The Meaning of the Signs
The miracles of Jesus are recorded in all four gospels, but
John mentions only eight, while each of the others records
almost three times that many. There is a particular significance
in each miracle related by John; in fact, John uses a special
word for “miracles,” which is better translated
as “sign.” As these signs are studied, there appears
to be a progressive sequence which illumines the steps of
the believer in his walk with the Lord.
The first sign, in chapter 2, was that of Jesus changing
water into wine at a marriage feast in Cana. When we receive
Jesus into our life, we become joined (betrothed) to Him and
He pours our His Spirit (wine) upon us. The first miracle
is symbolic of our new life in Him.
The basic ingredient in our walk with the Lord is faith.
The second miracle, recorded in chapter 4, tells of the faith
of a certain nobleman who had a sick son and approached Jesus
for his healing. Jesus did not return to the boy, but simply
told the father, “Go thy way; thy son liveth, and the
man believed the word that Jesus had spoken” (John 4:50).
Upon return to his home he found that his son was healed that
same hour. Faith is the basic foundation principle for the
Though we are now walking with the Lord with various degrees
of faith, we still find our lives far from whole. We are impotent,
blind, halting and withered—searching for wholeness
as were the people at the pool of Bethesda (chapter 5). We
are impotent and greatly lack in fruit and power as we begin
to travel our spiritual path. We still have so little of HIM
in our lives. He comes and touches us and commands, “Take
up thy bed and walk” (John 5:8). We are not only to
walk, but to follow after Him and be led by His indwelling
Spirit toward wholeness.
The first months of our “marriage” with the Lord
is so sweet and precious to us that we sometimes feel that
no one else is involved; that it is just the two of us. Then
suddenly we realize we are not alone with Him, but that there
is a vast multitude who calls upon His name. We see our Savior
full of love and compassion for all—anyone who will
come to Him. He not only gives and provides, but in abundance
(12 baskets left over). This is well illustrated in the fourth
miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in
the feeding of the 5,000 as found in chapter 6.
Many of those who sat on the hillside and saw the multiplication
of the bread and fish followed after Him for what they had
seen. However, in the succeeding days, Jesus continued to
give them an increase of “strong meat” until verse
66 was recorded, “From that time many of his disciples
walked with Him no more.” The result of the fourth miracle
is that relatively few were willing to step into the narrow
path of the Lord’s way. The Lord sifts and proves all
believers to find those who will really follow Him for WHO
HE IS, not just for what He can do.
The fifth sign took place immediately after Jesus had fed
the five thousand. He appeared to His disciples on the water
in a storm and said to them, “Be not afraid, it is I”
(John 6:30) and immediately they invited Him into their boat.
Amid the storms of our own lives, we must be able to recognize
Him in them and to invite Him in. Jesus speaks to multitudes,
but He calls to the individual on a personal basis and it
is here that we are truly tested. We can be fed and blessed
with the multitude, but the Lord watches us individually to
see how we will respond to Him and how willing we are to accept
His leading and guidance. We are tested in many ways and our
faith in Him is tried, that we might willingly stand before
Him with our whole heart open to Him.
When our Lord sees that we are really anxious to go on with
Him, He anoints our eyes to perceive Him more clearly. So
clearly, that we are able to withstand all persecution that
comes against us. In the sixth sign, Jesus did not just touch
the man born blind (chapter 9), but He took some earth and
spat upon the clay and anointed His eyes with substance. The
reality of the experience and of who Jesus was became so real
to this man that he willingly witnessed several times before
the Pharisees. The final time, he still stood firm before
them, telling the religious leaders that they knew nothing
of the true God and that they failed to recognize Him.
Few of us have ever had to lay our lives on the line for
our Lord, but such a day may soon come. May we be of such
a willing heart and so fully anointed with the life and power
of Christ that we could obey His voice in whatever He calls
us to do! It takes the full anointing of our eyes to really
see Him, that we may become a witness; a living expression
of the Lord Himself.
The seventh sign is the resurrection of Lazarus (chapter
11). Jesus specifically states that this resurrection is solely
for the purpose of manifesting the glory of God on the earth.
We are resurrected into eternal life when we are saved and
we have many deaths and resurrections in our walk, but there
should come a time when we will take on enough of the image
of the Lord Jesus that we will literally exude the glory of
God from our beings. It is then that we will be fully walking
in resurrection life and will fully manifest God’s glory.
Like Paul, we press on to this place in Christ Jesus.
Eight represents the “new day” in the Lord and
the eighth miracle recorded by John is the filling of the
disciples’ nets with many fish (chapter 21). A new day
will dawn on the earth when we can fully manifest His resurrected
life to the world and our nets will draw in a multitude of
fish, without breaking.
After this mighty act of supernatural power, the risen Christ
challenges His disciples about their love for Him. When He
ascertains the depth of their love, He exhorts them to feed
His sheep. He not only wants them brought in, but He wants
them fed His life so that they might fully inherit His kingdom.
One of the last words of our Lord before His ascension was
the power-packed, love-filled “Follow Me.” Those
two words sum up our entire walk with our Lord. If we follow
Him, all else will follow!