Tag Archives: Signs


The 7th and last of the classical signs in John is the resurrection of Lazarus.  The synoptics record two other resurrections:  Jairus’ daughter in Mathew, Mark and Luke and the Widow of Nain’s Son in Luke.  Only John records the events in John 11.

While there are a number of similarities between the other two recorded resurrections and Lazarus’, there are two important differences.

Comparing the case of the young man from Nain with Lazarus:

  1. A sick person dies before Jesus arrives.
  2. He tells the widow not to cry (like Lazarus’ relatives).
  3. He commands the young man to get up.

Comparing Lazarus with Jairus’ daughter:

  1. A sick person dies before Jesus arrives.
  2. Sleep is used a s a metaphor for death
  3. Jesus express emotion or displeasure with the mourners
  4. Jesus commands Lazarus to come out.
  5. Jesus gives instructions for care for the one raised.

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A Blind Man is Healed

In John 9 Jesus heals a blind man and creates a stir among the Pharisees.  While the Synoptic Gospels report a number of instances where Jesus healed a blind person, this instance appears only in John.  This account has a couple of  distinctives:  nobody asked Jesus to heal the man (even the man), the healing took place away from Jesus’ person and there was an instrumentality involved.

Jesus and his Disciples came upon a man who had been blind since birth and, it seems, began an oddly rude conversation right in front of him. The disciples were sure that the blind man’s condition was the result of sin (a common notion among 1st Century Jews) and asked Jesus if it was the man’s sins or his parents which made him blind.  It was an extremely odd question because, since he was blind from birth, he would have had to sin before he was born or the blindness would have to have been a preemptive punishment for sin he would commit after birth.

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Jesus Heals the Official’s Son

This week I am second guessing my decision to look at the Gospel of John through the lens of Jesus signs because it means we skip over a number of significant passages, ie Cleansing the Temple, Jesus and Nicodemus, and the Woman at the Well.  Tempted as I am to linger on some of those I am pressing on to the second sign John records in 4:43-54.

Now we know this was not the second sign Jesus performed (even though John calls it that).  In 2:23 John writes,”Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.”  Why do you think John called out the signs he did?

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Wedding Feast of Cana

We are exploring the Gospel of John by looking at the signs he records that Jesus performed (there are 7 plus His Resurrection, the ultimate sign).  John’s purpose in writing, as we have discussed, was to present Jesus as the Messiah, not to provide a complete timeline of His activities.  One of the ways John pursues this goal is by the sequence of signs he introduces.

While some of these are mentioned in the synoptics, John almost always has a twist or a different slant on them.  He seems to be showing us, through the lens of the signs, how the Disciples came to know who Jesus really was and to invite us to follow along.

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