Signs and the Creative Powers of Jesus — John 4

Many years ago, some people were convinced to join a non-Christian group in my town because the “prophets” in the group told them many things about their past that they thought no one else knew. Without getting into the details of how this can be done in the non-Christian spiritual realm, people need to have more than one sign or demonstration of power before they believe that someone or some group are truly God ordained or teaching the truth of God. With His signs and creative powers, Jesus demonstrated in a multitude of ways that He was sent by God and His Kingdom was not of this world.

Consider, Jesus was able to tell the Samaritan woman about her past that she thought He could not have known. From that and other truths He told her, she believed in Him. But making prophecies were not the only way Jesus got people to think about His message and about who He was as the Son of God and Messiah.

In His first sign in Cana, Jesus used water to change water into wine instantaneously. I guess a good magician could do something like that to enthrall a crowd, but few magicians, if any, could produce between 120-180 gallons of wine instantaneously, even with the help of some trick, as easily and as secretly as Jesus did out of love for others and to gratify a distressed groom and bride at their wedding party.

In His second sign in Cana, from twenty miles away, Jesus healed a man’s son in Capernaum from a disease that was killing him. Jesus did so without saying anything to the boy’s father except, “Go; your son will live.” Only God and the Son of God can and would do all the above whenever there was a need, but without a need to impress others.

As we read about Jesus in the weeks ahead, think about the loving miracles of Jesus and the demonstrations of creative power that only God can do. For example, Jesus healed a man who had been ill for thirty-four years and He raised a woman’s son from the dead and later He raised Lazarus from the dead, who had been in the tomb four days. One of His last miracles was His feeding some of His disciples who had been out fishing all night and who had caught nothing. From compassion for them, without needing to go fishing himself, Jesus had a fire going and fish cooking on the fire before His disciples ever reached shore with the fish that He had enabled them to catch.

Before we are ever taken into believing someone or to thinking that some spirit is from God because they can perform a parlor trick or two, remember the vast array of signs and creative powers that Jesus demonstrated and how His teachings were always from the Bible and true to what the Bible of His day (the Old Testament) taught. One reason to study John’s Gospel is to learn many reasons why we can trust Jesus, and ONLY JESUS, as our Lord and Savior.

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4 thoughts on “Signs and the Creative Powers of Jesus — John 4”

  1. In 1 Kings 8 they talk about the “Dark Cloud”, why does God appear in a dark cloud?

    In 1 Kings 8 why were so many animals sacrificed?

    1. Thank you for your questions, which I can only answer briefly.

      The appearance of the “dark cloud” (NIV) or “thick darkness” (KJV & NRSV) or “thick cloud” (NASB) that Solomon described indicated that God (the LORD) now dwelt in the Temple that Solomon had built. You probably remember how the LORD appeared to Moses in Exodus 19:9, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.’” Solomon wanted the people to know that just as the LORD had appeared to Moses and the Hebrews on Mount Sinai that now the LORD dwelt among them in the Temple, and now wherever they were they could pray to the LORD by praying toward the Temple. The same Hebrew word for “dark cloud” is also used in Exodus 20:21, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Deuteronomy 5:22.

      To answer your question more specifically, we associate “dark cloud” with the holiness or purity of the LORD, which if we saw would overwhelm us, because we live as unclean sinners until by grace through faith in Jesus Christ we are saved from our sins. Still, we await the resurrection and glorification of our bodies to equip us to see the LORD. As we are physically and morally, seeing God in His fullness would overwhelm us, if it were even possible to see fully the infinite God. The LORD appeared in a dark or thick cloud because the LORD told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “You cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” The LORD appeared in a dark cloud to protect those He appeared and spoke to from perishing. Imagine looking at the sun on a bright day without any eye protection—you would soon go blind and perhaps never regain your vision. Similarly, the full appearance of the heavenly LORD would be so bright and magnificent that no human being has the physical and moral capacity to survive if the LORD were not enclosed by a dark cloud to protect us. Imagine how long you would last if you traveled from earth into the sun. We do not have the physical equipment to survive. For this among other reasons, God sent His only Son into the world to reveal the true God. In the International Bible Study Commentary and Lessons, we have been studying the Gospel of John. In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, God came into our world without blinding us or destroying us but revealing to us the true nature and character of the LORD. In John 1:18, we read, “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”

      You asked about the number of sacrifices they offered at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In this and on most occasions where many sacrifices were offered, the sacrifices fed those attending the religious ceremonies and feasts. These sacrifices were not whole burnt offerings or offerings that burned up the entire animal. They were offerings to the LORD that also fed the priests and people as they celebrated together.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful questions! I hope these comments are helpful.

      May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching!

      1. Thanks very much, your answers and your insight to my questions was very, very helpful.
        May God continue to bless you.

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