The miracles of Jesus have mystified many who invariably seek to sabotage its significance ; nonetheless it continues to be an inspiration for many who believe. The many miracles preformed by Jesus were finally aimed at pulling work forces to Him as is reflected in the Gospel of St John. As such, John unlike the synoptic Gospels provided drawn-out inside informations after miracles to pull attending to its symbolic significance. In add-on to the above the usage of John ‘s vocabulary, along with marks, symbols and interviews seem to convey important singularity to this book. For illustration, when John speaks about marks he refers to miracles while he uses symbols to depict Jesus. Besides, in the eating of the five 1000s Jesus compared Himself to bread by stating, ‘I am the staff of life of Life, ‘ ( John 6:35 )

The chief purpose of this discourse so, is to explicate the significance of marks in the Gospel of St John and their importance to understanding his Gospel. Thus there will be account for the general significance of marks and an scrutiny of specific marks to research their symbolic significance.

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Significance of the Signs

The writer ‘s statement of intent is encapsulated in linguistic communication, marks, belief and life. With regard to linguistic communication, the writer ‘s intent stated, in John 20:30-31 shows that marks or miracles were performed and written so that work forces and adult females may believe on Jesus Christ. Barton notes that footings like marks, belief and life form a important portion of John ‘s Gospel and that marks provide a disclosure of God, belief captures the reactions to the marks and life speaks of the result of belief.

In add-on Burridge highlighted that the first 11 chapters or the first half of John ‘s Gospel is notably called ‘The Book of Signs ‘ because all the miracles or marks are recorded at that place. It can be noted that these miracles prompted assorted reactions such as religion in Jesus or unbelief, ( John 6:40 ) . A similar sentiment is expressed by French friess who noted that the marks led to unbelief and indignation. From this position point it would look that the marks did non accomplish their intended intent because of disbelief.

Tenny cited in Kuzmic captures the assorted reactions to the marks by analyzing the response of the audience to Jesus ‘ marks. The actions speak of the marks and the assorted responses of the audience and Jesus ‘ reactions to these responses. The writer charts the phases of action in the undermentioned manner: Prologue ( John 1:1-18 ) , consideration ( John 1 19-4:54 ) , Controversy ( John 5:1-6:71 ) , Conflict ( John 7:1-11:53 ) , Crisis ( John 11:54-12:36a ) , Conference ( John 12:36b-17:26 ) , Consummation ( John 18:1-20:31 ) and Epilogue ( John 21:1-25 ) . Consequently Kuzmic concludes that the above appellations illustrate the progressive action of tenseness between Jesus and the Jews. For illustration, the period of consideration high spots Jesus ‘ initial brush with his adherents, the Samaritan adult female and a baronial adult male from Capernaum. In each instance He ministers to specific demands of these people. On the other manus the period of struggle is marked by intensified hatred from the Jews ; this was instigated by the Resurrection of Lazarus. Notably, this choler increased mostly because of the disbelief or the deficiency of religion of the Jews who had a different outlook refering who the Messiah should be. Intelligibly, since Jesus did non run into those outlooks, the marks bore small significance to some.

The word mark means, the ‘wondrous workss of Jesus. ‘ It may besides intend ‘a miracle, either of Godhead or diabolic nature. ‘ Tenney cited in Kuzmic observed that within the Gospel of John the word mark is used 17 times. This is likely because of the writer ‘s purpose, which was to supply a disclosure of Christ as mentioned before.

Guthrie noted that John was discrete in his coverage of marks because he chose to describe those which were performed in the presence of the adherents which indicate that they may hold been used to develop religion in the adherents. He farther elaborated that, ‘It is of import to observe how frequently in this Gospel believing is connected with visual perception every bit good as hearingaˆ¦ . ‘ this position confirms a deficiency of religion in Jesus on the portion of the Jews, because many had to see marks to believe.

The aim of the marks was theological in that they were designed to exemplify Jesus as the Christ and besides Him as the Son of God. The usage of marks was an of import vehicle used to confirm Jesus ‘ claims as Messiah. This position is supported by Drane and Read who agreed that Jesus was a cardinal subject of the marks.

The 2nd aim of the marks as proposed by Guthrie was to arouse religion in Jesus as the Son of God. This is supported by the legion cases where this avowal was made in the Gospel of John. John 1:49 Nathanael admitted that Jesus was the Son of God and King of Israel. John 4:35 Jesus uses the term after he had healed a unsighted adult male, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God? ‘ ( John 9:35 ) . It was besides used when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, ( John 6:4 ) aˆ¦ ‘that the boy of God might be glorified. ‘ Besides before He raised Lazarus from the dead Martha made a double confession where she addressed him as both the Son of God and Christ ( John 6:27 ) during his test the Jews accused him of claiming to be the Son of God John 19:11. The above illustration, demonstrate besides that the marks were used to corroborate Jesus ‘ certificates.

Other writers besides shared visible radiation on the significance of the marks ; Ridderbos noted that the marks were meant to function as a ‘proof ‘ that Jesus was sent by God the Father and as a ‘framework of Jesus ‘ ego disclosure as Christ, the Son of God. ‘ In add-on Zanzig confirmed that the miracles symbolized deep ‘spiritual truths and worlds, ‘ and they demonstrated that ‘the land of God was fulfilled in Jesus. ‘ Therefore, in kernel the marks were aimed at uncovering Christ and the rules by which He operated, such as obeisance, ( John4:34 ) .

John ‘s manner of composing besides sets him apart from the remainder of the synoptic Gospels. Therefore while the synoptic histories chiefly give attending to the miracles, John ‘s histories focuses on the religious significance of the miracle. At this occasion the seven marks will be discussed.

The Transformation of Water into Wine ( John 2:1-11 )

Tenney ‘s analysis implies that the mark was symbolic in that it showed the insufficiency of Judaism verse the adequateness of Jesus who was able to refill the vino which had run out. He continued by explicating that the vino represented the blood of Jesus through which we can be cleansed which is confirmed in ( Hebrews 9:22 ) . Last he pointed out that this mark produced belief beyond what was theoretical and it deepened the adherents ‘ religion in Jesus. This is because they saw what Jesus preached in pattern. Bruce proposed a similar thought by observing that since the H2O represented purification for the Judaic rites, it spoke to the world that this usage was to be ‘replaced by something better. ‘ In other words the people would be cleansed through the Living H2O, ( John 4:10 ) . The miracle therefore showed the power of Christ over rites. He farther postulated that make fulling the jars to the lip illustrated that ‘the appointed clip for the ceremonial observations of the Judaic Law had run its full class. ‘ In other words the clip had come for alteration i.e. a new dispensation of grace which had different demands. Bruce elaborated by saying that the turning of H2O into vino represented a new order or paradigm displacement which was characterized by a ‘new worship ‘ ” in spirit and in truth. ” ‘ This new order which stemmed from a personal relationship through penitence was here to remain, ( 1Corinthinas 11:23-25 ) .

Gutherie farther proposed that this mark was meant to reflect the glorification of Jesus which was spoken of in John 1:14. He besides espoused that the mark was… ‘to illustrate the home of the Word among us in the general personal businesss of life. ‘ This meant that Jesus had become existent in every twenty-four hours issues faced by us as is apparent in the other miracles discussed below.

Finally, Bruce concluded that Jesus ‘ glorification was reflected in this miracle, the consequence of which increased and accelerated the religion of the adherents in Him. Thus, the ultimate intent of this miracle was to increase religion in God.

In kernel this mark showed the God is all sufficient and able to run into us at our point of demand, through His cleaning blood and power ( Ephesians 1:7 ) . From God ‘s position we can merely be our best through purification by the blood of Jesus.

Healing of the Nobleman ‘s Son ( John 4: 46-54 )

Tenney explained that this miracle proved that distance was no obstruction to Jesus ‘ power. More significantly he concluded that the mark ‘s purpose was to illicit a response, in footings of committedness to God. Gutherie elaborated by reasoning that this mark was meant to distinguish between religions based on seeing and religions based on an apprehension of marks, ( John 4:48 ) . This is apparent by virtuousness of the functionary ‘s reaction to Jesus ‘ words. For illustration, in John 4: 50-51, Jesus replied, ‘You may travel your boy will populate. ‘ The adult male took Jesus at His word and departed. While he was still on the manner, his retainers met him with the intelligence that his boy was populating. This miracle finally led to the redemption of the functionary and his full family ( John 4:53 ) . Bruce extended the statement by observing that life was given on the footing of Jesus ‘ words, therefore the life giving power of His word is demonstrated. A similar phenomenon occurred at creative activity when God spoke and Earth was birthed, therefore this miracle underscored the divinity of Christ, as seen in Genesis chapters one and two.

Bernard and Mc Neile took a critical expression at this miracle and contended that Jesus made a mere postulation about the male child ‘s status based on the information supplied by his male parent. This statement can be undermined by the impact of this miracle which is apparent in the redemption of an full family. Furthermore, it provides compelling grounds of the divinity of Christ, in footings of His Omniscience ; this is seen in Him cognizing that the adult male ‘s religion was mature for redemption and that the miracle would increase his religion, climaxing in his redemption.

Obviously this mark demonstrates the importance of using religion in the Word of God, more significantly it demonstrates that merely faith in God makes redemption possible.

Healing of the Paralytic Man ( John 5: 1-10 )

The 3rd mark relates to the healing of the adult male at Bethesda. Harmonizing to Tenney, in this mark Jesus demonstrated his authorization over the negative effects of clip and theological tenet, since a healing would usually be impossible for a 30 eight twelvemonth old paralytic. He continued by saying that it showed His ability to reconstruct, which is seen in the fact that the unwellness was for 30 eight so that the adult male was both physically and psychologically paralysed, in other words, he was hopeless. Besides since this miracle was performed on the Sabbath twenty-four hours it showed that Jesus ‘ power transcend ceremonial jurisprudence. Tenney besides noted that this miracle gave Jesus an chance to asseverate his relationship to the Father because of the statement which ensued after this miracle. Cooke provides support for Tenney ‘s decision by explicating that the mark showed ‘the cardinal integrity between the Father and the Son. ‘ Therefore from the above position the mark sought to uncover facets of the Trinity so the audience would understand the new order i.e. redemption merely comes through Jesus, ( Acts 4:12 ) .

In add-on, Williamson espoused that this mark revealed who Jesus was and calls for a response on the footing of this disclosure. For illustration, the adult male came to understand the divinity of Christ and repented. Implied in this position is that Jesus seeks to show the effects of obeisance, possibly there was no religion yet in this adult male but through obeisance to Jesus ‘ word he was blessed. It can besides be deduced that Jesus knows what we truly necessitate as is seen in Him telling this adult male to halt sinning. He was able to aim the existent issue of wickedness which possibly had crippled this adult male ‘s faith but now that he had been made whole his belief in Jesus would prolong him.

Gutherie pointed out that this mark did non appeal to faith on the portion of the individual being healed as in the synoptic Gospel. This is seen by the fact the adult male was more concerned about acquiring into the healing H2O than about an brush with Jesus. Although his response to Jesus ‘ bid after being healed showed that he had profound religion ( John 5:8 ) . Gutherie besides speculated that John may hold used this mark to admonish the impact of “ marks on perceivers with preconceived thoughts ” . This may be because many of the witnesss merely came to knock Jesus and therefore missed an chance to see a relationship with Him.

The Feeding of the Five Thousand ( John 6: 1-15 )

Harmonizing to Waejen, this mark exposes the misconception that the crowd held refering Jesus ‘ Messiah ship. This is seen by their effort to do their male monarch entirely for mercenary intents ( John 6:15 ) . It besides exposed their motivation for following him. Tenney cited in Kuzmic besides added that this mark was used as tool which provided lucidity of way for the adherents, it showed His ‘sufficiency in the thick of lack, ‘ and it increased the religion of Philip and Andrew.

In add-on Cooke noted that in the Judaic context staff of life meant life. Jesus may hold capitalized on this tradition to advance himself as the Bread of Life. Cooke besides concluded that the mark signified ‘sharing of the organic structure and blood of Jesus, ‘ in Communion. The most likely account is the thought that Jesus is the staff of life of life ; this is because John ‘s Gospel unlike the synoptic focused on the symbolic significance of the marks. From this position point it is clear that Jesus used this miracle to advance and aspect of Himself as the staff of life of life or merely set what we need to populate, ( John 6:1-15 ) . In this manner He is able to fulfill every demand so that there is no deficiency.

Walking on Water ( John 6:16-21 )

Kuzimic explained that this mark showed the adherents that Jesus ‘ presence would ever be at that place to maintain them safe in times of trouble. Tenney noted besides that the mark illustrated Jesus powered of nature and confirmed His divinity, which he claimed led to profound penetration in the lives of some adherents. This mark implies that Jesus is able to quiet all the challenges we face and it shows besides that He does non needfully necessitate our religion to work on our behalf. This is seen by the fact that He calmed the stormed in the thick of the panic that the adherents faced ; it is dubious whether they had clip to use their religion. Put merely this mark shows the sovereignty of Jesus at work as He chose to quiet the storm. Finally this mark illustrated that Jesus had power over nature, which once more confirmed His divinity.

The Healing of the Blind Man ( John 9:1-41 )

This miracle gave Jesus an juncture to utilize His originative power. Harmonizing to Tenney cited in Kuzmic Jesus wanted to utilize the chance to excite a imperfect religion which would take to an eventual relationship with him. John 9: 11, 17, 38 captures the patterned advance of this adult male ‘s confession, foremost he referred to Jesus as ‘the adult male they called Jesus ‘ , so he referred to Jesus as a prophesier the eventually he said, ‘Lord I believe ‘ ( v38 ) . Thus the blind adult male upon his confessions shows that he had received insight into the true individuality of Jesus.

Gutherie elaborated by observing that this mark showed that Jesus is the Light of the universe who was able to give sight to a blind in both a physical and religious sense. Zanzig confirmed that the intent of this miracle was to convey penetration into the true individuality of Jesus. This is apparent in the adult male ‘s finally realisation that Jesus is Lord as mentioned above.

Cooke extended the statement to propose that this mark means that the Light of God had come into the universe. This Light came to reflect into the dark universe of ceremoniously bounded Jews.

This mark was besides showed the unbelief held by the governments in the Jewish community as they continued to rise their ill will towards Jesus. Thus Tenney cited in Kuzmic refers to this period and the Resurrection of Lazarus as the period of struggle. The cardinal nature this mark shows that lighting power that Jesus brings into the lives of people, this light is able to pierce through wickedness, misconceptions and mundane issues.

The Resurrection of Lazarus ( John 11: 1-44 )

Stevenson cited in Fleer and Bland suggest that the accent here was on God ‘s glorification and poetries four and poetry 15 shows that it was connected with edifice religion in the adherents. He besides reported that this miracle led to Martha ‘s clear avowal of religion in Jesus as the Resurrection of Life and Son of God. ( John 11:27 ) He is quoted as stating that, ‘This mark was design in a particular manner to take to faith in the Messiah ship and divine Son ship of Jesus. ‘ He added that the mark was to demo witnesss that God had sent Jesus. Despite of all this, this mark besides angered some to the extent that they plotted to kill both Lazarus and Jesus, ( John 11:37 ) . Thus it exposed that miracle were non sufficient to convert some of the messiah ship of Jesus perchance because of the hardness of their Black Marias. Although they were non able to deny the power of this miracle, they made a pick to reject Jesus due to the hardness of their Black Marias.

The remarks above implies that this mark was possibly a readying of the adherents for Jesus ain Resurrection ( Verse 25 ) . Perchance this may hold served to increase their religion in Jesus claims of His Resurrection.

Cooke brought into focal point the uncertainties raised about this mark ; he noted that its absence from the other synoptic sparked contention among some minds. However he pointed out that this mark symbolized Jesus ‘ power to get the better of decease and it was used as a footing for Jesus to confirm Himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Finally, he argued that this mark became a selling tool in which Jesus ‘ celebrity was spread in Jerusalem.


The significance of the marks was two crease, one being that they were geared to demo assorted facets of Jesus life, for illustration, the Resurrection of Lazarus was to advance His individuality as the Resurrection. The other was to bring forth religion which would take to an eventual relationship with Jesus, for illustration the healing of the paralytic adult male. Although many were convinced by these marks, for some they instigated choler at the declaration of Jesus as Messiah. This shows that people ‘s thoughts and spiritual beliefs may impede them from seeing God ‘s work in their lives and in the lives of others much less coming into a relationship with Him. Sohngen cited in Fries captures the position attractively by saying that, ‘it is non miracles and the cognition and acknowledgment of them that constitute the pre guess and readying for religion in the Godhead disclosure that has taken topographic point in Jesus, it is faith in the presupposition for the cognition and acknowledgment of miracles as marks and plants of God. ‘

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