Why does the Gospel of John often refer to Jesus’ miracles as “signs”?

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The Gospel of John rehearses seven miracles of Jesus Christ and calls them "signs." Why these seven miracles and why call them signs? John is building his case for the deity of Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Word who became incarnate, the Savior of the world, and so that we, as we read the gospel of John, might believe in him and have eternal life. And so, John selects seven miracles, for example, the changing of water into wine at Cana, the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the feeding of the five thousand. He chooses seven of these miracles. He calls them signs because they point beyond themselves to the identity of Jesus. He is no other than the Son of God, fully God, the God who has become incarnate, and who is the Savior of the world. If we trust in him we will have eternal life. John is building the case through these seven miracles, these seven signs, so that we might trust Christ and know him eternally.

Answer by Dr. Gregg R. Allison

Dr. Gregg R. Allison is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.