Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Gospel of John: Seven Signs, Seven Feasts, Seven Discourses--And the Seventh Old Testament Quotation... Isaiah 53




Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah
Surveying the twenty-one chapters of the Gospel of John, it is interesting to consider the groups of seven that occur in this Gospel.  The significance of this number begins in Genesis with the seven days of creation and echoes all the way to the sevens of the book of Revelation (seals, trumpets, bowls, thunders, etc.) which was also written by John.   

The apostle frames his quotation of Isaiah 53, his seventh Old Testament quotation, between the seven signs and the seven discourses that occurred at the time of the seventh feast that he mentioned in the Gospel. John indicated in 20:30-31 that these seven signs were selected "that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ." After the signs he noted that although Jesus had performed so many miracles some still did not believe... that the prophecy of Isaiah 53 would be fulfilled--"Who has believed our report?"

In this way he follows the same emphasis of the Apostle Peter who wrote that we have received "a more sure word of prophecy" through the witness of the Old Testament scriptures.  It is "more sure" than even eyewitness accounts or the miracles experienced. John frames Isaiah 53 at the center of the Gospel.

                                                             7th feast begins
1 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21
 7 signs     7 discourses
                                                            Isaiah 53
                                                            7th OT quotation
 
7 signs + the Resurrection
1.      At Cana (2:11)At the wedding.
2.      At Cana (4:54) - Healing the official’s son.
3.      In Jerusalem (5:8-9) - Healing the paralytic.
4.      Across the Sea of Galilee (6:1-12) -Feeding the multitude.
5.      On the Sea of Galilee (6:19-20) - Calming the storm.
6.      In Jerusalem (6-9) - Healing the man born blind.
7.      Near Jerusalem (11:43-44) - Raising Lazarus.

7 feasts of the Jews mentioned
1.      (Booths?) unnamed Feast (John 1, Jesus’ return to Galilee, His 30th year).
2.      Feast of Passover (2:13, Jesus’ 31st year).
3.      Unnamed Feast (5:1, a Sabbath).
4.      Feast of Passover (6:4) (Jesus 32nd year).
5.      Feast of Booths (7:2).
6.      Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah, 10:22).
7.      Feast of Passover (12:1) (Jesus’ 33rd year).

7 discourses with Jesus (questions)
1.      Response to Phillip and Andrew (12:22).
2.      Response to the people (12:29-50).
3.      Responses to Peter (13:6-14:4).
4.      Response to Thomas (14:5-7).
5.      Response to Phillip (14:8-21).
6.      Response to Judas (not Iscariot) (14:22-16:16).
7.      Response to all disciples (16:17-33).
High Priestly Prayer (17)

12 quotations from the Old Testament
1:23, 2:17, 6:31, 10:34, 12:13, 12:15, 12:38,*
12:40, 13:18, 19:24, 19:36, 19:37
The seventh (12:38) is from Isaiah 53.* 
(Three are from Isaiah, 2 from Zechariah, and the rest are from Psalms).


No comments: