Eucharismatic Signs image

Eucharismatic Signs

There are seven signs in the Gospel of John, and they follow a 1-2-1-2-1 pattern. (I'm excluding miracles which John does not identify as signs, such as the walking on water and the miraculous catch of fish.)

1. The wedding at Cana (2:1-12)
  2. The healing of the centurion’s son (4:43-54)
  3. The healing of the paralysed man (5:1-15)
4. The feeding of the five thousand (6:1-15)
  5. The healing of the man born blind (9:1-41)
  6. The raising of Lazarus (11:1-44)
7. The resurrection (20:1-31)

Four of the signs are healings of increasing magnitude (from ill, to paralysed for thirty-eight years, to blind since birth, to dead), narrated with increasing depth and complexity (the first story takes eleven verses, the fourth forty-four). They come in two pairs (2 and 3, 5 and 6).

The seventh is the last, climactic sign which makes rest possible for all of us. It comes after eight chapters in which there are no healings mentioned at all, even where we know from the other Gospels that a healing did actually occur (e.g. John 18:10-11). It is as if John has been preparing us for the grandeur of the final sign.

So what does Jesus do in the other two signs (1, 4)? He makes an excessive abundance of wine, and an excessive abundance of bread.

The resurrection, four miraculous healings, and two sacramental miracles. Eucharismatics will doubt that is a coincidence.

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