Mary Magdalene

Peter

John the Apostle

Matthew

Paul

Lazarus

Three Gospels

The New Testament starts with the three Gospel books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three are known as the Synoptic Gospels. Gospel means “Good News”, and Synoptic refers to the fact that all three give an account of the same general events from the same point of view. The fourth book, John, is distinctly different from the three Synoptic Gospels, and includes much information not in the other three Gospels.

The four gospel books differ in what stories they include and how the stories are told. None of the four Gospels are meant to be a complete, detailed life of Jesus. Rather, as John wrote, “Jesus truly did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that by believing you might have life through his name.” “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should all be written, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

Together, the four Gospels comprise the vast majority of the direct information we have about the life and teachings of Jesus.

Seven Miraculous Signs

The video for this episode concentrates on a selected set of miraculous signs by Jesus. These are:

  • Changing water into wine at Cana (John 2:1-11)
  • Healing the official’s son from a distance (John 4:46-54)
  • Healing the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-5)
  • Feeding the five thousand (John 6:5-14)
  • Jesus walking on the water (John 6:16-24)
  • Healing the man blind from birth who washed in the Pool of Siloam (John 9:1-7)
  • The raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

Each of these miracles seems to be carrying multiple themes. Jesus isn’t just changing water to wine—he’s also showing that a new way to worship God has arrived, and this new way is better than the old. The healing of the official’s son shows the importance of faith, and that Jesus in not limited by normal limitations. The healing of the paralytic shows that Jesus is ruler of the Sabbath, the feeding of the five thousand that Jesus gives true life, and walking on the water that Jesus is the ruler of all nature.

The Bible doesn’t say where the blind man was when he met Jesus, but more than likely he was a fair distance away from the Pool of Siloam, which is located at the end of the tunnel built by King Hezekiah and is downhill from most of Jerusalem. As he gained his sight, the man would have been able to see the Temple Mount about one-half of a mile uphill to the north. He must have been amazed!

In John 9:1-2, Jesus upends the notion that people’s sins always make them materially or physically disadvantaged. This would have been a direct threat to a common teaching of the day that disadvantaged people were that way because of sin, while advantaged people were that way because of righteousness.

The resurrection of Lazarus shows that Jesus rules over death and can bring life into any situation. The one thing all these miracles have in common is this: they all point to the fact that God is to be glorified in every situation because he is the Master of All.

Downloads:
Characters:
Lazarus
Primary Scriptures:
John 9-12
Story Summary:
Later ministry of Jesus, seven miraculous signs
Location:
Kingdom of Judea (Israel)
Time:
Circa 30 AD
References:

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