ATP Blog #24
Signs are pretty important in our lives. They tell us where we are going or what is coming. There are road signs for safety, business signs for information, and verbal or visual signs for communication. Our church even had little signs for fellowship lunches to tell if the food was gluten free. Then someone put that sign in a cup full of coffee stir-sticks … so, we have gluten free stir-sticks? The Apostle John describes several signs that Jesus performed to demonstrate who He is, and what He had come to do. Scripture talks about ‘Signs and Wonders’ as special miracles that demonstrate a unique messenger from God. The only people who were given these miracles to do were prophets, Jesus Christ, and the first century apostles. I believe there is a big difference between these ‘signs and wonders’ and the miracles that we do still see today. Take notice that the ‘signs’ Jesus performed were dramatic, immediate, and never for show. John 3:2 (and 9:16) tells us that even the religious leaders had to admit that the ‘signs’ Jesus Christ was performing, could only have been done by One sent by God.
Sign of Two It is interesting that both of the first two signs were performed in the town of Cana, which later is noted for not believing in Jesus. The first sign was the changing of water to wine at the wedding feast. Now Jesus returns to Cana, where He met up with a nobleman from Capernaum. This man came to Jesus, imploring Him to heal his son, who was at the point of death.
Sign of Unbelief Christ recognized that this man did not believe, but was testing Him, even though the son was definitely dying. Jesus said (v48), “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” Later in John 6:26 Jesus confronted the people for ignoring His ‘signs,’ coming only for the satisfaction provided by the healing and miracle food. It would seem that many of the people followed the example of their religious leaders (John 12:37) by refusing to believe in Jesus Christ despite the ‘signs’ He did.
Sign of Grace Despite Jesus’ assertion of wrong motives, and unbelief, the nobleman pleaded with Him to go to Capernaum and heal the child. Jesus, showing great grace and compassion, turned, saying to the man, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ The man had a ‘crisis faith,’ believing that Jesus could heal, but demonstrated assumptions; he believed that Jesus needed to be present at his boy’s side, and that the healing would take time. Instead, Jesus healed the boy instantly, from a distance. It is interesting that the man believed what Christ said, going home, and discovering that his son had been healed at exactly the same time that Jesus had spoken the words. I would think that this man began to believe in Jesus Christ more after this incident, perhaps saying with the father of the demoniac “I want to believe. Please help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
Sign of Belief A large number of people had a hard time believing in Jesus as the Christ, but those who experienced His grace often grew in their faith, learning to believe, and accepting the evidence. This nobleman went home believing that Jesus had healed his son. Upon arriving at home, confirmation revealed that his boy had been healed instantly the very moment that Jesus had spoken the words! Due to this evidence, the man and his entire household believed.
Sign of God The Bible records many signs and wonders, and the purpose for them, mostly done by Jesus Christ. What will you do with this evidence? Are you like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, rejecting the signs, and continuing on with the comfortable religion you have subscribed to? Let us be like the nobleman, seeking to believe, and then responding to the evidence that God gives.