Jesus’ Signs in the Gospel of John: Part 2

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Last week we learned that Jesus’ miracles were not just random acts of kindness. Jesus’ miracles were signs meant to authenticate His claim to be the Christ, the Son of God. The signs were verifiable proof that Jesus was sent from God (John 3:2). Last week we looked at 4 of Jesus’ signs and today we shall consider 3 more and end with a look at Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.

5th Sign: Walking on Water (John 6:16-21).

After miraculously feeding 5,000 people, Jesus perceived that the crowd wanted to make Him their king. For this reason, Jesus withdrew to a nearby mountain by Himself. When it became dark and Jesus had not returned, His disciples got into a boat and started across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. After about 3 miles on their journey, “the sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.” Suddenly, “they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat.” They were frightened, but Jesus told them “It is I; do not be afraid.” This sign was slightly different than the others we have thus far discussed. While this sign becomes known to the crowd later (John 6:25), it was specifically for the disciples to witness. What also makes this sign important is that it is the disciples who are in desperate need. They had seen Jesus help others, but now they need help. They were understandably frightened at the sight of Jesus walking on the water, but their fear soon gave way to joy. This sign revealed that Jesus is the Lord of all creation who has authority over creation. Later Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16, “By Him all things were created…all things were created through Him and for Him.

6th Sign: Healing the Blind Man (John 9).

One day Jesus was leaving the temple with His disciples and they saw a man blind from birth. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus replied, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Jesus then spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. He rubbed the mud in the man’s eyes and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed and began to see. Like the healing of the lame man in John 5, Jesus healed on the Sabbath and the Jewish leaders got upset. They said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But, others understood the signs Jesus performed and replied, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” This sign revealed that Jesus has the ability to restore sight. He is the Light of the World who not only gives physical sight but spiritual sight to those who come to Him. He also reveals spiritual blindness in those who reject Him.

7th Sign: Raising Lazarus (John 11).

Jesus’ friend Lazarus died. Jesus could have come to him before he died, but chose to wait until after Lazarus had passed away to visit. Upon coming back, Jesus spoke with Lazarus’ two sisters: Martha and Mary. The sisters were naturally upset at the passing of their brother and knew that Jesus could have kept him from dying if He had come sooner. After assuring them that Lazarus would rise from the dead, He went to the tomb where they had placed Lazarus’ body four days earlier. Jesus told them to remove the stone in front of the tomb. Martha protested, but Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” He prayed and then “shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’” Immediately, “the dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth.” This sign revealed that Jesus is the Son of God who has power and authority over death itself. When He said “whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” we can trust Him and confess—like Martha—”I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

The Triumphal Entry (John 12:12-19)

After raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus was now ready to enter Jerusalem one last time. He chose a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech 9:9). Many of the Jewish leaders were seeking to put Jesus to death, but those who had previously tried to make Him king by force are now joyfully shouting: “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Hosanna means “Save us!”, but those who shouted it were thinking more of physical salvation than spiritual salvation. Many of them saw His signs but saw what they wanted (King of Israel John 6:15) rather than what He was (King of Kings 1 Tim 6:15). They wanted Jesus to drive out the Romans, but Jesus had come to drive out a far greater enemy (John 12:31). They wanted Him to fulfill Isaiah 61:1-2, but they wanted it fulfilled on their terms:

  • They wanted Him to proclaim good news to the physically poor (those who lack money), but Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor in Spirit (Matt 5:3).
  • They wanted Him to proclaim liberty to those who were held captive in Roman prisons, but Jesus proclaimed liberty to those who were held captive to sin.
  • They wanted Him to proclaim recovery of sight to those who are physically blind. Jesus did so, but more importantly proclaimed the recovery of sight to those who are spiritually blind so that they may see their need for a Savior.
  • They wanted Him to set at liberty to those who are oppressed by Rome, but Jesus set at liberty those who are oppressed by Satan.
  • They wanted the year of the Lord’s favor to be ushered in by Jesus on a throne in Jerusalem cheered by an adoring crowd with the Romans humiliated in defeat, but Jesus ushered in the year of the Lord’s favor on a cross outside Jerusalem jeered by a mocking crowd with His disciples humiliated and terrified.

Jesus performed signs during His earthly ministry in order to authenticate to the Jewish people that He is the Messiah. He is the King of Kings who saves us from our sins. What do you believe about Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? If so, love Him and serve Him. If not, admit you are a sinner. Believe He is Lord. Confess your faith in Him and be saved.