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Study to Grow

By Randy Dillon

The Gospel of John:

In the Gospel of John seven great “sign miracles” are recorded:

  1. water into wine,

  2. healing of the Roman official’s son,

  3. healing the paralytic at the [pool of Bethsaida,

  4. feeding the multitude,

  5. walking on water and calming the storm at sea,

  6. healing the blind man at the pool of Siloam, and

  7. the resurrection of Lazarus.

Only the fourth of these, “feeding the multitude,“ is also recorded in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Synoptic in Greek translates as “one eye” and denotes how the three gospels are similar in their narrative of the life of Jesus. John is the exception.

John writes that the seven miracles which he included are “sign miracles.” That is, they not only describe the miracle, but they also point to another, deeper, importance.

  • The first points us to the difference between the Old Testament of the Law and the New Testament of Grace.

  • The second indicates that Jesus came not only to the Jews but to all people.

  • The third reveals that that Jesus comes to whom He chooses.

  • The fourth describes not only the power of Jesus to multiply a little in meeting our daily needs, but also His power to multiply believers from our miniscule resources and efforts.

  • The fifth shows that even in the most desperate moments of our lives Jesus can still the storms that surround us.

  • The sixth is a sign of the saving enlightenment which Jesus alone brings to humanity when we respond in faith to regeneration.

  • The seventh and final miracle demonstrates Jesus’ power over death and the grave and foretells His own death and resurrection.

An additional factor is present in each of these miracles: the quiet and humble manner in which Jesus performs each.

  • In the first Jesus does not say anything; no prayer is recorded, no performance takes place. The water jugs are filled to the brim and Jesus simply says, “Draw out now and bear unto the governor of the feast.”

  • In the second He says only “Go thy way; thy son liveth.”

  • In the third He says to the lame man, “Wilt thou be made whole? . . . Take up they bed and walk.”

  • In the fourth, John records that Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks.

  • In the fifth, as Jesus was taken aboard the boat amidst the storm, John records Jesus as saying, “It is I; be not afraid.” And the storm ceased.

  • In the sixth He said, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.”

  • In the seventh and last miracle, after giving thanks to the Father, Jesus said simply, “Lazarus, come forth.”

Notice how in each case Jesus did not overly dramatize His actions or words. No theatrics, no speeches, no sermon, no pomposity, no overly-wrought dramatics (though these were dramatic events.) Instead, simple words of fact. Simple directives. But how great the consequences of those words. We are often tempted in our walk to think that by our many words we can convince the lost of Jesus. Let us instead take our lead from Jesus and with simplicity of thought and word allow the Holy Spirit to direct our actions and slanguage. How profitable to our Savior and Lord. And how great a lesson to us as we share Jesus.

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