“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.” Joh 2:23
The Gospel of John is a unique record of the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Written by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, it is the clear presentation of Jesus as He saw Himself, written under inspiration by the one who knew Him best during His earthly sojourn.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Joh 1:1, Joh 1:14
While the Gospel according to John contains many lessons and miracles, it is built around eight signs and eight sayings of Jesus—all designed to reveal His true nature and the purpose of His coming into the world. Instead of a chronological look, we will observe the first seven signs, followed by the eight sayings, concluding with the eighth sign.
The First Seven Signs
1. Jesus turns water into wine (Joh 2:1–11). A revelation of His power to make all things new, including transforming us—giving us new life. This sign leads many to believe (Joh 2:11, Joh 2:23).
2. Jesus heals the nobleman’s son (Joh 4:43–54). Here we see His power over sickness and death. Note that John ends each of these signs by mentioning them in order. He is setting the theme of the book. Again, we see the response of faith (Joh 4:50, 53).
3. Healing of the infirm man (Joh 5:1–14). Note that in John, the “signs” are performed by the power of Jesus’ word. He speaks, and it is done!
4. Feeding of the five thousand (Joh 6:1–14). Jesus’ power to take little and multiply it so mightily should remind each of us of what He can do with our life, if we surrender it to Him.
5. Walking on water, stilling the storm (Joh 6:16–21). His power over the elements derives from the fact that He is creator of all (Joh 1:3). He is not only our Creator, but He came to be our Redeemer.
6. Giving sight to the blind (Joh 9:1–38). He who could make the eyes of one born blind see is the only One who can give the soul vision to see into the realm of “spirit and truth” (Joh 4:23–24). Only those purified by faith in Him shall see God (Mat 5:8).
7. The raising of Lazarus (Joh 11:1–44). Here we see His power over death and the grave. Once again, this led many to believe in Him (Joh 11:45), and pushed the religious leaders to determine to kill Him (Joh 11:46–53). The power of Jesus will either soften the heart unto faith, or harden it like a flint, based on the condition of that heart (Joh 3:19–21).
Before we take up the eighth sign, we will briefly look at the eight sayings of Jesus, all designed in various ways to open our eyes to His identity.
The Eight Sayings
In these sayings Jesus uses the statement “I Am,” used by God to identify Himself to Moses (Exo 3:14), the name we call Jehovah.
1 “I Am the bread of life” (Joh 6:26–52; note vv. Joh 6:35, Joh 6:48, Joh 6:51). The stated purpose for this revelation was to bring men to faith, resulting in eternal life (Joh 6:29, Joh 6:40, Joh 6:44, Joh 6:47). As the Living Bread, Christ alone can give eternal life.
2. “I Am the light of the world” (Joh 8:12; see Joh 9:5). His life was the light from God sent to shine in the darkness (Joh 1:4, Joh 1:9). Later, John reinforces His identity, saying, “God is light” (1Jo 1:5).
3. “I Am before Abraham” (Joh 8:58). Here Jesus declares in unmistaken terms His eternal nature. He can give eternal life, because He is eternal life.
4. “I Am the door” (Joh 10:7). He is the only way into the presence of the Father and eternal life. Those who enter that door are His sheep.
5. “I Am the good shepherd” (Joh 10:11, Joh 10:14). The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. This Jesus did on the cross.
6 “I Am the resurrection and the life” (Joh 11:25–26). Again, Jesus declares (as He does seven times in John) that those who believe in Him will never die, but have eternal life.
7. “I Am the way, the truth, and the life” (Joh 14:6). In coming to Jesus in faith, we find the way into truth, and in the truth, enter life. This is the most exclusive statement ever made by any man, and only the Living Christ could fulfill it.
8. “I Am the vine” (Joh 15:1–7). Here we see Jesus revealing Himself as the source and sustainer of spiritual life. Apart from a living relationship with Him, there is no life, no hope, no future.
The Eighth Sign
Finally, we come to the last sign of Jesus. It was the sign He spoke of at the very beginning. After He cleansed the temple, they asked, what sign do You show to us, since You do these things? To which He replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Joh 2:18–19). John tells us He was speaking of the temple of His body, therefore of His resurrection (Joh 2:21).
8. The resurrection of Jesus Christ (Joh 20:1-31). Read the whole chapter. Here is the greatest event of human history and the key to the entire Bible story. Summarized in five simple words, “Christ is risen,” and “He lives,” we have the assurance of His identity, and of the sufficiency of His work on the cross. By His resurrection, all His signs come together, and His sayings all make sense. No greater evidence of His love and power to save could God give than the empty tomb.
And the summary to it all is found in the last verse of John, chapter 20.
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
My prayer at this Passover time is that each of you might know the joy, peace, and security that is the treasure of those who have entrusted their souls into His care.
He is risen. He lives!
Pastor Gene Cunningham