The Purpose of John’s Gospel

by Greg Circle

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so 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)

John says it outrightly that he wants you to read his book and believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be. The miracles that He performed and that John recorded are the evidence.

The word translated “signs” occurs 17 times in The Book of John. He starts using this word with the very first miracle that Jesus performed (2.11). He quotes other people as emphasizing the necessity of the signs to back up His claim (2.18). He wrote about the result of Jesus signs – that “many believed in His name, observing the signs which He was doing” (2.23), because “no one can do these signs...unless God is with him” (3.2).

But it wasn’t simply that He performed these miracles. There was the sheer number of them. Jesus performed so many signs that people noted there is no way that the Christ (assuming for the sake of argument that Jesus wasn’t the Christ) could do more (7.31). That He performed miracles is not the proof that He is the Christ; that He performed so many of them is the proof.

But as many as would not believe without seeing the signs many (perhaps many more) would not believe in spite of seeing the signs. Their focus was on the physical. Either the abundance of necessities (6.26) or the abundance of political power (11.47) kept them from seeing the benefit that He was to their souls (12.37).

Without these signs, people would not believe (4.48). If Jesus did not perform these miracles, there would be no reason to believe His claim. He would just be another of the many “prophets” that have come into the world. But because He performed these miracles, so many of them that John couldn’t record them all – no one could (John 21.25).

Jesus’ miracles help to show that as the Messiah, He was bringing abundant life to the world. Have His miracles helped you achieve this abundant life?

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