The miracle of water turning into wine in John 2:1-11 occurred at a wedding in Cana where they had run out of wine which was symbolic for joy. Jesus mother Mary came to Jesus asking Him to help out as the wedding ceremony to the poor was the highlight of their lives. Jesus is not disrespectful to his mother but rather tells her in verse 4 that, “His hour has not yet come”. Jesus tells the servants to fill the water jars with water and then tells them some to the master of the feast. After the master of the feast had some of the water turned into wine he went to the bridegroom and in verse 10 told him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine unto now.” In this miracle, the Lord was testifying that the old religious rituals were dead and that he was filling the urns with new life. Christ is changing the water of Jewish purification into the wine of a new age. This sign gives us a striking picture of the regeneration of a sinner. This sign shows Christ’s power over His creation. A.W. Pink said, “This was Christ’s first miracle and in it He shows us that God is pleased to use human instrumentality in performing the wonders of His grace.”
Jesus comes back to Cana where he had turned water into wine. In John 4:46-54, a nobleman comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his son. The man invites Jesus to his home, but Jesus says, “Go your son will live.” The man had faith because of the Word Jesus spoke, and as his servants met him; they told him that his son was recovering. He asked his servants what hour his had gotten better and they told him. He believed in Jesus. Jesus rebukes people’s dependence on signs and wonders and calls them to have faith in Him. This sign points to the deity of Jesus in that He is not limited by time and space because He is the Son of God.
Jesus in John 5:1-9 was in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate looking around the pool when he found a man who had been an invalid thirty-eight years. Jesus knew the man had been there a long time, and asked him an inviting question, “Do you want to be healed?” The man was an invalid which means he was probably “paralyzed”, “lame,” or “extremely weak” (the Greek term is the general expression for a “disabled” condition). The man tells Jesus that he has no one to put him into the pool when the water is stirred as people believed the first person into the pool when it was stirred up would be healed. Jesus then tells the man in verse 8, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” The man was immediately healed and took up his bed and walked. The passage then shifts by telling us that it was the Sabbath. The Old Testament did not prohibit innocent activity as carrying one’s bedroll on the Sabbath day (Ex 20:8-11), but the man was violating Jewish tradition that had developed hundreds upon hundreds of minute and burdensome rules about what kind of “work” was prohibited, including a code that forbade carrying an object “from one domain into another” (Mishnah, Shabbat 7:2). This sign reveals to us that Jesus as the Son of God is Lord over all space.
Jesus in John 6:1-14 goes to the other side of Galilee where a large crowd follows Him, because of the signs He was doing. There Jesus tests Philip, and Andrew tells Jesus that a boy had five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus prays over the food and distributes food to five thousand people. The people ate as much as they want and there were still leftovers. This sign shows us that Jesus is sufficient to meet our needs because He knows all of our physical needs. Jesus deity is revealed as He feeds the five thousand. The people asked if he was the prophet (Deut 18:15,18) referring to Moses. The people were looking to not only for a Prophet but a King who rule them. This sign shows us that Jesus has power over food.
In John 6:15-21, the disciples were in a boat going across the sea to Capernaum, and Jesus had not come to them yet. The sea was rough and a strong wind was blowing. They were a ways out in the boat, and they saw Jesus walking on the water. He told them to not be afraid, and He entered the boat. Immediately after Jesus entering the boat, the boat was at land to which they were going. This sign reveals Jesus deity by showing that the Creator has power of His creation.
Jesus and the disciples in John 9:1-12 were walking along and they saw a man who was blind from birth. They asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind.” Jesus told him he was born blind so that His glory would be put on display through restoration of the man’s sight. Jesus then heals the man and says, “I am the light of the world.” He spat on the ground and made mud with His saliva. He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. He washed the mud off his eyes and he could see. The man then is asked how he can se by others, and he testifies to the sign Jesus performed. People asked where Jesus was and the man did not know. Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger, “Restoring sight to the blind is a messianic activity in the OT (Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7). Matthew and Luke set Jesus’ healing of the blind in the context of Isaiah’s Servant of the Lord. Healing is cast in terms of light/darkness imagery. Jesus is the Lord of the world by fulfilling Tabernacles symbolism, so he also shows himself to be the light of the world by giving sight to the blind. The world, and the Jews with it lie in darkness.” This sign points to Jesus power over physical laws which He established before the foundations of the world.
In John 11:1-44 Lazarus died and the purpose of his death was so that Jesus would be glorified. Jesus stayed where he was after finding out about Lazarus death for two days and then headed to Judea. Jesus spoke to the disciples about Lazarus death. The purpose of Jesus resurrecting Lazarus is so that the disciple’s faith would be strengthened. Jesus found Lazarus in the tomb and called to him to come out. Lazarus came out of the tomb and people believed in Jesus. The death of Lazarus serves as a type for Jesus own death and raising. The raising of Lazarus triggers the Jewish leaders’ resolve to have Jesus arrested and tried for blasphemy. John 11 serves as a crucial bridge between the narration of Jesus’ ministry to the Jews in chapters 1-10 and the narratives of his passion in chapters 13-20. This raising of Lazarus is a demonstration of Jesus’ true identity as the Christ as Son of God.
Jesus in John 21:1-11 appears the third and final time after His resurrection. Jesus told the disciples if they had any fish, and then told them to cast the new to the right side of the boat. They caught so many fish that the nets hard a hard time holding it all. They then went and had breakfast with Jesus on the shore. This miracle shows the supremacy of Christ over all the signs He has performed. Jesus has power over Creation because He created the laws in the physical and natural world which means He as Creator and Lord has power over food, space, death, and time.
Pink, Arthur, Exposition of the Gospel of John: Three Volumes Complete and Unabridged in One. (Michigan: Zondervan, 1975), 87.
Beale, G.K, Carson, D.A. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. (Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007), 459.
Every week I am going to take a question and answer it. If you have a question or questions feel free to submit it here: http://servantsofgrace.org/contact/ and it will be answered either on the website or privately.
This week’s question is, ”Why do many people tell new converts to begin reading the Gospel of John? and why is the Gospel of John so attractive to Jews?”
Dr. Hughes said, “John is unique in his powerful presentation of Jesus as the great Creator-God of the Universe. His massive vision of Christ has been used countless times to open the eyes of unbelievers to who Jesus is and the way of redemption. This Gospel’s continuing effect on Christians is equally profound because in John’s account believers find an ongoing source for expanding their concept of the Savior’s greatness.”
John’s Gospel account is simple to understand but its simplicity also gives us its greatest strength, which is its depth. The Apostle John is known for his ability to paint a picture. As an artist John takes his paint brush and paints a panoramic picture of Jesus. He also takes us into the life of Jesus but continues to weave the story so that we gain intimate knowledge of Jesus. John’s writing is easy to understand but plumbing the depths of his thought requires great effort. New converts are told to begin reading John because of this simplicity and because it is a key to understanding the other Gospels.
Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger said, “Although it is the Gospel of Matthew that is widely known to focus on Jesus’ fulfillment of OT messianic expectations, John’s Gospel, too, roots Jesus’ mission firmly in OT conceptualities and specific texts. From the very beginning and throughout the prologue of his book, the Fourth Evangelist operates within a salvation-historical framework. In his references to the OT John spans the entire range from explicitly quotations to verifiable allusions and thematic connections. In keeping with John’s purpose statement, Jesus is identified as the Christ and Son of God and is set in relation to major figures in Israel’s history, whether Abraham, Jacob, or Moses, as well as the Prophet, by citations of or allusions to Scripture.”
John’s purpose in this Gospel is to show both Jesus’ public ministry and his cross-death fulfilled scriptural patterns and prophecies. The Gospel of John begins with the story of Creation, and grounds all of history in the person and work of Jesus. John wants people to see that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. While Matthew is aimed at the Jews; John is aimed at the world. John is attractive to the Jews because it spends considerable amount of time relating in one way or another to various Jewish religious festivals.
Hughes, R. Kent. John: That You May Believe: Crossway Books, 1999.
G.K. Beale, D.A Carson. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Baker Academic, 2007.