John’s Gospel is the Good News of the deity of Jesus Christ. In John 20:30, 31, John interprets his own writings. If we are to comprehend the primary teachings of this book, we must give our undivided attention to his interpretation.
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are 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 20:30, 31).
The Gospel of John is systematic in structure and poetic in tone. In the systematic structure, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, John selects seven signs or miracles that prove the deity of Jesus Christ. The word “signs” in this gospel is the key that unlocks the door to its essential doctrine, indispensable to the body of theological truth. Here in the Gospel of John there are signs in the form of miracles, of powers, of wonders, and of words. Miracles are manifested in signs. These powers and wonders are supernatural events, in which God transcends the natural laws of His universe, exercising His authority over His creation.
To establish the fact that Jesus is God, John, guided by the Holy Spirit, selected seven signs from the many miracles that Jesus performed. His purpose was twofold:
First, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” The word “Christ” (Greek Christos) means that same as “Messiah” in Hebrew, i.e., “Anointed.” Jesus is God’s anointed Prophet, Priest, and King.
Second, “that believing you may have life in His name.” This saving faith is illustrated when unbelieving Thomas saw the risen Lord Jesus and confessed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). This is the greatest confession of faith ever uttered or written. The words “my Lord” are indicative of his volitional commitment to Jesus as Lord and Master. It is a recognition of the lordship of Jesus and the servanthood of the believer (Matthew 6:24). The words “my God” are indicative of his intellectual conviction that Jesus is God. Saving faith involves volitional commitment to Christ as Lord and Master, as well as an intellectual conviction that He is the God-Man.
Now let us examine the seven signs, or miracles, that prove the deity of Jesus Christ.
8-1 Jesus Turned Water Into Wine, Proving His Deity in His Power to Create
Jesus chose a wedding in Cana of Galilee to present the first of seven signs that prove His deity.
In this first sign the Lord Jesus transcends the laws of nature that He established when He “created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Here He demonstrates His authority over creation, because He is the Creator. “For by Him all things were created (Colossians 1:16).
Nature takes months to turn water into wine. The water, vitamins, and minerals are drawn up through the roots, stem, and branches of the grapevine, and through the complex process of photosynthesis they are turned into the fruit that ripens in the sun. The fruit is then harvested, pressed, and made into wine. Only God, who created all things and established the laws of nature, could, in an instant, duplicate the process of nature by turning water in to wine. It was a perfect vintage, created by the omnipotent God.
It was the custom, at such a celebration, to serve the best wine at the beginning of the feast, and the poorest wine when all the guests were filled. When the servants served the newly created wine to the master of the feast, the master called the bridegroom and said, “You have kept the good wine until now!” (v. 10).
This is good news for those who are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ the best is yet to come. The Christian life, at its best in this world, is still inferior to that life enjoyed with Christ Jesus. When He comes for His bride, we will eat and drink with Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9). The best is yet to come, and it will never end. “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Revelation 19:6).
Jesus performed this sign to manifest His glory, and also to show His disciples that He is God. (v. 11). If your faith cannot embrace the deity of Jesus Christ, it is not saving faith (John 20:28, 29).
8-2 Jesus Healed the Nobleman’s Son, Proving His Deity in His Power to Prolong Life
In the second of the seven signs recorded by John, Jesus demonstrated His power to prolong life. Later He would say, “Let not your heart be troubled…I am…the life” (John 14:1-6). He is God of this life and of life eternal. He is the only source of all life, physical or spiritual (Genesis 2:7; 1 John 5:11, 12).
After ministering in Judea and Samaria, Jesus had returned to Cana in Galilee, when a nobleman from Capernaum came to Him begging Him to “come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death” (v. 47). His two words, “come down,” reveal the limited measure of the nobleman’s faith (Romans 12:3). It was a weak faith, requiring Jesus’ actual presence. But just as Jesus knows all men and women (John 2:23¬25), He knew the nobleman completely. He knew the man’s love for his son and his motive for coming, and also that he was looking for a sign to prop up his weak faith. Jesus rebuked the Jews for seeking signs: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” (v. 48). (Another time, when some of the scribes and Pharisees said, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You” Jesus answered, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” [Matthew 12:38-42]. By then Jesus had demonstrated that He was the Christ by His life, by His words, and by sign-miracles aplenty.)
But Jesus graciously did not stop at rebuke. To strengthen the nobleman’s faith, He gave him something much greater than a sign: He gave him His word. Jesus said, “Go your way; your son lives.” These words of Jesus provided an opportunity for the nobleman to exercise his weak faith, and by so doing increase its measure. Faith will grow when we believe God’s Word without having to see signs and wonders (Romans 10:17). The nobleman’s faith no longer needed to see miracles. “Jesus said to him, ‘go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way” (v. 50).
Again Jesus transcended the natural laws of healing that God created in man, and healed the nobleman’s son instantly, proving His deity in His power to prolong life. Only the Creator of life can extend life; therefore Jesus is God.
8-3 Jesus Healed a Sick Man at the Pool of Bethesda, Proving His Deity in His Power to Give Life
The third of the seven signs proving the deity of Jesus Christ occurred in the city of Jerusalem at the pool of Bethesda, near the Sheep Gate. Bethesda means “House of Mercy.” Here one lame man out of a multitude of ill people found grace in the eyes of the Lord Jesus, who said to the man, “Rise, take up your bed and walk” (v. 8). This healing was pure grace—that is, it was unmerited and solely due to God’s kindness and mercy (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It was instantaneous and complete (Ecclesiastes 3:14). The man did not seek Jesus; Jesus sought him. The man did not ask to be healed; it was Jesus who asked, “Do you want to be made well?” (v. 6). Even after Jesus healed him, he did not know who Jesus was. The Jews asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’? But the one who was healed did not know who it was…Afterward Jesus found him in the temple” (vv. 12-14), and he finally learned who had healed him. He then left the temple and told the Jews that it was Jesus.
Now the last thing Jesus had said to him was, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (v. 14). Of the seven signs, this was the most unusual. Only God has perfect, eternal knowledge of all people and all events—past, present, and future. In this sign, when He revealed to the man that his sins had caused his sickness, and warned him not to continue to practice sin, Jesus demonstrated that He has all knowledge.
Another question requires an answer: Why did Jesus heal only one man out of a multitude of sick and lame people waiting to be healed? At other times “He…healed all who were sick” (Matthew 8:16), and, “great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (Matthew 12:15). In this sign we are not told why He healed only one of a multitude. Yet the answer is obvious—it was an act of His sovereign will. Jesus said, “The Son gives life to whom He will” (John 5:21).
In this sign we see Jesus the Creator giving life to one of His creatures according to His sovereign will, by bestowing grace upon a hopeless, helpless, sinful man who had suffered physical infirmity for thirty-eight years. Thus did He prove that He is God.
8-4 Jesus Fed Five Thousand with a Lad’s Lunch, Proving His Deity in His Power to Supply the Necessities of Life
This fourth of the seven signs proving the deity of Christ is the only miracle recorded by all four of the Gospels. Because the Holy Spirit moved Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to record this sign, it has unusual importance:
1) It was a very public sign. Some of the miracles of Jesus were performed in the presence of a few. But in this instance, Matthew tells us, “those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 14:21). The total might have numbered over fifteen thousand, since often such an occasion attracts more women and children than men. No other sign had as many witnesses.
2) These witnesses not only saw the sign, they also participated in it, eating the bread and fish until they were satisfied.
3) They not only saw Jesus create bread and fish, and ate of it themselves, but they also watched the disciples gather twelve baskets full of leftover food.
4) Jesus worked with almost insignificant materials. The fish were small, and the five loaves were made of barley (only the poor ate barley bread). Jesus did not reject the loaves because they were not whole wheat or the fish because they were not big. He took the little and blessed it, and the little became much!
5) This is the only recorded time when Jesus asked anyone’s advice. He asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (v. 5). Philip failed this test of faith. Jesus did not need his advice, for as in all matters, “He Himself knew what He would do” (v. 6)
6) He used all twelve apostles to serve the multitude. God’s plan is to use His servants to give His gospel to those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).
7) Afterward “they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king” (v. 15). Because He could miraculously feed them, they were ready to crown Him king. But He knew their motives were wrong, and making Him king would be premature. When He returns to this earth He will come crowned as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).
In this fourth sign the Lord Jesus once again transcended the laws of nature, demonstrating His authority over His creation and proving His deity. In an instant He duplicated the process of nature, creating enough bread and fish to feed five thousand men, plus women and children. Only God can supply all of the necessities of life.
8-5 Jesus Walked on the Water, Proving His Deity in His Power to Protect Life
This fifth of the seven signs proving the deity of Jesus Christ is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and John. John’s account of this miracle is the most condensed of the three. Matthew and Mark give us more details than John. However, we must keep in mind that John is recording these signs for one purpose to prove the deity of Jesus. Mark tells us that Jesus sent them into the storm because they did not understand the sign of the loaves and fish, “because their heart was hardened” (Mark 6:45-52):
1) They were in the will of God, facing contrary winds, for “their heart was hardened” (cf. Hebrews 3:7-15).
2) They made no progress, “because their heart was hardened.”
3) But they were in no danger because Jesus was on a mountain praying just as now “He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Again we are told, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). An advocate pleads the cause of another. Knowing the hardness of their hearts, Jesus was pleading their cause before the Father.
Then Jesus came walking on the water. Here He transcended the law of gravity, as He walked upon the waters of Galilee in a storm to protect the lives of His own proving His deity in His power over nature to protect life. He upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). He speaks and all creation bows to His will. Only God has such authority over all powers in heaven and on earth.
8-6 Jesus Gave Sight to a Blind Beggar, Proving His Deity in His Power to Illuminate Life
The sixth of the seven signs that proves the deity of Jesus takes place in Jerusalem after His discourse in the eighth chapter of John. Here Jesus gives self-witness to His deity. “Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:56-59). Then chapter nine opens with these words, “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.” And Jesus had compassion on him.
1) Let us look at the blind beggar. We are told that he was blind from birth. This is the only instance in the Bible where the Lord healed someone with a congenital defect (although there may have been others). Occurring on the Sabbath, when a great number of people must have been present in and near the temple, this sign was immediately talked about. People asked, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he,” but others would only say, “He is like him.” The beggar himself said, “I am he” (vv. 8, 9).
He was questioned by those Jews and Pharisees who were determined to put Jesus to death. The blind beggar, his sight restored, was a faithful witness to the enemies of Jesus, saying, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (v. 25). Because of his bold testimony, the Jews and the Pharisees drove him from the temple. Jesus found him and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” (v. 35) The man answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” (v. 36) Jesus then revealed Himself—and the man believed in Jesus as the Son of God and worshiped Him (vv. 37, 38).
2) Let us listen to the words of the Lord Jesus. The disciples asked Him, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (v. 2). This was a startling question. How could his physical defect be the result of personal sin when he had been born blind?” Can an unborn baby sin in the womb of its mother? Of course not, though some rabbis taught prenatal sin. Or were the disciples thinking of reincarnation? Had the man been born blind because he had sinned in another life? Or could his blindness be punishment for his parents’ sin? With seven well-chosen words, Jesus answered the question: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” (v. 3).
Now there is another question that needs an answer: Was it due to the fall of man that he was born blind? In one sense the answer is yes, for all sickness, sufferings, congenital defects, sin, and death can be charged to the fall of man (Genesis 3:1-24). It was not the will of God that this man be born blind, any more than are the many other sorrows resulting from the ravages of sin.
But Jesus answered further, “…that the works of God should be revealed in him” (v. 3). God intended to bring glory to Himself through this man, as Jesus opened his eyes. The miracle was a “sign” that God desires to cure the cause and effect of universal suffering. He is in the business of opening eyes, not closing them. As Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
3) Let us see what Jesus did. “He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ ” (vv. 6, 7). The man obeyed the Lord Jesus—and he returned able to see. This reminds us of another time in the book of Genesis, when God took dust of the earth and formed man (Genesis 2:7).
Thus the same Creator who formed the first man, and breathed into him the breath of life, again used the dust of the ground to anoint the blind eyes of one of His creation, illuminating his life. Again we see Jesus, “the light of the world,” transcending the laws of nature and opening the eyes of one born blind, proving His deity. Only God can give instant sight to one born blind. Therefore Jesus is God.
8-7 Jesus Raised Lazarus from the Dead, Proving His Deity in His Power to Re-create Life
The resurrection of Lazarus is the last of the seven signs recorded by John, as guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15), giving many infallible proofs of the deity of Jesus Christ. Lazarus lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. Bethany was located on the road to Jericho, a few miles from Jerusalem, on the east slope of Mount Olivet. It is sometimes called the Judean home of Jesus; although most of His ministry in Judea was in Jerusalem, He preferred to lodge in Bethany. Sometime after the resurrection of Lazarus, Bethany became known as Lazariyeh (“The Place of Lazarus”), which to this day reminds us of his resurrection.
The eleventh chapter of John opens with these words: “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany.” Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus saying, “He whom You love is sick” (v. 3). But Jesus did not go to Bethany until Lazarus had been dead and in the tomb four days. When He came, He came with all power and gave:
1) A divine command. “Take away the stone” (v. 39). He could have commanded the stone to move, since He rules over all creation. He could have called for angels to roll it away, since He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus did neither: He commanded the people, “Take away the stone” (v. 39). The lesson here is simple and profound. Man is to do the possible and believe that God will do the humanly impossible.
2) A divine Message. “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” We often hear that “seeing is believing.” But Jesus said, “Believe” and “see the glory of God” (v. 40)—in that order. When we have done all that is humanly possible and the work is not finished, when we war against the demonic host of Satan and the battle is not won, there are two things we must do if we are to see the “impossible” achieved: We must work, and we must believe. We cannot see the glory of God by our works alone or by our faith alone (James 2:17-22). First, Jesus said, “Take away the stone” (v. 39)—that is work. Second, He said, ‘Believe” and see the glory of God” (v. 40)—that is faith.
3) A divine prayer. “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me” (v. 41). This prayer was to the Father, but for the benefit of the people gathered at the tomb. Jesus could have raised Lazarus without public prayer. Already He had turned water into wine, healed the nobleman’s son, made the lame walk at the pool of Bethesda, walked on the water, and given sight to a blind beggar, all without public prayer. Why did He pray at the tomb of Lazarus? Because He wanted the people to believe that He was sent from God the Father (John 8:54-56).
4) A divine call. “He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ ” (v. 43). Lazarus, who had been dead four days, heard the call of Jesus and came back from the dead. This is a type, or foreshadowing illustration, of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, who will hear His voice when He comes again “with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
5) A divine deliverance. “Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go’ ” (v. 44). Lazarus came out of the tomb wearing grave clothes. He was alive, but his grave clothes identified him with death. Lazarus is a type of every living believer. Our mortal flesh identifies us with sin and death; we have been loosed from the power and penalty of sin, but not from the presence of sin. All believers who have experienced physical death have been loosed from their grave clothes (the flesh), but will not receive their glorified, immortal bodies until the rapture (taking up) of the church. All believers who are alive when He comes will have their graves clothes (the flesh) transformed, and be caught up to meet the Lord Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). Together we will receive our eternal and glorified bodies, like His resurrected body (1 John 3:2). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, proving His deity by His power to re-create life.
The seven signs given to us by John, as he was guided by the Holy Spirit, are infallible, unerring evidence, proving that Jesus is God. Amen!
Master Outline 8 – The Deity of Christ: His Signs
 What did John say was the purpose of his writing?
 The Gospel of John is ____________________________ in structure and
_______________________ In tone.
 In the Gospel of John there are signs in four (4) areas. What are they?
 Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, what was John’s two-fold purpose?
 List the seven (7) signs that prove the Deity of Jesus Christ?
 What was the first event in Which Jesus chose to prove His Deity?
 How did Jesus transcend the law of nature in the first miracle?
 Why is this good news for those saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
 If your faith cannot embrace the ___________________________ of Jesus Christ, it is not
 In the second of the seven signs recorded by John, Jesus demonstrates what?
 Did the Nobleman have weak or strong faith? Explain.
 To strengthen the nobleman’s faith, Jesus gave him something much greater than a sign. What was it?
 Faith will grow when we do what?
 What does the word “Bethesda” mean?
 Jesus’ healing of the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda was pure grace. Explain why?
 Why did Jesus heal only one man out of the multitude?
 What is unusual about the miracle of Jesus feeding the Five Thousand? (List 7 items)
 What did Jesus prove in the fourth miracle?
 What was John’s purpose for recording these signs?
 What did Jesus prove in the fifth miracle?
 Were the disciples in the Will of God as they crossed the water in the boat in John 6:15-21?
 Why did they make no progress in overcoming the storm in John 6:29?
 Were they in danger in John 6:18-21?
 In the sixth sign what is Jesus proving?
 What did Jesus do as He passed by the blind beggar?
 What do we know about the beggar’s blindness?
 What was the beggar’s testimony?
 Was it due to the fall of the man that he was born blind? YES or NO. Explain.
 What was Jesus providing by spitting on the ground and using clay on the man’s eyes?
 What did Jesus prove in the seventh miracle?
 Name the five (5) things Jesus gave in this miracle.