The apostle John specifically mentions he wrote for OUR edification. We need to use this book as a tool to build our faith. Read this article and learn how the miracles of Christ recorded in John can help you to increase in faith.
THIS IS an age of man-made gadgets and achievements. Trust is placed in the physical THINGS man has made. We share this world's feeling entirely too much. God is left out of the picture all too often. That is exactly when we begin to have troubles! That's when we begin to doubt God's help, His forgiveness, His healing. We forget God is the one who supplies our physical needs. We forget about the goal of the resurrection. We forget God has power over any physical circumstances — that there is NO PROBLEM which He cannot solve for us. When we forget these things we are losing faith! We no longer really believe in God. God knew we would have these problems. That's why He recorded what the God Family is able to accomplish. The Bible is written for us. It's full of God's fantastic power. The four gospels of Christ's life point specifically to our Saviour. Among those four, is the life of Christ written by the apostle John. He records certain specific miracles for a very special purpose.
Carefully Selected Proofs
John said he could have written an earth-sized bookcase full of reports about Christ's words and deeds (John 21:25). But he didn't. Under God's direction, John wrote only twenty-one chapters. Carefully, John points out in these chapters seven special miracles — which Christ, before His resurrection, accomplished through God's power. All with a very special purpose in mind. Here it is from John's gospel. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: "But these ARE WRITTEN" — and here is the purpose — "that YOU MIGHT BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:30, 31). This gospel wasn't written for the original disciples. They were there. They SAW what Christ did. These miraculous occurrences were recorded for God's Church in future years — for us who are now reading this article.
Water Into Wine
Christ attended a wedding ceremony with his disciples (John 2). Suddenly, in the midst of the festivities the wine supply gave out. Then followed a strange request and conversation. Suppose you were the host and you fell short on the food or drink supply? What would be the normal thing to do? Why you would try to get some more yourself. But here was Christ — simply a guest at the ceremony — being asked to get more wine! Notice further — the unusual conversation which follows. "And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. "Jesus says unto her, Woman, what have I to do with you? mine hour is not yet come" (John 2:3, 4). Now, this was a rather surprising answer. Why did Christ answer this way? Because he was trying to point something out about this miracle or sign he was going to accomplish. What was the significance of the statement "my hour is not yet come"? The answer is revealed later by John! "And Jesus answered them, saying, 'The how is come, that the Son of man should be glorified' (John 12:23). 'Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this how: but for this cause came I unto this hour'" (John 12:27). "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father" (John 13:1). He finally said in John 17:1, "... THE HOUR IS COME..." Christ was talking about his crucifixion! In this example, Christ made the water into wine. What does wine represent? Read I Corinthians 11:23-26. The wine represents the life that Jesus Christ gave to pay for our spiritual sins. Notice (John 2:7) that only the servants knew what Christ had done. How true that is! The world doesn't really comprehend the sacrifice of Christ. Only the servants of Christ — His people whom He has chosen out of this world — know what Christ really did for us. Christ was showing the beginning of His plan of salvation! His payment of the Supreme Penalty for our sins. He wants us to think about it — to meditate on this sacrifice. It is a recurring theme in the gospel of John. He devotes more words to describe the last hours and death of Christ than the other gospels.
First Miracle Recorded
John records: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee" (John 2:11). Interestingly enough the Greek word used for "miracle" is semeion. In Hebrews 2:3 we read: "How shall we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him [including John]. "God also bearing them WITNESS BY SIGNS and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will" (Heb. 2:3-4). In Hebrews, the word translated "sign" is the same Greek word used in John for miracle. It points to the significance of the miracle. John was emphasizing the MEANING AND IMPORTANCE of what Christ did. Of course, it wasn't a sign or miracle of Christ's Messiahship. Of this He gave only one (Mat. 12:40). These miracles are a demonstration of God's power which signified He was able to solve any similar problems we might have.
Nobleman's Son Healed
Jesus came hack to Galilee — to the same town of Cana where He performed the first miracle (John 4:46). A nobleman heard Christ had returned. Immediately the nobleman wanted Christ to heal his son who was almost dead. At the very hour of the nobleman's request, the boy's fever began to leave. You can read the account in John 4:46-54. "This is again the second miracle [sign] that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee" (John 4:54). John again continues our count for us — leading us to see that there is some significance in evaluating each of the miracles. Just what was Christ trying to get across to us here? One meaning is quite obvious. Notice, that this was done in the same area as the first miracle. Here He healed someone. Christ was merely pointing out: "I am the God that heals" (Exodus 15:26). Remember, Christ WAS the God of the Old Testament. This is one of the biggest problems God's people have — really trusting God for their healing. He knows it too! He knows that in this age of pills, medicines, drugs, doctors, "health" foods, vitamins — and all the rest — we tend to look to the physical instead of to Him for our healing. But God is our Healer — and He wants us to know that! He very specifically points it out in John's gospel.
Infirm Man Healed
The third miracle was also a healing. But by the context and what Christ said about that healing, He wanted to put emphasis on a SPECIAL ASPECT of this healing. The account is found in John 5:1-15. A man had been bedridden for thirty-eight years (two time cycles) by a sheep pool called Bethesda — waiting to be healed. Jesus came along and simply told him to rise, pick up his bed and walk. But later here is what Christ told the same man. "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come unto you" (verse 14). Christ was pointing out that He had power to FORGIVE SINS! A prerogative given to Him by God the Father. Read Matthew 9:6 where Christ told the man with the palsy the same thing. Christ wants us to know He has been given the power, the responsibility — as our High Priest — to forgive our sins. The impotent man didn't even have faith or know Christ had this power. Yet, in mercy Christ healed the man. In mercy, He forgave the sins which had caused the sickness. As Mr. Armstrong has said, so many times we feel unworthy, we become discouraged, we say, "Surely Christ won't forgive me for this sin — it's too big." No, Christ forgives ALL OUR SINS. Notice, Psalm 103:3: "Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases." Read the whole of the Psalm 103. Meditate on it. BELIEVE IT!
Feeding Five Thousand
"When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? "And this he said to prove him: for he himself KNEW what he would do. "Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little" (John 6:5-7). There were about five thousand men — and probably as many women plus children. All these people were fed by Christ from five loaves of bread. Even more astonishing was the twelve baskets of crumbs taken up. There was more bread in the end than in the beginning and all the thousands ate heartily. miracle? What was the significance of this "I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). Christ is our sufficiency. We have little strength as a collective body (Rev. 3:8). But Christ opens the doors — and no man shuts. In our personal lives we have little strength to combat our problems. But Christ supplies us with the strength (John 15:5). He wants us to come to God with our problems. As mentioned, even Christ said He couldn't do anything of himself. While He was a physical human being on earth, it was the power of God which accomplished the work. Again, we need to apply this to our own lives. We need to beseech God for strength to overcome — and believe He will help us. In doing God's Work we can't look to physical things. In the same way, we must rely on God to supply the money, the manpower and open the doors so that His Work will be accomplished. But, of course, we must always do our part in tithes, offerings, prayer, and helping wherever we can.
Walking on Water
The account of this miracle is found in John 6:15-21. "And when the even was now come, his disciples went down into the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. "And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew." "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see JESUS WALKING ON THE SEA, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. "But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. "Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went." Christ miraculously demonstrated the power of the God family over ALL physical things! He demonstrated that God has the power to alter the physical laws that govern the universe. There just isn't any physical explanation for Christ's walking on the water and the ship suddenly being put on shore. Again, Christ wants us to get a particular point. When we are having a problem, to us it seems there is no possible solution. It might be with a marriage problem, bad health, loss of job, tight finance, spiritual weakness — or whatever. A case where there is no answer to the problem apart from God! Just looking at the facts, we find there is absolutely no way out of the difficulty. We face a dead — end street. But with God all things are possible! He can work out the problem no matter what it is. He can surmount any obstacle for us. Move mountains and kingdoms if necessary. Suspend or intervene with the laws of the universe (remember Joshua's long day). Remove men and set up men. God has control of the universe. There simply is no problem too big for Him — if we willingly go to Him, willingly receive Him. That's the lesson of this fifth sign.
Man Born Blind
"As Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? "Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him" (John 9:1-3). Why did God cause a man to be born blind? Surely, if He just wanted to show His healing power, He could have healed hundreds of blind people that had brought it on themselves! But here was actually a part of God's plan being acted out! True, this example is a proof of the fact that God heals. But there is a deeper meaning. Notice, the man was NOT RESPONSIBLE for his blindness — he simply couldn't help it. God was responsible. He allowed it. Christ knew this man was born for a specific purpose. How did He know? God may have revealed it to him. The real purpose of this healing and its hidden meaning is found in Isaiah 29:18, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the EYES OF THE BLIND SHALL SEE out of obscurity, and out of darkness." We have all been born blind with human nature. All of us have had hard hearts. It has taken the power of God to chip away the mental scales from our eyes. God is responsible for the nature He has given us. God created our evil minds. (But He did not create sin. We are responsible for it.) But all has been for a great purpose. So that the works of God should be manifested in us. This example is packed with meaning. The man had to wash before he received his sight. So we must be washed by God's Word — we must begin to obey His Word to receive His Spirit. Then we must continue to obey Him. The man was healed on the Sabbath day. Certainly this can represent the whole world receiving spiritual sight during the seventh thousand-year period — the Millennium. Christ Himself tells us one meaning of this example. "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into the world, that they which see not might see; and they which see might be made blind" (John 9:39).
Lazarus Raised from the Dead
Christ heard that Lazarus was sick. He was only a couple of miles or so from where Lazarus lay in his sick bed. Perhaps a half-hour walk. But Christ remained in the exact spot for two days (John 11:6). Christ also KNEW that Lazarus died during that time. But it is obvious He didn't get this information through any human source. His disciples didn't know it — and they were right with Him. As a matter of fact, Christ had a hard time getting it through their heads that Lazarus really was dead (John 11:11-14). It was now four days after Lazarus had been put in the grave (John 11:17). Martha, the sister of Lazarus ran up to Christ when He finally came. "Martha said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. "But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. "Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. "Jesus said unto her, I AM THE RESURRECTION, AND THE LIFE; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John 11:21-26). Immediately after, Jesus Christ raised Lazarus to physical life. We know this was not the only resurrection which Christ accomplished. He raised a girl to life. As a matter of fact, after His resurrection many who had just recently died were resurrected to physical life as a witness of God's power. But John selected this significant example. It demonstrates the final aspect of Gods plan. The end of the last enemy — the resurrection to eternal life. Christ was showing that God had the power of life and death. Do we really believe it — or is it merely words we parrot? He's written this example for our faith. God uses the physical things as examples. The unseen things of God's plan are to be understood by those things we can see and experience (Romans 1:20). God gives us this physical example as proof that He WILL resurrect us to eternal life. He wants us to remember this and never forget it.
These are seven specific miracles recorded for our edification. They begin with the sacrifice of Christ proving that He gave His life for us. Christ then shows us that God is our healer. Thirdly, that He does have the authority to forgive sins. He wants us to realize we must go to GOD with all our problems — that we don't have power ourselves. But we need not be discouraged. He is with us throughout our life. We don't need to fear any problem which may beset us. The God-family has all power to find the solution to any problem. Finally, He wants us to look BEYOND our own overcoming to see His plan. God is going to open the eyes of the whole world. Finally, comes the end of God's plan — the resurrection from the dead. Read the gospel of John from beginning to end. Mark down each of these miracles. Meditate on them. Ask God in prayer to help you apply them to your own life. Ask Him for greater understanding, for increased faith. Remember, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD" (Romans 10:17). And that is one reason why God had this gospel of John written for us. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: "But these are written, that YOU MIGHT BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name" (John 20:30, 31).