herod Antipas, went to Jesus and begged Him to heal his dying son. Jesus told the man to go and his son would live. The man believed Jesus and on his way home, his servants met him and told him that his son was alive. The nobleman realized that the time the healing occurred, was the precise moment Jesus had spoken the words to him. The nobleman and his entire house believed on Jesus. Dr. Towns explains how the first belief (verse 50) was in the Word of God, while the second belief (verse 53) was faith in the incarnate Word of God. This sign miracle also reveals Christ’s power over space, because He did not travel to the man’s son to perform the act, but instead, did it from a distance. The third sign miracle Jesus performed was the healing of a lame man. The illustration of water as symbolic of the law is used in this miracle to show how the law cannot make someone new. A man who had been lame for 38 years had been by the Pool of Bethesda waiting for someone to let him into the water to be healed. The custom was that the pool, which was used to clean animals before sacrifice, had curative powers under certain circumstances. The man was unable to get into the water by himself, and so he had been there for a long time. Jesus asked the man if he wished to get well, and then told him to get up. The fact that Jesus performed this miracle on the Sabbath is significant in the way it points to His deity. The sign is Jesus’ assertion that he could do on the Sabbath things that the Pharisees could not do. It is through this miracle that God set His seal on the work of His Son. This miracle also reveals Jesus’ power over time. The man had been suffering for many years, but nonetheless, Jesus was able to make him like new. As the Son of God, Jesus is outside the limiting bounds and effects of time. The fourth sign miracle Jesus performed was the feeding of the 5,000 with no more than two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus and His disciples were on a mountain when...
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