John 20:31 – These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The “these” here are seven miracles that John wrote about to show the Jews of his day that Jesus was the Christ. Here are the seven miracles:
- Turning water into wine in Cana (2:1-11)
- Healing an official’s son in Capernaum (4:46-54)
- Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (5:1-18)
- Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14)
- Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)
- Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)
- Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany (11:1-45)
I found this and thought it was good.
Gary Shogren says: I have no idea who made this up, but I’ve used it for years:
T – turning water into wine
H – healing the nobleman’s son
E – elevating the lame man
S – supper for 5000
I – interim on the sea [walking on water]
G – giving sight to the blind
N – notification of Lazarus to “come forth”
In the NIV the words “miracles” and “miraculous signs” are used twenty-four times with two of these being Jesus asking people why they would not believe (John 12:37 and 15:24). John 2:18 and 6:30 are people asking Jesus to show them signs so they can believe. Jesus comments in 4:48 that Jews will never believe unless they see signs and wonders, this sounds just like Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:22 when he says,” Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom.”
For years I have heard that these seven miracles were signs that the Jewish people believed the Messiah would do when he came to deliver them. I have looked for why these particular miracles and where they originated but have not been able to find them. What I did learn was that the ancient Jews, as well as modern Jews, are looking for a leader who would be a military and civic leader. See Vines Dictionary under the word for semeion which is number 4592 in the Greek Dictionary in Strong’s Concordance and this website http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm . (Note, the website does not believe Jesus is the Messiah and they tell why!) (Kurt Cameron and his guest on TBN in September 2013 said that other major world religions all wanted a part of Jesus, that maybe but I do not think that Judaism is one of them.) Since the Jews were (are) looking for a military and civic leader I guess they thought that the Messiah would “one-up” the leaders that they have had and be a combination of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha and probably several others. Since I could not find where they got the “list” of miracles I started my own:
- Turning water into wine in Cana (2:1-11) – Moses had water from a rock (the water/wine came from “rock” vessels) and changed bad water to good. Jesus changed the water to wine.
- Healing an official’s son in Capernaum (4:46-54) Elijah and Elisha both healed a son, they had to touch the boy Jesus did it at a distance.
- Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (5:1-18) Elisha healed the captain with the seven dips in the Jordan.
- Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14) Moses and manna.
- Walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21) Moses divided the waters why not walk on them.
- Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7) (I got nothing.) Second thought, maybe the man said it in John 9:32 “Nobody has ever heard.” Jesus did something no other leader had ever done.
- Raising dead Lazarus in Bethany (11:1-45) Elisha’s bones raised a dead man. Jesus called him out of the grave.
I remember someone saying that the seven miracles were more oral tradition than written fact but it was fun thinking about where they may have started. Well, if you have/know where the seven signs or miracles of Jesus being the Messiah started please let me know.
For other thoughts on miracles please see Miracles and Storms
I also used this blog as a reference: http://considerjesus.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/seven-signs-in-the-gospel-of-john/ in writing my blog. The artwork is from http://clipart.christiansunite.com/Pictures_of_Jesus_Clipart/Healing_the_Sick_Clipart/