The nature of the signs in john's gospel

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  • Examine the nature of the signs in john's gospel
    • The signs in johns gospel are different to the miracles in the synoptics
      • They point beyond the event itself to reveal truths about the nature and purpose of Jesus ministry as well as revealing the person of Jesus
      • MM Thompson writes "A sign is a manifestation, through the person of Jesus, of god's work in the world"
      • They are also full of symbolism, numbers and old testament allusions.
        • As john's gospel is the only one to weave OT material through events some scholars suggest that this means the writer of the 4th gospel was not writing history but theology
      • The signs often have discourses attached to them. the discourse might come before the sign like the "I am the light of the world" discourse which comes before the healing of the blindman.
    • The wedding at cana
      • Jesus turns the water into wine
      • Sign is full of symbolism as it starts "on the third day"
      • The phrase "my time has not yet come" is very symbolic could be seen as hinting at the resurrection and shows jesus knew what was going to happen
        • The fact that his mother knows he can turn water into wine. Shows that she knows Jesus true identity
    • Healing of the officers son
      • This was the second sign which Jesus performed.
      • Even though the officer was a very high-ranking roman official he was humble and had total faith in jesus which was unusual for high-ranking romans of the time
      • The strength of the officers faith was shown as he travelled 20 miles to see jesus
        • Which is a long was to travel when the only methods of travel at the time was either horseback or walking
      • The fact that Jesus healed the son from a distance with no physical contact made the miracle even more spectacular.
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