Eight Sign Miracles Essay

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The Gospel of John reveals eight sign miracles that Jesus preformed as He started His ministry. The miracles are as follows: turning of water into wine, healing of a noblemans son, healing of a lame man, feeding of five thousand, Jesus walking on the water, healing of a blind man, raising Lazarus from the dead, and the miracle catch of fish. As we look into each of these miracles each one has a purpose and a message to the audience, so lets dive right in.

Within the first miracle Jesus and His disciple went to a wedding celebration. While attending this wedding a problem arose, they ran out of wine. Then Mary approached Jesus with this problem They have no more wine (John 2:3). At this point we can only image what went through the mind of Jesus, but as Dr. Towns stated in our lecture time Mary knew that Jesus could do something. Jesus did not say that he could or could not do something he just stated my time has not come (John 2:4). Mary is presuming on her relationship with him as her son, yet Jesus is redefining this: He cannot act under her authority but must instead follow the course that has been determined for him by God. (1) So Mary being a woman of faith knew that Jesus would be willing, but she would not understand it all until it took place.

As Jesus took the opportunity to take the six water pots, the servants, and the water to make wine, He wanted them to see that He had power over creation. He performs His miracles at His appointed time and for the purpose that people might believe that He is the Son of God, and might have life through His name. (2) This points to the fact that through Christ we have a new beginning if we would only believe. 1. Gary M. Burge, John: from Biblical Text¦ to Contemporary Life (Chattanooga, TN: Zondervan, 2000), page 91. 2. Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live, [Rev. ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), page 20.

Now we move to the healing of the Noblemans son, and he was a high ranking official that served Herod Antipas. The nobleman desired for his son to be healed, because he had exhausted himself trying to find the means to get his son to the right person. All he could plead was for mercy, for his child was at the point of death. (3) He went to Jesus to begging him that he might come and heal his son, but Jesus chose to heal this noblemans son without making the journey to Capernaum. (4) The thing that stuck out to me is that Jesus told him, you will never believe (John 4:48), if you dont see. Then Jesus tells him to go home and your child will live.

I believe Jesus wanted to test the mans faith, if he might believe without seeing first hand. This is the case also when the royal officer Believed the word that Jesus spoke to him; he accepted it as true and acted on it, (5) and I believe that exactly what Christ wants us to do with the word of God! As the nobleman was on his way he met some of his servants, and they told him that the boy was living. They informed him what time the fever actual left him, which was the exact time Jesus said that Your son will live (John 4:53). So one could conclude that the noblemans faith in Jesus became real when he found out that his son was alive and his family found faith through believing.

Next we come to the healing of the lame man, the man had been lame for 38 years and he had been waiting by the pool of Bethesda for healing. This was a place where the waters of the pool were popularly believed to posses curative powers. (6) 3. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: an Exposition of the Scriptures (Chattanooga, TN: David C. Cook, 1983), page 288. 4. Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live, [Rev. ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), page 44. 5. Leon Morris, Jesus Is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John (Chattanooga, TN: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012), page172. 6. Charles W. Draper, Chad Brand, and Archie England, eds., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Revised ed. (Chattanooga, TN: Holman Reference, 2003), page 192. Another interesting point is that the pool was used to clean animal before sacrifice. The pool of Bethesda means house of mercy, which is exactly what the lame man was looking for, but he could not get himself into the pool.

As Jesus meet this man he knew that he wants to be healed, because Jesus asked him Do you want to get well (John 5:6) and his reply was that he has no one to help him. So Jesus gives him clear instructions To get up and pick up your mat and walk (John 5:8) which is a clear indication that when people obey Jesus and believe, then they start to see Him work through his word. We see that Jesus healed him through the power of His spoken word and gave him the desire of his heart.The Sabbath was made for man so that he could have rest and a time for worship and joy. The Jews rigid tradition taught that if anyone carried anything from a public place to a private place on the Sabbath intentionally, he deserved death by stoning.(7) As the man meet Jesus in the temple Jesus wants him to realize the most things was to stop sinning or something worse might happen to you. Jesus wants him to realize that it was his sin that keeps him from heaven.

As we move to the fourth sign miracle Jesus preformed, we see Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus saw the crowd coming to them and wondered how we are going to feed these people. When he mentioned this to Philip, he was testing him because He knew what was going to take place. As Jesus evaluated the situation we see a response from Andrew, true to his character, brought someone to Jesus. Andrew brought a boy with a lunch, recognized it was not much, but at the same time knowing it was all he had. (8) 7. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: an Exposition of the Scriptures (Chattanooga, TN: David C. Cook, 1983), page 289. 8. Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live, [Rev. ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), page 59.

So we can see that God cares about the people before him, the crowds were hungry and we see Jesus respond. Jesus took the little and made it enough food to feed the crowd. The practical lesson is clear, whenever there is a need, give all that you have to Jesus and let Him do the rest. (9) Jesus gave thanks and fed the crowd, when they finished there was still some left over to feed the disciples. This shows that Jesus was more than adequate to supply their needs according to His plan for their lives.

The fifth sign miracle is that of Jesus walking on water. As Jesus leaves for the mountain of Galilee to pray, His disciples set out for the Lakes northeast shore. As they sail about three and a half miles a storm catches them by surprise. The disciples are in fear of the storm when Jesus appears to them walking on the water. This causes their fear to increase because they saw Jesus walking on the water, but he said to them; it is I dont be afraid. (John 6:20) This may be no more than a way of self identification, but the style is the style of deity and it accords with this that Jesus comes walking on the water. (10) Jesus wants to show them that through Him and His power over nature that they need not to be afraid. As they were willing to take Him into the boat they immediately reached the shore, Jesus wants us to believe in Him and trust him to lead us to our destination.

The next miracle introduces Jesus healing a blind man, that from the day of his birth he could not see. The picture behind this miracle was that if one believes in Christ then you will have the opportunity to see and understand what Gods good, pleasing, and perfect will is. 9. Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. 2 vols. Chattanooga, TN: Victor Books, 1989. Page 309. 10. Leon Morris, Jesus Is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John (Chattanooga, TN: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012), page123.

The disciple asks a very important question about sin Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind (John 9:2) He points back and stated that neither of them did, but this happened so that Gods power might be displayed in his healing. Then Jesus goes on to say that He is the light of the world, but He has given us that light when He is not here. When Christ is not physically present in the world, He indwells believers, makes His disciples the light of the world. (11) The light comes to those who can see, the illumination brought about the question how was he healed. They could only wonder about how and what was the reason that Jesus used clay and saliva to heal this man sight. The question should not have been how, but the question should have been who did this. Then we see the blind man to whom Jesus had given sight affirms his identity. (12) Thats exactly what Christ wants us to do when we have experienced His presence and that is to tell of the one who has done the work.

Now we come to the next recorded miracle and that is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus performs this miracle it reveals that He has power over death. This also points to the future for believers that we will be resurrection with Christ. The sisters sent word to Jesus knowing that He could do something, and He implied that Lazarus sickness will not end in death. Then Jesus reveals that the father will be gloried and it will be through Him. Another interesting point here is the time period in which Jesus waits to go to Lazarus to heal him. Jesus waited four days total to go to Bethany, He want them just to believe Him at his word no matter the situation and how difficult it might be for them. When Jesus arrives he sees the mourning and points out to the sister that He has the power over death and the power to give life. For me this miracle gives us great hope that Jesus is our way, truth and life to the Father.

11. Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live, [Rev. ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), pg 91. 12. Leon Morris, Jesus Is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John (Chattanooga, TN: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012), page125. If Jesus is life, then those who believe in Him will enjoy the confidence and power over death known by Him. Moreover, they will have a life now and do not have to await the end of human time and history in order to enjoy the benefits of Jesus power. (13) As Jesus gave thanks to the father so that the people might understand that it was from the father to the son that he accomplishes his purpose. Then Jesus spoke and said Lazarus come out (John 11:42) as Jesus commands Lazarus to come out He tells him to take of the grave clothes, which shows us that Jesus does have the power to defeat death. This confirms the deity of Jesus Christ and His relationship with the Father.

Lastly we come to the miraculous catch of fish; Jesus appeared to them while they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. There is a great connection with the Sea of Galilee with ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples after He had been resurrected from the dead. The fishing experience leads them out to sea with no results for their efforts, and I believe it was because they were depending on themselves. Then we see Jesus show up, it was time for Jesus to take over the situation just as He did when He called Peter into discipleship. He told them where to cast the net; they obeyed and they caught 153 fish!

The difference between success and failure was the width of the ship. (14) A lot of time we are so close but so far away because we depend on our own strength. Jesus wants us to let go of the steering wheel and allow Him to have full control. We are molded fishers of men, and there are fish all around us. If we obey His direction, we will catch the fish. (15) The world tells us that seeing is believing, but Jesus tells us to believe in Him and then we will see the promises of God. 13. Gary M. Burge, John: from Biblical Text¦ to Contemporary Life (Chattanooga, TN: Zondervan, 2000), page317. 14. Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. 2 vols. Chattanooga, TN: Victor Books, 1989. Pg 397. 15. ibid 397.

Bibliography
Burge, Gary M. John: from Biblical Text¦ to Contemporary Life. Chattanooga, TN: Zondervan, 2000.

Draper, Charles W., Chad Brand, and Archie England, eds. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Revised ed. Chattanooga, TN: Holman Reference, 2003.

Morris, Leon. Jesus Is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. Chattanooga, TN: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012.

Towns, Elmer. The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. [Rev. ed. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002.

Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, eds. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: an Exposition of the Scriptures. Chattanooga, TN: David C. Cook, 1983.

Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. 2 vols. Chattanooga, TN: Victor Books, 1989.

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