Signs in the Gospel of John

There are 7 signs in the gospel of John that are miracles noted particularly to point out something. What are they pointing out? This study of 6 sessions is about the signs and how they relate to our authority in Christ.

Each of the four gospels shows one of the pictures of Jesus Christ — Matthew (lion) = king, Mark (ox) = servant, Luke (man) = man, John (eagle) = Son of God, Son of Man. (See teaching series on I Thessalonians for more explanation.)

The phrase “Son of Man” is a very specific title which is given to Jesus Christ to show his authority to judge the world, especially at the resurrection.

John 5:26-30:

 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Session 1 Water into Wine – Authority of Time and Timing

John 2:1-11

A sign is the Greek word semeion that points to something other than itself. Thayer’s definition is: “of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s. The eight signs in John point to and provide the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and God was his Father. He was the only begotten Son – the unique One.

The signs show his authority as the Son of God and then because we have Christ in us, they point to our authority as well as sons of God.

Turning the water into wine show his authority over timing – that Jesus was living according to God’s schedule, not anyone else’s, and over nature. He shows the characteristic of his Father as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.

Session 2 Nobleman’s Son and Man at Pool of Bethesda – Authority over Disease

John 4:46-54 and 5:1-10

2nd Sign

Servant of King Herod’s son

The servant believed when Jesus spoke the command, “Go! Your son lives.” When he realized that the exact time when Jesus spoke this, the son was healed, then his whole household believed also. This record shows Jesus’ authority over distance and power of his words.

3rd Sign

Man at Pool of Bethesda

The pool was a healing center for the god, Aesculapius, whose symbol was the snake around a pole. The moving of the water was caused from either an underground spring or as the upper pool emptied into the lower pool. Verses 3b-4 are not in the earliest manuscripts.

The man believed and was healed even before knowing it was Jesus who healed him. Again we see the power of Jesus’ commands and how it attests to his authority as the Son of God. His authority (and ours) is over sin and sickness as well as over the traditions of men.

Session 3 Feeding of 5000 – Authority over Human Needs

John 6:1-15

Fourth and Fifth Signs: Feeding the 5000 and Walking on the Water

John 6 takes place in a deserted mountain area near Bethsaida where Jesus had gone to try to recuperate with his disciples after John the Baptist died. But crowds of people show up, so he heals and teaches them all day. At the end of the day, they are all hungry, so he feeds them with 5 loaves of barley and two fish. Then he sends the people away and the disciples in a boat to go back to Capernaum. But a storm with a westerly wind comes up and they have a hard time rowing against it. Jesus comes to them walking on the water and when they see him they are afraid. Then Peter walks out to him on the water also, but begins to sink when he sees the waves. When they get in the boat, the storm is calmed and they are immediately at the shore.

The authority over physical needs is shown as well as over danger and fear.

The next day Jesus teaches them about how he is the bread of life and that spiritual sustenance is better than real bread.

Four sections:

vs 26-29 believe in me

vs. 30-46 come to me (key verse: 6:35)

vs. 47-58 eat of me (become one with me, key verse: 6:51)

vs. 59-71 eat my words (key verse: 6:63)

Again we have Jesus’ example as a shepherd having compassion on the crowd, healing them, providing for and teaching them. We too can speak the words of life!

Session 4 Man Born Blind – Authority over Darkness and Despair

John 9:1-41


John 9

The healing of the man born blind show Jesus’ authority over both physical and spiritual blindness and is the proof that he was the Messiah. The man believes and gives the glory to God, even though the Pharisees question his healing on the Sabbath (again!). Spiritual blindness is much worse than physical blindness because those who think they see cannot. We have authority to shine as lights in this world and dispel the spiritual darkness.

Session 5 Raising of Lazarus – Authority over Death

John 11:1-44

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even if he should die, will live.” This is one of the greatest statements of all time — what Martha and Mary still needed to learn was that the Messiah WAS the resurrection and that is what would give life to everyone who would believe. The raising of Lazarus was a mighty sign that Jesus had authority over both death and life.

Session 6 – Go Fish

We are sons of God with power just like Jesus Christ. During this third appearance to some of the disciples, Jesus appears to them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, having already made a fire and cooked some fish. By following his instructions, they catch a huge load of 153 large fish and while dragging it to the shore, the net does not break. The number is explained in many ways, but the best explanation is that it is a very large unknown number and indicates abundance. It represents the abundant number of people that the disciples would catch starting after the day of Pentecost.

Jesus then has a discourse with Peter about feeding his sheep. He does not berate Peter in any way but gives him a chance to choose to follow him and become a fisherman of men. The answers Peter gives negates his three denials and from that point on he becomes a shepherd leader and minister of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 APNT

17 Everyone who is in Christ is therefore a new creation. Old [things] have passed away
18 and everything has become new from God, who reconciled us to himself in Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
19 For God was in Christ, the one who reconciled the world with his majesty and did not count to them their sins. And he placed in us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ and [it is] as if God were begging you by way of us on behalf of Christ. Therefore, we beg [you], “Be reconciled to God.”
21 For that one who had not known sin, he has made [to be] sin on your account, that we would become the justification of God in him.