7 Messages for the 7 Miracle/Signs of John

, “How do the 7 miracle signs of the Gospel of John relate to me?” was a
recent Bible search question on one of the websites of SunGrist_Bible.  
So important is this to the very gist of this book, BIBLE REPORTS FOR
BELIEVING, that it must be answered with the highest priority; and in this
last chapter of the book.  This chapter is addressed to you surfer of the
web, and of that question, as well as the many who delve into this book
or the Gospel of John itself without realizing the personal significance of
the messages and stated purpose of John to them.  If you see the
messages of the miracles, you are ready for the salvation, now in this life
and forever, of the stated purpose of John.
“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.”  (John 20:30,31)
Perhaps the problem with seeing the personal nature of the Gospel of
John, from the stated purpose or from reading the Gospel for yourself, or
even reading about the Gospel of John in this book, is a failure to
understand how ORGANIZED is the Gospel of John.  Even that a book
of the Bible would so clearly express the gist or purpose for the writing of
that book shows a high degree of planning and organization:  (1) that of
all the miracles performed by Jesus, only 7 are selected to be in the
Gospel of John; (2) these seven are carefully chosen and the whole life
and teachings, with focused messages centered around each miracle--
before the miracle is recorded, after the miracle is recorded, or both-- are
also chosen as part of the organization of the Gospel {it is not that the
Apostle John, an eyewitness of the whole public ministry of Jesus, in any
way changed the sequence of the life and teachings as lived by Jesus of
Nazareth, nor can not be harmonized with the synoptic gospels of
Matthew, Mark, and Luke--which by the way were in the possession of
Pastor John as he wrote from Ephesus near the end of the first century--
it is just that Jesus taught so much and performed so many miracles, that
it was easy to chose 7 messages to go with 7 miracles; also assisted by
the fact, as often stated by Jesus that the miracles were like signposts to
point to the teachings and eventually to God the Father, Who gave the
teachings to Jesus and sent Him for the purpose of making them known
as well as for dying on the cross for the sins of the world, then showing
that resurrection was possible though faith in Jesus as the firstfruits of a
resurrection from God}; and (3) so that all miracle signs, all teaching
signs, all signs of character, all signs of actions such as cross and
resurrection are carefully chosen to generate the two steps of believing in
salvation:
  a.  To believe initially that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and
b.  To practice the “Continuing Faith” of believing, the One Baptism of
the One Salvation, in order to have abundant life now, like a flowing
fountain of living water, and forever salvation on the New Earth with all of
God’s New Creation and with God and Christ themselves as Gentiles are
planted on the New Earth surrounding the New Jerusalem of saved Jews,
the Apostles, and God and Christ.
25-1:  Top Message of 7 Miracles is Faith in Jesus as Co-Creator of
Universe.
If even one of the miracles, like the turning of water into wine or the
causing the lame man to walk, creates enough faith in Jesus in your heart
for salvation, then the top message of the Gospel of John, and the
miracles of John--that is, to get you to believe all the way to salvation--
has been achieved for you personally.  Even as Phillips made clear years
ago in the book YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL, that the God of this
Universe, of the Bible and the Father of Jesus, knows radar, computers,
science and technology with the arts and higher education, so Jesus was
an expert then as now on all the sciences and human knowledge; and
once you have come to see Jesus as the “Word” of the introduction of
John 1, the “Him” of “All things were made by Him, and without Him was
not anything made that was made” (John 1:1), then you will have no
problem with the fact that Jesus, in spite of some accepted limitations as
God-man, the Son of Man and the Son of God, could easily transcend all
the norm in natural and biological science to do miracles; and
consequently go step by step, and all the way, to faith in Jesus as both
the Christ, the Promised Messiah, and as the Son of God.  Even as the
miracles demand attention that they have to come from God Himself, so
the works with a total of four witnesses mentioned by Jesus in His
teachings; and the first that you might really consider as 8 messages on
the 7 miracles, as it is at the top book level of the book of John, as works
from God the Father Himself were witnesses to Jesus.  John the Baptist
was a witness to Jesus as “the lamb of God that takes away the sins of
the world” (John 1:29); the existing Scriptures testified often to Jesus
point by point as He fulfilled the predictions and other prophesy of the
Old Testament, especially of Isaiah; and Jesus with a sterling character
and life claimed to be the Son of God.  However in John 5, in the
continuing teaching ministry of Jesus as given to Him by the Father,
Jesus puts at the top of the list of witnesses to His Sonship as the Son of
God the works from God:
“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father
has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that
the Father has sent Me.”  (John 5:36)
25-2:  Message on “Wine”  to go with the Miracle of the Wedding Feast.
1.  The Miracle of Water into Wine.
Surely you recall that the first miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John was
the turning of water into wine, John 2, a miracle of (1) concern for a
family and of personal interests in the routine affairs of life; (2) a miracle
that engendered faith in the first disciples that became Apostles and
spread the Gospel.  Well, guess what the message on wine is not in
John, but in the three other Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  These
gospels that the Apostle John as Pastor at Ephesus had in his
possession at the time of John writing, had not doubt referenced to
people often, even taught and preached from; so that not only is John
recommending to you the reading of these synoptic gospels, also
acknowledge their authority as Scriptures from God, but also forcing you
to go to one or more of them to get your message on the first miracle,
the message on wine to go with the miracle on turning water into wine.  
Hey, the Word Who created grapes and the fermenting process, and
Who created water, why should He not also be the Lord over Wine and
Water and Nature.
2. Jesus’ Message on Wine in Matthew 9, Mark 2, and Luke 5.
For our message on the first miracle, and on wine, we will briefly look at
Matthew 9.
FASTING LIKE THE PHARISEES DID WAS OKAY, AND THEIR
TRADITIONS AND RELIGION, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE JESUS
RIGHT THERE WITH YOU, THEN YOU HAVE THE NEW WINE AND
NEW WINESKINS.
NOTE:  MESSAGE #1 of Miracle #1:  Jesus, like new wine and new
wineskins, has priority in life, church, and salvation, yea in personal
relationships with God, over religion, tradition, and community practices.
25-3:  Message on Life to go with the Healing of the Nobleman Son.
1.  The second miracle, number two {see John 4:54), where Jesus
restored the life of the Nobleman’s son from a distance.
Even as we sometimes do not have the “warm fuzzy” of nearness of God
and Jesus, we note that among other things Jesus performed this miracle
of healing at a distance.  Jesus was back in Cana where He had
previously turned the water into wine, and the Nobleman’s son, at the
point of death, was over in Capernaum, so that when Jesus declared to
the man, “Go your way, your son lives” (John 4:50), the results were both
instant in time and at a distance as the record records that when the
Nobleman arrived home to hear that all was well with his son, and asked
when he began to amend, it was the same time Jesus said remotely,
“your son lives”.
2.  A Message on Life from the Gospel of John.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more
abundantly”.  (John 10:10)
Really, if we are faithful to the text and the context, we will admit:  (1) that
the life now is life, and (2) the abundant life like the water of life on which
Jesus so often taught, like to the woman at the well of Samaria, that
gushes out into everlasting water and life, was that of eternal salvation
and life; and (3) we will recognize in context that this is the second half of
a verse, and of a teaching of Jesus to contrast how is the “door of life”
and how the many who came before Him were thieves.  The first part of
John 10:10 is:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I
have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more
abundantly.”  (John 10:10)
Jesus is the great miracle giver of full time and abundant forever life.  He
is the Master of Life and of miracles of life.  Of course, the ultimate life
that He will give you personally is the resurrection from the dead as
Jesus is also Lord over life and death, but more to come on that in the
last miracle of bringing Lazarus out of the grave and from death.
25-4:  A Message on Health for Healing of the Man of Infirmity 38 years.
In this day and time when the false Gospel of Health and Prosperity has
sweep the nation, perhaps a little less this year as many church members
suddenly realize that they have lost their prosperity and still have faith, it
is good to look carefully at the scripture about faith-healing by Jesus of
the man who could not walk because of an infirmity of 38 years.
1.  Obviously there had been some efforts at faith healing by the man and
his associates during those long suffering years of 38 years.
Since someone had placed him by the pool of Bethesda at the sheep
gate of Jerusalem in the midst of the multitude of sick people for the
stirring of the water by an angel and healing.  (John 5:1-4)  Although they
were too busy to stay with him, since his complaint to Jesus that there
was not one to help him to the water after the stirring of the angel.
2.  It is obvious that God, like always in history, was active in faith healing
business because at a “certain time” an angel from God and heaven
would come down to stir the waters, and the first one by the pool to step
in would be healed.
 (1).  As early as Job, no doubt the earliest book and Prophet of the
Bible, God is known to have healed Job; because with his restored of
family, prosperity, and status came also healing.  
“And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.  
Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  (Job 42:
10)
It is not coincidental but incidental that when Job was completely
restored, health and wealth, it was after “he prayed for his friends”.  How
often in so-called faith healing meetings do the sick come forward for
healing, and pause to pray for their friends.  Well, in reality is like the
healing of God, most generally can not be sudden and in a meeting, but
over a period of time as that is the preferred manner in which God always
works in the Bible.    Why get another involved of questionable
righteousness with obvious dominant motivations toward status and
wealth, when it is your own faith and prayer to God that will heal you.  Don’
t be surprised, however, in the full context of Bible teachings on the
subject of faith healing if the answer to your prayer and faith is not
healing, like with Paul who prayed several times that he is thorn in the
flesh would be removed, and the answer was not in healing; and Job who
suffered righteously for no wrong which he had done.  If God answered
all feeble prayers there would be little death and dying in the world; which
points out the collective human race and history long curse on the world,
nature and humans, because of the original sin that distorted, maimed,
and made so many wrongs in the beautiful world that God first created.  
And on top of that long term, and eventually terminating curse from God,
there is also the obvious collective curse {curse, remember is the
opposite of a blessing and series of blessings}  on America since 911--
and which now after all the droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes, has
touched every home in the economic crisis, making it opposite that like in
Jeremiah, Isaiah, and so many other books of the Bible, God is involved
in the chastisement of this nation in order to restore righteousness and
the effective, fervent prayer that goes with it.  In other words, while your
lack of healing may not be because of wrongs which you have done, it
could be from the wrongs of your society or of the human race; and you
are just fortunate enough to be both American, human, and a church
member.
 (2).  Elijah healed people by way of the power of God and the prayers
for friends; and surely in Israel through the years, there were many other
examples of healing by God on a one-to-one basis where it did not hit the
news, even the news of the Bible, just the 7,000 who did not bow the knee
to Baal about whom God told Elijah were not known to Elijah or the public.
3.  The consistent healing of the multitude before and after Jesus was on
a first come first serve basis much like our hospitals today.  Only the first
of the multitude to step into the pool after the stirring of the water was
healed; and the kinds of sicknesses of the multitude was great:  blind,
lame, paralyzed, and just plain sick.  (John 5:3)
4.  In the historical context of the day, we should realize that in Palestine
and the Roman Empire were medical doctors like Dr. Luke who traveled
with Paul and therefore was the resident, or itinerant physician for the
whole evangelistic team; and to boot, the author from the human side of
two of the books of the New Testament, Luke and Acts.
5.  Evidently, also like today, many in the multitude needed an illness to
have something to talk about, or needed some attention as Jesus must
have had that in mind as He asked the man with the infirmity of 38 years,
“Do you want to be made well?”  (5:6)
6.  Jesus after the man explained his helplessness to get to the water,
since he was so slow, perhaps even crawling--and the helplessness was
because he had no family or friends to be there and help him--told the
man, “Rise, take up your bed and walk!”  (5:8)
7.  The man did not even know Who healed Him by name as when the
Jewish leaders questioned him about the violation of the Sabbath
because of the healing on the Sabbath; however later Jesus found him in
the Temple (5:13,14), telling him, “See, you have been made well {it took
some time for the man and others to know}.  Sin no more, lest a worst
thing come upon you.”
Do not misunderstand, for often Jesus would correct His disciples who
held like the religious people around them, the false concept that either
the man or his family had sinned and that was the reason for the illness.  
However, the worse thing like for all who sin, was that habitual and
continuous sin could lead to death and the second death of eternal
damnation.
8.  It was Jesus, the man told all, that made him well.  (5:14)  And you bet
that Jesus heals today, forgives from sin, and makes people whole and
well both physically and spiritually; and like for other cases of healing in
John and the rest of the Bible, for the glory of God.  You might try the
method of faith healing that worked here, and in the privacy of prayer
between you and God as God likes to hear and honors prayer from
hidden places since He is the hidden God, pray for your friends, and
expect healing!
25-5:  Fourth Miracle-Sign and Message on Bread and Living Bread.
1.  The Miracle and the Message.
John has made it easy for you to get both the message and the impact of
the miracle on bread in John 5, the miracle is recorded in John 1:1-14
where Jesus feed five thousand men, besides women and children, with
five barley loaves of bread and two fishes {by the way Jesus the Word
also co-created the fishes of the sea on the fifth day}, the teaching by
Jesus on Himself as the bread of life that others must personally eat is in
John 6:22-40, where with hard sayings, difficult to understand, and which
many current disciples could not accept and turned away from following
Jesus {John 6:41-71)
“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me
shall never hunger; and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  (John 6:
35)
By the way, this has both an apparent implication for faith and one in the
more abundant category for faith:  as Jesus amplified on in the Sermon
on the Mount, those who believe will never go hungry for sufficient bread
during their life--recall the “seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”  (Matthew 6:
33); and you see the eternal promise of “never hunger” and “never thirst”
based on “he who believes in Me”.
2.  Is this too hard for you, as it was too hard for many of the disciples
that for a short time followed Jesus (John 6:41-71)
 a.  Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders of His own Jewish
nation.  (6:41-59)
 b.  Many followers turned away from discipleship but still attended the
church {Temple}  (6:60-71).
They could take believing for a little while, but not in the long run.  And
even as they no doubt first heard Jesus in the Temple before they began
following Him, they no doubt also went back to faithful House of God
worship as a substitute for discipleship with Jesus when they stopped
following Him.  What was so hard for them?  To eat the flesh and drink
the blood of Jesus; but once again Jesus was speaking in parables that
were hard to understand in order that those only designated by the Spirit
of God could understand.  In order that the kingdom of God and Christ
could no longer be taken by force, but only with the proper attitude of
repentance and faith.  However, Jesus explained it to them just before
they went away, primarily for the benefit of the 11 out of 12 {of the 12
that Jesus “called”, one, Judas was not “chosen”} that remained:
“It is the Spirit who gives life;the flesh profits nothing.  The words that I
speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  (John 5:63)
 c.  Then Jesus explained what the real problem was with disciples that
could not go all the way in Lordship and discipleship.  It was a lack of
“Continuing Faith” which prayerfully you have come to understand, and
did understand in the reading of that chapter on “Continuing Faith”.  And
the in the verse below has both tenses of “believe” and “believing”, alias
“to believe” and “for believing”, initial faith and continuing faith.
“But there are some of you who do not believe.”  (John 6:64a)
25-6:  A Message on Weather for Jesus’ Wind and Waves Control.
1.  Jesus had a lot to say to the religious leaders of His day of how they
could discern the weather by the face of the sky, but could not see the
signs of the times predicted in Scripture.
2.  Jesus tried to give some perspective of the eternal being that He was
and is, some perspective on Himself as the eternal Co-Creator of the
Universe as He compared the puny understanding of scholars on science
and the universe as He stated about the weather, “that you don’t even
know where the winds come from.;”
25-7:  A Message on Spiritual Blindness to Go with Healing of the Blind.
1.  In this day and time when doctors can so easily do lens transplants,
and other out patient surgeries, the healing of the blind does not seem
nearly as miraculous as in the days of Jesus; but this was then, even as
now, a special case as the man was “blind from birth”  (9:1)
2. It was here that Jesus rectified a false concept of the community that
the man was blind because he or his family had sinned.  (9:2)  Neither,
Jesus said, “but that the works of God might be revealed in him.”  (9:3)
3.  Jesus shared His own urgency to do the very works of God, and for
the glory of God the Father, for the time He had left to be in the world.  (9:
4)
4.  While in the world, Jesus clearly identified Himself as “the light of the
world”  (9:5)
5.  When Jesus heard that the Jews cast the man out for sass (9:13-34),
and because of the false belief that he was “completely born in sins”, also
because of pride because the man tried to teach them something
because they did not know Who Jesus was in spite of the miracle done
by him, and His obvious connection with God the Father, Jesus sought
him out and found him.
 (1).  “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  (John 9:35)
 (2).  “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”  (John 9:36)
 (3).  The dialogue between the blind man from birth and Jesus.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is he who is
talking with you.”  (9:37)
 (4).  More dialogue.
        a.  “Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’  And he worshipped him.”  (9:38)
      b.  However you can tell what Jesus said next, like often in His
teachings to go with the attention gained from His miracles, that Jesus
was as much talking to the crowd and His disciples as to the man.
“And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those
who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”  
(John 9:39)
      c.  The listening Pharisees took it personally, as should they and as
should all that read these teachings of Jesus centered around the miracle-
sign of the man blind from birth.
“Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and
said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’”  (John 9:40)
“Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now
you say, “We see.’  Therefore your sin remains.”  (John 9:41)
25-8:  The Holy Spirit took over in the world for Light After Jesus.
When Jesus said that He was the light of the world as long as He was in
the world, the implication was that the Holy Spirit would come to take His
place, as He clearly taught later in John 14-16.  And above when Jesus
said that He came into the world for judgment, it also implied that later the
Holy Spirit would take over that judgment.
“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe in
Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no
more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”  (John 16:8-
11)
Believe me, today, when you see the light of the truth, receive the
forgiveness of sins, and recognize that all are judged accountable to God
and Jesus, it is by the work of the Holy Spirit; but do not delay belief, as
both the heart can become too hardened--thus the Bible always says
“today is the day of salvation”, and because near the end of the Falling
Away the Holy Spirit is going to be withdrawn from this earth, an
historical happening as certain and momentous as the original coming of
the Spirit in great power and presence on the first day of Pentecost after
the Ascension of Christ.  In fact, so historical as to mark the beginning
and end of the “last days” of the Bible, terminated with wholesale
gathering from the four corners of the earth by angels, separation and the
passing of eternal judgment; and the ushering in of the New Earth with a
New People chosen and saved from each generation of history, one by
one and two by two.
25-9:  On Resurrection and Life to go with the Raising of Lazarus.
You know, when you have gone all the way with seriousness of both initial
faith, to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God; and continued for
a few years in the continuing faith of for believing, on into spiritual
maturity where you have “your senses exercised to discern” and partake
of the spiritual meat of the Bible and prayer, these miracles of Jesus and
the proofs and evidences of their validity from the Co-Creator of the
Universe will become less and less important to you.  So great will be the
personal fellowship in prayer and Bible of this Risen and Ascended
Christ, and with God the Father, that such needs for initial faith and
evidences, in spite of the fact that “faith is the substance of things hoped
for and the evidence of things not seen”, or because your personal faith
provides both the substance and evidence of these spiritual matters like
God, Christ, the new birth, and the being and becoming like Christ, that
the miracles sort of fad in the background.
1.  The death of Lazarus was just as common as the death of any today,
or of any previously, except he was fortunate enough to know Jesus; but
common in that like all, while the body is and looks dead, the soul and
spirit continue to live, and like Jesus calls it “sleep”.
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up...Then Jesus
said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’”  (John 11:11-15)
2.  Good ole Thomas like his environment had the standard concept and
answer about death, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’”  (11:16)
3.  Dialogue between Martha, the sister of Lazarus, and Jesus.
  (1).  The faith of Martha in Jesus for life and healing.
“Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother
would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever You ask of
God, God will give you.’”  (John 11:21,22)
 (2).  Double meaning in the one on one teaching of Jesus to Martha and
the listening disciples like so many teachings of Jesus and of all Bible
predictions.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.”  (11:23)
The big difference with Lazarus was that he had to go through three
resurrections: this first for at least a few more years where He had to put
up with the same old body, the second of his soul and spirit only, as at
death his soul went instantly to be with God and Jesus; and the third at
the Second Coming of Christ as with all except those who died the death
of a martyr, he received a new resurrection body.  Yes, Jesus did both
almost at one time; although He in spirit during the three days in the
grave, did go preach to all those people of history held captive in Hades,
and in order to give them like the thief on the cross a second chance.
 (3).  For Martha and for all present, and for John and other Apostles to
record for Bible Reports in the Bible that we could read, and for the Holy
Spirit to use in our hearts and lives, Jesus said to her.
“I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he
may die {sleep}, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall
never die {the second death}.  Do you believe this?’”  (John 11:26)
 (5).  Martha for us all.
“She said to Him, ‘yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of
God, who is to come into the world.”  (John 11:27)
And you can not honestly tell me that when you read these recorded
words from Jesus, if indeed you carefully read them, that you heart was
not warmed.  Well, that is the work of the Holy Spirit!