Can we use John 20:30 & 21:25 to justify the signs we see today?

John 20:30 & 21:25. What do these verses say?

‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.’

‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’

The line ‘Jesus performed many other signs’ and ‘Jesus did many other things as well’ are now being used to justify everything under the sun now. Can we use this like that? Let’s see.

Jesus did many signs during His time of ministering. Why did He perform signs? He did them to evidence that He is the Son of God, the Messiah. What were the signs He did?

Matthew 11:2-5 ‘When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’

Jesus did all of the above during His ministry. He also calmed the storms and the winds. He turned water into wine. He fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes and then again 4000 people with 7 loaves and few fishes. He set free those who were possessed by demons. However, when the Jewish leaders asked Him for signs, He flatly refused. He once said only the sign of Jonah will be given to you. So, the answer to the question did Jesus perform signs, did He do many things, the answer is ‘Yes He did’. Now let’s progress a little further.

The Gospels.

Now not all the Gospels mention all the things He did. There are some events and miracles which are mentioned in the book of John which are not mentioned in the other Gospels. There are some miracles and events in the other Gospels which are not mentioned in the Gospel of John. Why is that?

Each Gospel writer wrote their Gospel with a unique divine purpose from Holy Spirit. Matthew shows Jesus as the Messiah to a Jewish Audience. Mark shows in Him as the Miracle worker to the Gentile Audience. Luke gives an orderly historical account of the life and ministry of Jesus and also shows Him as the divine healer. John shows Him as the Son of God: God who became flesh and lived among us.

Through all the Gospels we see Jesus from different angles, but they all give us the same message in the end. He is the only Way to eternal life. Now in John 20:30, John mentions something after saying ‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples’. John goes onto say ‘which are not recorded in this book.’ In this book. In the book that John writes. The Gospel of John was the last gospel written according to Christian history. So, John probably would have read the others 3 Gospels. So, He as an eyewitness to the miracles that Christ performed, adds his attestation that the miracles mentioned in the other gospels are true by saying Jesus performed many other signs in our presence. He also mentions that not everything is recorded in his gospel. His purpose for writing the gospel was to show Jesus as the Son of God and hence the gospel of John carries a lot of the deep teachings of Jesus compared to the other Gospels.

So that is what John 20:30 means. I hope that is clear. Just to summarize: – John is saying that he has not recorded every miracle in his book but Jesus did many signs and he as a disciple of Christ was an eye witness to them.

Jesus did many other things. What does that mean?

Now to John 21:25 which says,

‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’

Jesus began His ministry when He was 30 years of age. Based on the events and information given the gospels, He lived for another three and half years before He ascended to Heaven. So, in three and half years of ministering a lot of would have happened. Each day something would have happened. Each day, He would have ministered to different people in different places. So, it is very fair to say Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Now does this mean we have the liberty to use this verse to justify anything and everything that we do today as ‘Jesus did many other things, so I am doing this thing’? Can we use this scripture for that purpose? Well, we must read the next verse as well to get the correct understanding. In John 21:26, John says,

‘But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.’

John says all this is written so that we may believe and receive salvation. Whatever Jesus did brought glory to the Father’s Name. Amongst the general public and even amongst the Romans and other gentiles, God was being glorified. People did not ridicule God because of the signs that happened. They were drawn to glorify Him and follow Jesus.

Now you may question didn’t the Pharisees ridicule him? The Pharisees accused Him of breaking the law of the Sabbath, a law that they themselves broke regularly. They accused Him of using demonic power and questioned Him about where He got His power. You must note that the Pharisees were living a sinful life and since their sin was being revealed and they could not catch anything wrong in the teachings of Jesus, they resorted to these kinds of attacks to discredit Him. The ministry of Jesus exposed the sins of the Pharisees. But in the outside world, the Name of the Lord was being glorified.

Even when the Apostles did the signs, wonders and miracles, you see that Jesus was glorified. People were drawn to the Lord. The Apostles did not put on a public show that glorified themselves. They made sure that all the glory goes to the Lord. They did not make themselves the center of attraction. All this we see in scripture. So, here is the conclusion.

Whatever sign or wonder or miracle that happens, we must ask ourselves 3 questions.

  • Are people being drawn to believe in Jesus?
  • Are people brought to repentance, salvation a relationship with Christ & bear good fruit for Him?
  • Are the people glorifying God or is His Name being put to open ridicule and shame?
  • Who is the center of attraction? Jesus or a man? 

Before you accept any sign or wonder or miracle, test it on this basis.

A Word of caution

Never step outside the boundaries of God’s Word.

Never take one verse out of its context and draw conclusions.

Never read one verse in isolation of all other verses in the particular chapter and book.

Never try to impose what you think or want to believe on a verse and then make the verse say what you want it to say. Scripture speaks for itself. We must accept what it says, as it is written.

When we step outside the boundaries of God’s Word or we have something in our mind and we try to fit God’s Word to support it or justify it, we are walking on dangerous ground. Then anything can be supported or justified. However, what did Jesus say? Obey My teaching (John 14:23). Simply put read the Word and put in practice what it says as it is written. Do not add, remove or alter.

One Comment

Comments are closed.