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The Purpose of John's Signs Were to Show How Christianity Superseded Judaism - Explain this Statement and Assess the View that this was the Main Purpose of John's Signs.

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Introduction

Gabriela Belmar-Valencia 13CA 1st October 2003 The Purpose of John's Signs Were to Show How Christianity Superseded Judaism. Explain this Statement and Assess the View that this was the Main Purpose of John's Signs. The use of Semeion, literally meaning "signpost", as opposed to Dunamis, "power", used in the synoptic Gospels, shows that the signs were supposed to point towards a deep, spiritual truth, often involving the theme of Replacement Theology. For example, Jesus turns Jewish purification water (representing Judaism) to wine (representing Christianity); 6 water jars are present one short of 7, the perfect number; wedding ceremony, Israel is the unfaithful bride, Jesus is the true bridegroom Isaiah 54:5 "For you Maker is your Husband". In the Healing of the Official's Son there are echoes of the Genesis in the Old Testament "on the third day" and in the power of Jesus' word "Go, your son will live"; the son's fever left him "at the seventh hour", 7, the traditional Jewish number of perfection. ...read more.

Middle

Motyer points out the importance of faith in the signs. For example in the Wedding at Cana the servants trust Jesus when he tells them to serve the purification water as Jesus does not mention that he has turned it to wine. In the Healing of the Official's Son, the official must leave without knowing for certain that his son is cured "he took Jesus at his word". In the Healing at the Pool the paralytic simply does what he is told by Jesus "pick up your mat and walk", he is not told that he is cured by Jesus, he must have faith. The signs also contain "erga", links with the Father, they prove that Jesus is the Son of God for example after the Healing at the Pool Jesus says "the Son can do nothing without the Father"; after the Feeding of the Five Thousand Jesus says "My Father's will is that everyone looks to the Son". ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Wedding at Cana it is Jesus the Transformer. Jesus makes a difference and is needed to transform people's lives to give them access to eternal life. In the Healing of the Official's Son Jesus the Life-Giver is demonstrated, which harks back to John's Prologue "In him was life and that life was the light of men". At the Healing at the Pool Jesus was presented as a Judge "the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son". The signs are part of John's Christology, the revelation of who Jesus actually was. They also carry the theme of realised eschatology as they, according to Hunter, reveal the coming of the Kingdom of God. They reveal that it is present and at work in the world displayed in Jesus' judgement, life-giving and transforming. A major aspect of the signs is the theme of replacement theology however the signs are about more than that. They stress the importance of faith, link Jesus with God and reveal different aspect of his person and his glory. ...read more.

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