"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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John 4:46-54 Commentary
by David Lose
Jesus, particularly in the Fourth Gospel, would seem to have a somewhat ambivalent relationship to what we would call miracles but what John describes as “signs.”
That’s an important distinction, actually, between signs and miracles. And while it doesn’t totally resolve how to preach this passage, it at least gives us a place to start.
In John’s Gospel, a “sign” is something that is not simply miraculous but that reveals Jesus’ divine nature and mission to those who are open to seeing it. They are, in this sense, pointers to Jesus’ identity. Moreover, and as John indicates from the first verses of his gospel, Jesus himself functions as something of a sign. He is the Revealer, the Word who was with God from the beginning and is God (1:1-2), the Word made flesh (1:14) who makes the invisible God known (John 1:18).
Throughout his Gospel, John shares seven signs that Jesus performs, each revealing something significant about Jesus’ identity and mission. Early in the story, Jesus turns water into wine -- and not just wine, but the best wine in vast quantities -- revealing the profound abundance of God in ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 115: Healing Stories
February 09, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for Feb. 9, 2014: John 4:46-52 and/or John 5:1-18. Accompanying reading: Psalm 40:1-5.