Wednesday, November 6: John 5 – 6
These two chapters reveal several of the unique characteristics of John’s Gospel. Three come quickly to mind:
- “Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (5:1) This is the second time that we have read this phrase. The first happened late in chapter 2, and the third will happen in chapter 12. This is the only Gospel where Jesus is recorded as traveling to Jerusalem three different times. In all the other Gospels, he only makes one trip which leads to the cross. John is different, and each time he goes to Jerusalem it is for the Passover, a once a year festival. These words help to shape the idea that Jesus’ ministry lasted three years, one for each of his trips to Jerusalem. If it were solely up to Matthew, Mark, or Luke Jesus’ ministry would only have been a year long!
- Signs verse Miracles . . . As Jesus feeds the five thousand, they continue to follow him, and he states, “You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” (6:26) Notice with me that Jesus doesn’t perform miracles in John, instead they are “signs.” This is an important distinction for John. Miracles, could be equated to magic, and this is no hocus pocus trick that Jesus is performing. Not at all, instead Jesus is revealing the power and glory of God through the “signs” revealed in the healing of others, the water turned to wine, and in the feeding of the 5,000. John wants us to know this is not magic, it is a true sign of God.
- “I am . . .” Jesus will speak these words seven different times, (perhaps 8) depending on how you count them. Each time, these words recall God speaking to Moses through the burning bush as God is identified as “I am.” Here in chapter 6, we get one (or I’d say two) different statements, “I am the bread of life.” (6:35) and “I am the living bread.” Keep an eye out for the rest of these key identity statements that Jesus’ uses to reveal his presence in the world.
So there you go, a few unique characteristics of John that help us learn, grow and reflect today!
Reading for the next few days:
Thursday, November 7: John 7 – 8
Friday, November 8: John 9 – 10
Saturday, November 9: John 11 – 12