The Berean Expositor
Volume 11 - Page 106 of 161
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The first twelve chapters are devoted to His public ministry, which ended in rejection.
Then public ministry ceases, and the Lord spends the time instructing His own. The
signs are restricted to the first twelve chapters, with the one exception which occurs after
His resurrection. Besides this the occurrences of the word semeion are restricted also. Of
the seventeen occurrences sixteen occur between chapters 2: and 12:, the remaining
occurrence being at 20: 30. The effect of the signs is traced through these twelve
chapters, and the effect--reception or rejection--is repeatedly given:--
"Many believed in His name, when they saw the signs which He did" (2: 23).
"Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these
signs that Thou doest, except God be with Him" (3: 2).
"When they had seen the sign.....they said, This is of a truth that prophet that should
come into the world" (6: 14).
"Many of the people believed on Him and said, When the Messiah cometh, will He do
more signs than these which this Man hath done?"
The last three references before the end of the public witness are sad in their revelation
of the open-eyed denials of the rulers of Israel:--
"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we?
For this man doeth many signs, if we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on
Him.......then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death"
(11: 47-53).
"For this cause the people also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this
sign; the Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing?
Behold the world is gone after Him" (12: 18, 19).
"But though He had done so many signs before them, YET THEY BELIEVED NOT
ON HIM" (12: 37).
Then follows the quotation from Isa. 6:, parallel with the reciting of the quotation in
Matt. 13: and Acts 28:, viz., rejection.
In accordance with the purpose for which they are recorded, these eight signs are
linked up very intimately with the whole book, while the record is divided into
compartments that emphasize the lessons for us in a graphic manner. Before the fist sign
is recorded comes the wonderful introduction of chapter 1: Its testimony that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God, is as unique as it is emphatic. We believe the true reading of
John 1: 13 to be "Who was born", referring to Christ, not "which were born" referring to
the believer (see The Companion Bible, in loco). Christ was the One Who was born not
of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Se verse 14
continues, "and the Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His
glory"--what kind of glory? Kingly? Priestly? No, "the glory AS OF THE ONLY
BEGOTTEN from beside the Father, full of true grace". The witness of John the Baptist
is given with great clearness:--
"I knew Him not, but that He should be made manifest to Israel therefore am I come
baptizing with water.......and I saw and bare record that THIS IS THE SON OF GOD"