“God does not become a religion, so that man participates in him by corresponding religious thoughts and feelings. God does not become a law, so that man participates in him through obedience to a law. God does not become an ideal, so that man achieves community with him through constant striving. He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.”
Miracles in John’s gospel:
- Changing water into wine in John 2:1-11
- Healing the royal official’s son in Capernaum in John 4:46-54
- Healing the paralytic at Bethesda in John 5:1-18
- Feeding the 5000 in John 6:5-14
- Jesus’ walk on water in John 6:16-24
- Healing the man born blind in John 9:1-7
- Raising of Lazarus in John 11:1-45
To validate the message of Jesus, John purposefully and strategically records (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit) these seven specific “signs” or miracles.
They are unique in emphasis and in message. And these are creation miracles—ex nihilo (“from nothing”) miracles—extraordinary supernatural demonstrations that validate Jesus’ role as Creator.
They give testimony to Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, the Messiah, the source of eternal life, the Saviour and the Creator (John 1:1-3). All seven of these supernatural creation events—creating something from nothing—were accomplished merely by the thought or command of the Creator.
John records these specific creation miracles so we could witness the divine nature of our Lord—the deity of Jesus, as Creator and Saviour. They were “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31. See also John 2:11; 2:23; 3:2; 4:48, 53-54; 6:2, 14; 7:31; 11:47-48; 12:11, 18).
The Disciples get in the boat without Jesus:
In both Matthew and Mark, Jesus is recorded telling the disciples to get in the boat without him. It reminds me a bit of an adventure if faith.
The Seas get rough, especially in a small boat.
We’re a small boat. Things get bumpy in a small boat. The sleeping quarters are tight. When things get rough, smaller boats take a bigger beating. Calm seas are more comfortable, but rough seas are more adventurous. It’s quite easy to stay in the boat and stay in the calm waters, take few risks, and even stay in the harbour. But if we never leave the harbour, are we really living out the purpose of the boat?
Jesus shows up in the most unexpected ways and times.
And we’re scared. Part of this, I believe, is that we just don’t understand Jesus. Although we might say differently, we live like he’s just this good teacher, or wise counsellor, or buddy that likes me…versus a Saviour who says “Join my Team”.
Now pick up an oar.
We put it like this “Love God, Love one another, Make disciples”
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
SO WHAT DOES THAT ALL MEAN?
1. We are missionaries not magnets
2. In the world but not of it.
3. Faith comes by hearing and that in their own language.
- We proclaim the truth through tradition.
- We proclaim the truth through culture.
- We proclaim the truth in love without compromise Romans 10.14-17
Tim Keller writes:
“The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s, but the A to Z of Christianity.
The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we the kingdom real in our lives here on earth.
We are not saved by the gospel and then changed by obedience, but the gospel itself
transforms us (2 Cor. 5.17 A NEW CREATION),
is the way we grow (Gal. 3:1-3 PERFECTED by THE SPIRIT)
and are renewed (Col. 1:6).
It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed door, the power through every barrier (Rom. 1:16-17 THE POWER OF GOD).”