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Volume 12 - Page 95 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
While we may not range ourselves with those whose hope is defined in John 5: 29,
may we nevertheless ever remember that our "blessed hope" can never be realized apart
from Him who is the Resurrection and the Life.
#8. The Miraculous Draught of Fishes.
The One Sign following Resurrection (21: 1-14).
pp. 39 - 41
In the first sign the Lord manifested (phanaroō) His glory, in the last He manifested
Himself, "shewed" (21: 14) being phaneroō. In the first sign we read "They have no
wine" (2: 3), in the last that "they caught nothing", and had nothing (21: 3, 5).
There is a dispensational reason for this correspondence of subject. What the Lord
came to do at His first advent, He will fully accomplish at His second. Resurrection is
the master key of the Bible. Quite apart from human guilt, it was the purpose of God to
establish a Kingdom with His Son as King, and when the intruding element of sin has
been removed that purpose will be brought to a consummation. That is the teaching of
the first and the eighth signs. The fresh start follows the Lord's own resurrection, and in
the numerical sequence of the signs it follows the seventh which sees the raising of
Two confessors of the faith are in immediate contextual connection with the first and
last signs--Nathaniel and Thomas. Nathaniel was told by Philip that they had found the
Messiah, but Nathaniel objected that no good thing could come out of Nazareth. Philip's
argument was "Come and see" (1: 46). Thomas was told by the disciples that they had
seen the Lord, but Thomas objected that he would not believe their statement apart from
actually seeing the wound prints themselves (20: 25). When Nathaniel was convinced,
his confession went farther than that of any of the others at that time. "Rabbi, Thou art
the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel" (1: 49). So Thomas, when he did see the
Lord, went beyond the confession of Peter himself, saying, "My Lord and my God"
(John 20: 28).
Nathaniel was an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile, but he was not a
representative of the nation. Alas, a truer picture of the apostate nation is found in the
blinded Jew of Acts 13:, to whom Paul addressed the words "O full of all subtilty"
(same word as "guile"). There were but few Nathaniels. Thomas represents the
redeemed and awakened nation, who shall indeed "look upon Him whom they pierced",
and shall confess "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him", and this confession, like
that of Thomas, comes after resurrection, for the verse before says, "He will swallow up
death in victory" (Isa. 25: 8, 9).
Closely associated with the eight signs is an unfolding of the titles of Christ. At the
beginning just before the first sign, His disciples spoke of Him as Jesus of Nazareth, the