You make use of signs each day. A sign might be as simple as one word telling you correct operating procedures such as “Push” or “Pull” attached to a door. Signs can tell you which road to take to get to your desired destination. Signs can even be used as warnings against catastrophe. Certain sign shapes or images are instantly recognizable worldwide, while others are only used in a very limited context. Some signs are purely informational, while others can potentially save a life. Regardless, all signs want you to believe something and act accordingly!
The apostle John filled His Gospel with signs designed for a very specific purpose. These signs are more than just words in a book. These are personal living signs. God’s Word is alive, and it is speaking to YOU! John takes time throughout His Gospel to turn toward you, the reader, and reiterate His purpose in writing these eyewitness accounts. While John gives seven specific signs, all the signs have one primary truth. Jesus Christ is the fully divine Son of God and the only way to eternal life. It’s as if you can see this wizened, old man coming out of the book he wrote and looking directly at you to be sure you get the point.
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
As John himself said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Therefore, he chose to craft His Gospel around three separate sets of seven signs demonstrating the life-giving truth about the Person of Jesus Christ. He lists seven “I Am” statements made by Jesus Christ about Himself. He gives seven testimonials to the truth of these statements made by separate eyewitnesses. And he tells us about seven specific miracles which demonstrate the all-powerful, divine nature behind each truth claim.
7 “I Am” Statements
- I Am the Bread of Life (John 6:35-48)
- I Am the Light of the World (John 8:12; 9:5)
- I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10)
- I Am the Gate (John 10:7)
- I Am the Resurrection & the Life (John 11:25)
- I Am the Way, the Truth, & the Life (John 14:6)
- I Am the True Vine (John 15)
- John the Baptist (John 1:34) “This is the Chosen One of God.”
- Nathanial (John 1:49) “You are the Son of God.”
- Peter (John 6:69) “You are the Holy One of God.”
- Martha (John 11:27) “You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
- Thomas (John 20:28) “My Lord and my God.”
- John (John 20:31) “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”
- Jesus (John 10:36) “I am the Son of God.”
7 Super Signs
- Jesus turns the water into wine. (John 2:1-11)
- Jesus heals the official’s son from afar. (John 4:46-54)
- Jesus heals the lame man. (John 5:1-17)
- Jesus feeds the thousands. (John 6:1-15)
- Jesus walks on water. (John 6:16-21)
- Jesus heals the blind man. (John 9:1-41)
- Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:1-44)
Again, all three sets of seven signs are given for a very specific purpose – that you might believe in Christ alone. The result of this belief is eternal life found only in the name of Jesus Christ. You can think about this saving faith using three “C’s.”
- Creed: This is the actual doctrinal truth about what you believe. In other words, it’s the object of your faith. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and through faith in Him alone, you can have eternal life found in His name.
- Commitment: This is the active part of your faith. By God’s grace, you act upon what you believe to be true. Believing equals receiving. It’s turning away from any other object of faith, security, or hope and turning to Christ alone.
- Continuation: God helps you to continue actively believing in Christ alone. Based on the present continuous tense used in John 20:31, you could read it as the following: “But these are written so that you may KEEP ON believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by continuing to believe you may KEEP ON having life in his name.”
This study will focus on the seven miracles found within John’s Gospel, but it will also provide the opportunity for you to dig through a multitude of cross-references that either foreshadow or further illuminate the truth given both in John’s Gospel and throughout other passages of Scripture. Hopefully, it will give you the opportunity to gaze at Christ’s dazzling, life-giving divinity at several different sparkling angles, strengthening your faith and hope in Him alone.
The audio from the original junior camp sermon series by my husband Bob Roberts will be located at the bottom of each post. Listen to the first two sermons in this series below. The first is the introduction to Vital Signs (see text above), while the second is a brief overview of all seven miracles with hand motions for easy memory.