“In the beginning…” Does this sound familiar? There are two places in the Bible where you will hear these words: Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Many find the gospel of John their preferred gospel because it is simple, yet, deep simultaneously. John the writer was very aware of time, and because of this trait, the book of John is written with time in mind.
The gospel of John is considered by most to be the book that shows the proof that Jesus is God in the flesh. In the eight signs and miracles written down by John, eight chosen by the Holy Spirit, these particular miracles and signs prove Jesus’ deity. John 20:30-31 tells us the purpose of this gospel, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing ye might have life through his name.” This paper will confer the events of the miracles of Jesus and how they prove His deity.
“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it .”
Cana was the setting of first miracle Jesus performed. The miracle took place at a wedding his family was invited to and it is noteworthy to say, that Jesus’ disciples went along. The dilemma comes when the wedding party runs out (or “gave out” as the Greek text states) of wine for the guests. Mary, comes to him and asks him to help. The significance of wine tends to be interpreted in many ways; however the most accurate symbolism for wine is two-fold.
According to Rabbi Shlomo Shulman, “Wine, a symbol of joy in Jewish tradition, is associated with Kiddush, the sanctification prayer recited on Shabbat and festivals. Marriage, called Kiddushin, is the sanctification of a man and woman to each other.” Early first century weddings were a true celebration of entire communities with the bride and bridegroom. Hence, a family who runs out of wine not only embarrassed greatly, but this embarrassment would go on for years because the whole community would know about it. I find it fascinating that Jesus takes common elements like water to create His miracle of wine. Moreover, it is very interesting to note that water was and still is a very important symbol in the purification rituals of the Jews and that Jesus used the waterpots that would hold the purification water to create the new wine.
Nevertheless, the miracle commences when Jesus tells the servants to fill up completely six large stone water jars (interestingly, the very jars that hold purification water.) In total, the amount of water would equal 180 gallons. Once the pots were full of water, Jesus told them “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.” When the governor of the feast tasted what was served him, he stood up and publically highly praised the wine, for this wine was not plain wine, but the “good wine.” John chapter two, verse 11 says, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him”. The key words are, He manifested forth his glory and they believed on him. This miracle of the Glory of the Messiah is indisputably proves Jesus’ Deity.
“Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth.” And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. “
The second miracle is found in John 4:46-54. In this case Jesus was stopped by a nobleman whose son was gravely ill. Jesus said to the nobleman, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”Again the nobleman pleaded, “Sir, come down ere my child die.” In Jesus’ omniscient mercy, He told him, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.” The official believed that Jesus healed his son. Jesus proves his deity by being the great Healer and preserver of life. Being the great preserver of life, Jesus was in accordance with John 1:4 showing that “in him was life; and the life was the light of men”.
“…Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.”
The third miracle is found in John 5:1-29. In this miracle Jesus heals a man by the pool of Bethesda, and with this healing we see a debate between Jesus and the Jews over when this miracle occurred and the conversation becomes very heated, with good reason. The problem is not that Jesus healed this man, but that Jesus forsook the Sabbath to do it. Jesus sees this crippled man’s need, walks up to him and asks, “Do you want to be healed?” After healing this man, Jesus commanded him to “take up thy bed” and walk.
One question that arises is, did the man that was healed understand that Jewish customs on the Sabbath prohibit him from carrying his mat, or were the Jews being too fastidious; for if the man knew it was against Jewish law to carry his mat on the Sabbath, maybe he would have waited or left the mat there, or, in contrast, this man may have known that he was breaking the Law and in this knowledge found it better to obey Jesus who freed him from pain and paralysis rather than “Law” that binds up a man. In either case, when the Jews saw what Jesus did they were enraged. First, the Jews told the man it was against the Law to carry his bed on the Sabbath. Moreover, when the Jews were told he had also been healed on the Sabbath, the situation spiraled downward further. The Jews rebuked Jesus for healing someone on the Sabbath. Jesus responded by saying, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” In this sign Jesus shows himself to be deity by not being constrained by man’s petty interpretation of the Law. Moreover, Jesus was trying to show them that they revered Moses’ law over God’s Law, and the reality was that Moses was pointing to and writing about Jesus, and they would have understood that had they listened. Jesus showed them that their misinterpretations of Moses and the law inhibited their spiritual senses. Moses was not in opposition to Jesus; to follow Moses was to follow Jesus.
“…And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would .”
The fourth miracle of Jesus is found in John 6:1-14. This is the most well known miracle that Jesus did. It is heavily recorded in the other Gospels. In this miracle, a great crowd drew behind Jesus, listening what he was teaching. Jesus wanted to feed these that followed him. He tested his disciples by asking Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Although Jesus was asking a practical question, Jesus wanted a spiritual answer. Moreover, He wanted to be recognized for His deity, not just a food provider. Philip failed his test, and Jesus moved on. He gave thanks for the food and he distributed it to all the people who were sitting on the grass, showing Jesus’ deity through His Divine Order. No one on earth could multiply the bread and fish like Jesus did; in fact, Jesus even had 12 baskets of leftovers! Who else can fill us and five us more than was needed? Only Jesus can fill humans like that!
“…And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.”
Miracle number five also shows the Deity of Jesus by Divine Order as well. There was a storm on the Tiberias Sea, and Jesus showed his Deity over the earthly elements by walking on the water to His disciples. Once the disciples knew who Jesus was, the Sea calmed and the boat was instantaneously at the place where they were going. Miracle five both show the deity of Jesus by showing He is Divine and a Deity of Order. Miracle four shows that He is the provider of earthly and spiritual needs. The fifth miracle shows Himself as the Ruler of the elements. Without a doubt, only the God who put the law of gravity and the law of displacement could defy their properties and make the most of them. The key element in these miracles is that Jesus is Divine in nature and the Ruler over both earth and earth’s scientific laws.
“…When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”
In this miracle, Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth. This miracle contains substantial meaning because according to Jewish thought, if a person was born blind it was either because of their sin or the sin of their parents. John included this miracle through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to show that physical affliction is not necessarily a sin problem. Jesus corrected the Jews and told them that neither the man’s sin nor his parent’s sin was the cause of his blindness. Interestingly, the Jews even tried to say that this man was not even blind in the first place. Once the parents were found and confirmed that this man was indeed their son and that he was blind at birth, The Jews were still not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. This miracle shows the Deity of Jesus by proving Isaiah 35:5: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” In this miracle, Jesus used this healing to not only change a life, but to use this man as an example of the blindness of Israel.
“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
This miracle was one miracle that came very close to the heart of Jesus; Lazarus was a close friend to Jesus, and the brother of Mary and Martha. Word was sent to Jesus that Lazarus was near death, but when Jesus heard this news, He chose to wait a few days before going because Jesus seen this as a opportunity to show His Deity by exhibiting His power over death. When Jesus reached Lazarus’ house, he had been dead for four days. People who are dead this long have much physical deterioration such a rigamortis, congealing of the blood and smell. When Jesus seen how broken the family was over the death of Lazarus, He wept. Jesus said to Martha that He was “the Resurrection and the Life.” When He called Lazarus out of the grave, and Lazarus again lived, He proved that He was “the Resurrection and the Life.” No one else has the power to raise dead men from their death back to life but Jesus. The deity of Jesus is proven two-fold: He is the Raiser and the Life of all.
“…And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”
This last wonder was a post-crucifixion, post resurrection miracle. In the eighth and final miracle written down in John, Jesus appeared to some of His disciples as fished. Since nothing was caught all night, the disciples decided to quit for the time being. However, unbeknownst to the disciples, the man talking to them at the shore side was Jesus. He told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat, and it was then that the disciples knew it was Jesus because a multitude of fish (153 in all) were in the net, and it was difficult to bring in. However, the miracle does not stop there; the real miracle happened when the disciples came onto shore and seen the coals ablaze and fish laying there broiling. This is a sure attribute of Christ’s Deity! Jesus made preparation of this meal for the disciples, and this meal symbolizes that Jesus will be their provider while they go out into “all the world” as commanded by Christ.
Gill, John. “John Chapter 21.” Sacred Texts. Available from Sacred-Texts Internet; accessed 25 November 2010.
Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989.
Shulman, Shlomo. “Guide to the Jewish Wedding.” Aish.com. Available from Aish.com. Internet; accessed 23 November 2010.
Towns, Elmer L. The Gospel of John: Believe and Live. Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series, eds. Mal Couch and Ed Hindson. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002