BIBL 323 – John
Professor Howard Owens
July 30, 2010
The Gospel of John is to most people the most profound of all Gospels. Although it is profound it is also simple in its style and understanding. Dr. Towns at the very beginning of his book states, “The Gospel of John seems to be the simplest of all books in the bible to understand. That is why most new Christians are told to begin studying the bible by reading the book of John.” Within the book of John there are eight sign miracles that were performed by Jesus. These miracles all reflect Jesus’ power and reflect who He was. In understanding these signs or miracles it is hard to argue that Jesus was not deity. “It is not without its importance that sometimes John records that people believed simply on the basis of the signs.” Although people believed because of the signs, the signs are not the most important thing. My local Pastor, Glenn Kennedy, once said, “The issue is not the sign but what the sign points to.” In reading through John it becomes clear that all the signs and miracles performed point directly to Christ’s deity. “Miracles in the Gospel of John are referred to as "signs", pointers to the identity of Christ as the one sent by the Father.” It is also an interesting note that just as there are eight “I am” statements, there are also eight signs.
The first of the eight signs is the turning of water into wine (2:1-12). This showed that Jesus had power over creation. Jesus created wine from only water, just as God created the earth from nothing. Jesus showed that he had the same power as His Father over creation. It is interesting that Jesus chose this for His first miracle. The first thing that God did was create the heavens and earth. The first miracle or sign that Jesus performed demonstrated He also has that same power.
The second sign performed was the healing of the nobleman’s son (4:46-54). This miracle showed many powers of Jesus, but most important was the power over space. Jesus healed the son without even being near the nobleman’s son. The nobleman came to Jesus begging for Him to come and heal his son. John 4:50 says, “Jesus replied, “You may go, your son will live.” The nobleman believed Jesus and left. When he was on his way he was met and told his son lived. He learned that his son recovered at the exact time that Jesus had told him his son would live. Just as God is omnipresent, Jesus showed that he could heal the son even though he was physically in a different location.
The third sign was the healing of a lame man at the pool (5:1-9). As John 5:5 says the man had been an invalid for thirty eight years. Despite the man’s long history of suffering Jesus healed him instantly. The healing took place on the Sabbath. This miracle demonstrated Jesus’ power over time. Jesus was not bound to time constraints regardless how long or on which day. The man had prayed for some time to be healed but nothing ever happened. Jesus showed that He could heal instantly. Jesus also showed that God created the days and that He had power over them.
The fourth sign demonstrated Jesus’ power over food. Jesus fed the 5,000 (6:1-14). Jesus took five small barley loaves and two small fish and fed the 5,000 people. Not only was Jesus able to feed all of the people that had gathered, the disciples also gathered many leftovers. This showed that Jesus had the same power as when God fed the Israelites the manna. This is also a demonstration of Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He showed that he had power over food and would not falter due to hunger. The fifth sign was when Jesus walks on the water (6:15-21). This demonstrated Jesus’ power over the natural laws. This showed that just as God is not bound by the natural laws of the earth neither is Jesus. Jesus defied gravity and every...