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THE SEVEN SIGNS OF

 

JESUS CHRIST

 

The Holy Gospel according to John lists seven signs (also called wondrous deeds or miracles) Jesus gave that clearly demonstrated His Kingship. They are listed below. It is important to note that, in both John 20:30 and John 21:25, it is written that Jesus did "many other things" in addition to what is recorded here.

 

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FIRST SIGN

WATER INTO WINE AT THE WEDDING AT CANA

(John 2:1-11)

 

The transformation of water into wine at Cana represents the replacement of Jewish ceremonial washings (John 2:6) and presents the initial revelation about Jesus at the outset of His Ministry. He manifests His glory; the disciples believe. There is no synoptic parallel.

 

I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

 

 

SECOND SIGN

CURE OF THE ROYAL OFFICIAL'S SON

(John 4:46-54)

 

The cure of the royal official’s son at Cana, simply by the word of Jesus at a distance, signifies the power of Jesus’ life-giving Word. John's account of the cure of the royal official’s son may be a third version of the cure of the centurion’s son (Matthew 8:5-13) or servant (Luke 7:1-10). Cf. also Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

 

 

THIRD SIGN

CURE OF THE PARALYTIC AT THE POOL

(John 5:1-18)

 

The cure of the paralytic at the pool with five porticoes continues the theme of water offering newness of life. In the preceding chapter, to the woman at the well in Samaria, Jesus had offered living water springing up to eternal life, a symbol of the revelation that Jesus brings. Here, Jesus’ life-giving Word replaces the water of the pool that failed to bring life.

 

It is not from works, so no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:9)

 

 

FOURTH SIGN

MULTIPLICATION OF THE LOAVES

(John 6:1-14)

 

The multiplication of the loaves is interpreted for the reader by the discourse that follows, where the Bread of Life is used first as a figure for the revelation of God in Jesus and then for the Eucharist.

 

“I AM the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:35)

 

 

FIFTH SIGN

WALKING ON WATER AT THE SEA OF GALILEE

(John 6:16-21)

 

John 6 contains two signs- the multiplication of loaves and the walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee. These signs are connected much as the manna and the crossing of the Red Sea are in the Passover narrative and symbolize a new exodus.

 

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12)

 

 

SIXTH SIGN

THE MAN BORN BLIND

(John 9:1-41)

 

This sign is introduced to illustrate the saying, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). The narrative of conflict about Jesus contrasts Jesus (light) with the Jews (blindness, John 9:39-41). The theme of water is reintroduced in the reference to the pool of Siloam. Ironically, Jesus is being judged by the Jews, yet the Jews are judged by the Light of the world; cf. John 3:19-21.

 

Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

 

 

SEVENTH SIGN

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS

(John 11:1-44)

 

The raising of Lazarus is the climax of signs. Lazarus is presented as a token of the real life that Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life, who will now ironically be put to death because of his gift of life to Lazarus, will give to all who believe in him once He has been raised from the dead.

 

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)

 

 

WHAT'S THE POINT?

And so by combining the symbolic meanings behind each miracle into a summary statement, we find the complete gospel story.

 

From the stone cold, dead & empty way of man’s religion into a living and joyful relationship (1), we are saved by grace through faith (2), not by our own futile works (3), into his supernatural care and provision (4). With our eyes on Him not the world we achieve the supernatural (5), receive the wisdom of the Holy Spirit (6), and are restored from Death to Life (7).

 

Resources:

The New American Bible (2011 revised edition), USCCB website

Grace Thru Faith website

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