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 now instructions on spiritual birth – rebirth – to enter the Kingdom of God.
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[a] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[b] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[c] 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:9-16.
- Much Knowledge But Little Learning. Jesus first answers Nicodemus’ academic questions with a question. He accentuates that as to the Jewish traditions and status, he was learned, albeit misdirected in his study and understanding . This set the stage for the followers of Jesus to begin to understand they had to walk away from the traditional teachings to focus again on the promises of God as seen in the predictions of the Messiah and Jesus’ work of signs and miracles which redirected the focus to the message of the gospel.
- Earthly Vs. Heavenly. In order to understand the message of Jesus, a true seeker needed to revisit the issue of what is truth. The promises of heaven were only for those who understood this true message: John 14:6. 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Jesus – the Message of the Love of God. The core issue and message of the Bible is here – low fruit available for anyone who listens and believes and receives Jesus. From this message comes understand in every facet of life now, and in the eternity to come. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
At the beginning of the public life and work of Jesus, the message is clear. The One who can turn water into wine, who heals the sick, raises the dead, makes the deaf to hear, and cures the leper – this was Jesus and the good news preached not to the self righteous, but to the poor. Jesus’ words consoling and answering the confusion soon to come, of John the Baptist and his followers, was the same: Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Matthew 11:4-6.
Blessing to you during this holiday season. Stay well.