To support the testimony, and the case that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and to support the claim that by believing in Jesus you will have life in Jesus’ name, the Gospel of John recorded seven of Jesus’ miracles which acted as supernatural signs from Almighty God, as heaven’s testimony to earth of the truth of Jesus’ deity and work.
Think about what a sign’s purpose is. When you go on a road trip, you look for the signs that mark out where the exits and entrances are on the freeway, and what the names of the roads are, so you know where to turn. Your focus is on getting to your destination, not to admire the signs. The sign’s whole purpose is to get your attention then point, not to remain the central interest.
Gospel of John Presents Seven Physical Signs
- In chapter 2, Jesus attended a wedding at Cana where he turned water into wine just by speaking. This sign pointed to Jesus’ creative power, the power of his word, he spoke and it was so.
- In chapter 4 Jesus healed a royal official’s son. Jesus did not go to the official’s house, but spoke the word from a distance, revealing Jesus’ authority over all creation, whether he was physically present or not, inspiring faith in the official.
- In chapter 5 Jesus healed a man who had been lame for 38 years. Jesus healed him without being asked, but came up to him, out of all the people who were there. Jesus revealed the personal nature of salvation, that he will seek you and me out.
- In chapter 6, Jesus provided a meal for at least five thousand people. Jesus reveal himself as the Bread of Life, able to satisfy, even though it seemed an impossible amount was needed. He likened himself to the heavenly food God had sent to those wandering in the wilderness, only Jesus is the true manna.
- Also in chapter 6, Jesus walked out on the lake while his disciples were struggling in a storm. They were terrified, their boat was about to be capsized and their situation looked grim. But Jesus brought with him ability to still the storm, to provide peace and safety. His power over even the forces of darkness was revealed.
- In chapter 9, Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. He changed a life-long misfortune into an opportunity to glorify God, revealing he is master over all of life’s circumstances.
- In chapter 11, John recorded the last sign, Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave, revealing his power and authority over life and death itself.
The first three signs show how salvation comes to a person.
- Just as the water was transformed into wine by Jesus’ word, so you and I are saved through understanding and believing his words.
- Just as the royal official’s son was healed as the official believed in faith that Jesus could heal, so you and I are saved by faith.
- And just as Jesus saw the lame man and reached out to him, so we are saved by Jesus’ grace, Jesus seeks you and me out and calls us to Himself.
The last four signs show the characteristics of being saved
- You and I are satisfied and strengthened by Christ, because he feeds our souls.
- Jesus brings his own peace during the storms of life.
- Jesus gives light, understanding, guidance and insight to our spirits just as he literally gave the blind man sight for the first time in his life.
- And Jesus raises us to new life, literally and spiritually.
As God, Jesus Christ has the power to give eternal life
Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.John 5:24 (NRSV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.John 10:10 (NRSV)
Jesus promises not only to move us from death to life, but to move us from ordinary life to a fullness of life.
You and I hear how people say to follow our bliss.
There are all kinds of books out on how to enjoy life, how to get the most out of life, how to be happy, how not to be miserable, and so on. That is all speaking to the longing every person has for life, the abundant life.
Just a little bit ago I read about yet another Hollywood star who died because, after the investigation, it was discovered she had been abusing –prescription- drugs for years. As has been found out in several other recent cases, her doctors had given her what she wanted instead of what she needed.
In what ways might you and I be trying to follow our bliss that do not include Jesus? Those ways are not on the path of life, truth, and light.
We all want abundant life, we all want happiness, we all want to feel good and to not feel bad. But those desires are fed by one deep desire, a longing for relationship, for belonging, to love and be loved. That longing can only be fully satisfied, ultimately, by Jesus, as John’s gospel explains, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”
[Image courtesy Pikist]