The purpose of the gospel of John is twofold: first, as to salvation, directing the ones seeking a relationship with God; and secondly, as to discipleship, instructing the true followers of Jesus in how to enjoy life in the truest sense. Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31. Our study will look at seven signs in this book that direct our attention to Jesus. This is the message of a second birth – being born again – how to become children of God.
These seven signs are:
1. Water Turned to Wine (John 2:1-11)
2. Healing of the (Nobleman’s) Son Near Death (John 4:46-54)
3. Healing of the Lame Man at the Pool (John 5:1-17)
4. Feeding of the Five Thousand (John 6:1-15)
5. Walking on the Water (John 6:16-21)
6. Healing of the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)
7. Raising of Lazarus from the Dead (John 11:1-47)
In the middle of these signs, Jesus confronts the religious phonies who are using religious traditions to make money and take advantage of the true seekers.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[a]18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. John 2:13-22.
- Religious Traditions as Pretext for Counterfeit Spirituality. Rarely would Jesus demonstrate his anger and rage during his 3 years of instruction and teaching. This is one of two notable exceptions – the other being Matthew 23 and confronting straight on the religious hypocritical leaders. This action by Jesus demonstrates the heavenly rage of God Himself against those who corrupt Truth and Grace, the correct understanding of the Kingdom of God, and the willingness of some to use the pretext of Christian living or Christian trappings for personal advantage – financial or otherwise. Jesus could not have been more clear. Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
- Be Careful What You Ask for as Proof! These hypocrites, seeing their financial plunder being threatened, take on Jesus straight on. They question his words and conduct and authority. To that challenge, Jesus offers the ultimate future proof: Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” It would three years later be the resurrection that both Jesus’ followers and his enemies knew, both before the cross and after the resurrection, that would be the predicted proof of the approval and authority of God for all that Jesus did and said. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken
- Exchange the Temporal for the Eternal. And the ultimate error of those who rejected the message of Jesus was this; they were taking his words and work as speaking of the physical and the temporary, not the spiritual and the eternal. They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
For we know that if our [a]earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our [b]dwelling from heaven, 3 since in fact after putting it on, we will not be found naked. 4 For indeed, we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a [c]pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by [d]sight— 8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for [e]his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade people, but we are well known to God; and I hope that we are also well known in your consciences. 2 Corinthias 5:`1-11.
No better celebration during this Christmas season then to know that, upon belief in Jesus and receiving the gift of salvation, your feet and mine are set on a course that will ast for eternity. Best to you this week.