John’s Gospel, Part Six
Signs and Imagery
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I. The Use of Language and Imagery
A. To Reveal and to Hide the Truth
B. To Convey Blessing and Expose to Judgment
* Parabolic Language: Mark 4; Matthew 13
* BOTH Judgement and Blessing, Retribution and Liberation
II. The Purpose of Sign Language: “You will see greater things than these...” - John 1:50
A. Revelation of God’s Grace and Power - Exodus 3:1-4, 19-20; 4:1-9; 7:3; Deuteronomy 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; 26:8; 29:3; 34:11; Psalm 135:8-10
B. Confirm the Servant - Deuteronomy 15; Exodus 4; 1 Kings 17ff
C. Confirm the Word - Hebrews 2:3-4
* “God testifying with them...”
* “The genesis of his signs...revealed his glory...his disciples believed in him.”
III. Sign Language in John
A. The Purpose of the Signs - John 20:30-31
* The ‘miracles’ in the synoptics tend to authenticate Jesus’ mission and message, while the ‘signs’ in John tend to reveal his person.
B. The Seven Signs Pointing to the Eighth and Ultimate Sign
1. Water to Wine in Cana - John 2
2. Healing of the Nobleman’s Son - John 4
3. Healing of the Paralytic at Pool of Bethesda - John 5
4. Feeding Multitudes in Wilderness - John 6
5. Walking on Water - John 6
6. Healing of the Blind Man - John 9
7. Raising of Lazarus - John 11
C. Progression in Reference to Faith
1. Signs Lead to faith - 2:11
2. Crowds demand signs prior to faith - 6:30
3. Many believe because of the signs - 7:31; 11:47-48
4. Many refuse to believe despite the signs - 12:37-42
* What will you do?? John 20:30-31
IV. Signs and Fulfillment (“Greater than...”)
A. Moses - John 1:17; 2:11; Water Transformation (Exodus 7:20); John 6 - Food in the Wilderness (Exodus 16; Numbers 11)
B. Greater than the Temple - John 2
* Purposeful use of imagery and language to reveal and conceal