John 2 Notes.docx

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 2 Miracle Stories – Works and Signs  - One point of commonality – Jesus is a miracle worker in both John and the Synoptics - But there are differences between the two o No exorcism/casting out of demons in John o Example: Matthew 20:29-34  We see importance of faith in Jesus’ miracles  Jesus’ compassion and pity seen o Synoptics – Jesus can do this and that  The point of the miracle stories is his demonstration of power - Synoptics have many Pericopes – 7-8 verses that describe a miracle story of Jesus, usually have 1 or 2 points to the story o Take the same form – there is a need, Jesus does, people are amazed - John only has 7 miracle stories, much less than the Synoptics - Miracle stories in John are much longer, they are often followed by a discussion or debate afterwards - Miracle stories, called ‘signs’ in John are often the beginning point of a discussion o Eg. Feeding of the 5000 (one of the only 2 common miracles with John and synoptics) - John 2 is the first sign Jesus did in Cana in Galilee - John mentioned that he could only show a few (at the end he said many more miracles were done, perhaps these are the most important ones to convey a message) - In John, they are referred to as signs, In the Synoptics they are called mighty works - Jesus does not perform signs in Matthew, Mark, and Luke – in fact, he refuses them, yet ‘signs’ is the term used to describe his miracles in John - Interesting that the most common term in John is refused in synoptics What Signs Mean in the Synoptics  - Mark 8:11-13: Jesus says no sign will be given to this generation - In the Synoptics, ‘signs’ is proof in response to a demand by them - He does miracles, but not as a response to demand; instead he does them wherever there is clear need and people come to him for help, he shows compassion - Jesus responds to the need by showing compassion - Where there is no need but people just ask for proof then he refuses - These miracles show power and compassion, they are also signs of the coming kingdom - Miracle stories are done as a demonstration that Jesus has the power to bring the kingdom - God is demonstrating his powers over the power of evil – death, sickness, disease, nature - Power over evil is demonstrated - Matthew, Luke “If I by the Spirit of God cast out demons among you then the kingdom of God is among you” - He does miracles in response to need he does them to show compassion but is also a sign that God’s kingdom is coming - This sign that God’s kingdom has come ought to make people repent - Signs of his power, compassion, the coming kingdom they ought to lead to repentance o Ie. Matthew 11 (woes) and Luke  did miracles but people did not repent - They are not demonstrations of his power as proof as a response to a demand of skepticism by people - Demonstration of miracles in themselves will not be enough to awaken faith - Jesus cast out demons but people can either decide the kingdom is coming or he is in league with the devil - End of ch 16 – miracle in itself won’t convince a skeptical person - When Jesus was on the cross – ‘ come down from the cross and we will believe ‘ – supreme demand for a sign, proof again that they don’t really believe just mockery - Negative sense of ‘signs’ in the Synoptics - 1 Corinthians 1: sys the message of the cross is foolishness to Greeks and a stumbling block to Jews o Greeks demand wisdom, Jews demand a signs and wondres o Jesus refuses to do signs under those conditions – we don’t come with signs, we come with the message of the cross What Signs Mean in John’s Gospel - Sign pointing to some other significance - Miralces in John are not simply act sof power but always point to some added significance John will draw out - Only 7 miracles because he doesn’t want to just tell a story of Jesus’ story, he wants to show the significance of the story - ‘Sign’ in John’s gospel is positive while negative in the Synoptics Water into Wine  - Sign of Jesus’ unique power - More going on than in the other signs in this gospel - Jesus’ mother: “ they have no wine” – an implicit request not explicitly asking him for anything - Jesus’ response: What have I to do with you? My time has not come - Why does Jesus respond to his mother like this, seemingly disrespectful? o When mother and brother come to take charge of them because they think he’s mad – using the opportunity to make a spiritual point rather than underlining the physical relationship o Jesus says he doesn’t take orders from any human being, he is on
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