The apostle John wrote the following words near the end of his gospel.
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so 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
All four gospels include accounts of miracles that Jesus performed. Unlike the other gospels, however, the Gospel of John focuses on just a select few of those miracles. For this reason, John is acknowledging in the passage above that he did not attempt to describe all of Jesus’ miracles. Here are the ones he did describe:
- Turning water into wine
- Healing a royal official’s son
- Healing a lame man
- Feeding the five thousand
- Walking on water
- Healing a man blind from birth
- Raising Lazarus from the dead after four days
By using the word “sign,” John is emphasizing that Jesus’ miracles signify not just God’s power, but also aspects of His nature. Whereas the other gospel writers simply chronicle the miracles, John wants to linger on certain ones in order to draw out the meaning they can give us. (Our takeaway from John should not be that he chose the only miracles that could be viewed this way, but that he is giving us examples of what can be learned from any miracle of God.)
The point of John 20:30-31 is that a mere sampling of Jesus’ miracles is more than enough to justify putting faith in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. When John describes Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of God,” he is giving an extended messianic title. I say this because “Son of God” was as much a title for Messiah as was “Son of Man” or “Son of David.” In fact, “Son of God” was arguably the most recognizable messianic title in first century Judea after “Messiah” (Christ) itself – especially when used in conjunction with it.
Do be sure to notice the paydirt section of John’s statement – that we may find life in Jesus’ name. We no longer have a physical Jesus; what we have is God, and we know His name. He sprang from the physical Jesus…just as the physical Jesus sprang from Him. That is, God became Jesus…who became God again.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, You are my God…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)