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  • Writer's picturePastor Bill

What is it about the Number 7?

John’s Gospel includes 7 Signs (aka Miracles):

1. Water to Wine (John 2:1-11)

2. Healing the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:46-54)

3. Healing the Paralytic (John 5:1-15)

4. Feeding the 5,000 (John 6:5-14)

5. Miracles at Sea (John 6:16-24)

6. Healing the Blind Man (John 9:1-7)

7. Raising Lazarus (John 11:1-45)

John has 7 “I am” statements with a predicate nominative:

1. I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35).

2. I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)

3. I am the Gate (John 10:9)

4. I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)

5. I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)

6. I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)

7. I am the Vine (John 15:1,5)

I’ve known these two lists of 7 forever, twenty-five years at least.

Last week, when I started adding up Jesus’ significant conversations with individuals (not including Disciples nor groups of people) that led to their testimony, I thought their might be 5. Why was I surprised when the list came out to 7?

1. Nicodemus (John 3)

2. The Samaritan Woman (John 4)

3. The Royal Official (John 4:46ff)

4. The Lame Man (John 5)

5. The Man born Blind (John 9)

6. The Sisters Mary & Martha (John 11)

7. Pilate (John 18:28ff)

This pattern isn’t an accident. It’s not coincidental.

What does it mean?

I’m not sure, but John’s Gospel opens with echos of Genesis 1 and the 7 days of creation.

Maybe God’s great love for the world (John 3:16) is redeeming it completely with 7 signs, 7 words, 7 conversations and testimonials.


Pastor Bill

March 28, 2022

©️ 2022, Pastor Bill Bernau.

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