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Volume 32 - Page 106 of 246 Index | Zoom | |
John had already said that he had beheld "His glory, the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father, full of real grace" and in this miracle that glory was "manifested".
The homely associations of marriage and the turning of water into wine, form a
striking contrast with the severe character of John the Baptist who came "neither eating
nor drinking". Ceremonial water gives place to wine, the Law of Moses to true grace,
and out of this fullness all we have received. Not only did the Lord "manifest" His glory,
but the great aim of the Gospel was attained also, "His disciples believed on Him"
(John 2: 11).
Matthew uses the word dunamis, "wonderful works" (7: 22), "mighty works"
(11: 20, 21, 23; 13: 54, 58; 14: 2), a word used also by Mark and Luke to describe the
Lord's miracles. This word is not used by John, but, in its stead he uses semeion, which
is translated in his Gospel by "miracle" thirteen times, and "sign" four times. The
Synoptic Gospels use semeion about as many times as they use dunamis. John's purpose
is not to point out mighty power, but to provide evidence. Just as the miracles wrought
by Paul were "signs" of his apostleship (II Cor. 12: 12), so were these miracles selected
as signs of "the Apostle" (Heb. 3: 1), the great "Sent One*", the Son of God.
The fact that this miracle was the "beginning" of miracles nullifies the validity of the
fantastic traditions that have come down from early days of the miracles wrought by the
child Jesus, just as the setting aside of Mary in the fourth verse of the chapter is the death
blow of Mariolatry. When he has "beheld His glory", man needs not the intercession of
saints, angels or the Virgin.
[NOTE: * - The word "Sent" is found in eighteen out of the twenty-one
chapters of John's Gospel, and is vital to its teaching. This we shall see later.]