SYMMETRY AND SIGNIFICANCE IN THE ORDER OF THE JOHANNINE SIGNS

This page is an extension of concepts presented in the Menorah Structure and Good Shepherd pages.

SYMMETRY AND SIGNIFICANCE IN THE ORDER OF THE JOHANNINE SIGNS

This page is an extension of concepts presented in the Menorah Structure and Good Shepherd pages.

flame
flame
flame
flame
flame
flame
flame

Feeding
of the
5000

I AM
the bread
of life

bread

Healing
of blind
man

I AM
the light of
the world

sunset

3

Healing
by Sheep
Gate

I AM
the door of
the sheep

sheep
left arrow

Entering
when door
locked

I AM
the good
shepherd

Jesus holding lamb
up arrow

Shepherds
given sign

Born like
lamb,
survived
Herod

Wise men
saw light,
found way

Born in
Bethlehem
Ephratah

Angel says
"Fear not"

down arrow

I AM
Don't be
afraid

Walking on
Water

right arrow

Raising
of
Lazarus

I AM
the resur-
rection &
the life

cross

2

Healing
of dying
son

I AM
the way,
the truth, &
the life

road

1

Turning
water into
wine

I AM
the true
vine

grapevine

left arrow
right arrow
left arrow

Bethlehem means
"House of bread"

right arrow

Ephratah means
"Fruitful"

THE FIRST SET OF THREE SIGNS

The first "sign" in the Gospel of John, turning water into wine, is the one that confirms "I am the true vine," which is on the lowest level of the menorah structure, on the right. The second "sign", the healing of the nobleman's dying son, is the one that confirms "I am the way, the truth, and the life," which is on the second lowest level of the menorah structure, on the right. If this pattern were to continue, the next "sign" would be the raising of Lazarus, which confirms "I am the resurrection and the life," since that is the next "I am" statement, proceeding from right to left, or bottom to top; however, this is not what happens. What happens is that the third "sign" unexpectedly "jumps" to the other side, so instead of the raising of Lazarus being the third "sign", the healing of the paralyzed man by the Sheep Gate, which confirms "I am the door of the sheep," is the third "sign". At this point, it seems as if the order of the "signs" is almost random, but it is not. The next three "signs" repeat the pattern of the first three "signs", except that everything is reversed from right to left.


flame
flame
flame
flame
flame
flame
flame

4

Feeding
of the
5000

I AM
the bread
of life

bread

5

Healing
of blind
man

I AM
the light of
the world

sunset

Healing
by Sheep
Gate

I AM
the door of
the sheep

sheep
left arrow

Entering
when door
locked

I AM
the good
shepherd

Jesus holding lamb
up arrow

Shepherds
given sign

Born like
lamb,
survived
Herod

Wise men
saw light,
found way

Born in
Bethlehem
Ephratah

Angel says
"Fear not"

down arrow

I AM
Don't be
afraid

Walking on
Water

right arrow

6

Raising
of
Lazarus

I AM
the resur-
rection &
the life

cross

Healing
of dying
son

I AM
the way,
the truth, &
the life

road

Turning
water into
wine

I AM
the true
vine

grapevine

left arrow
right arrow
left arrow

Bethlehem means
"House of bread"

right arrow

Ephratah means
"Fruitful"

THE SECOND SET OF THREE SIGNS

The fourth "sign", the feeding of the 5000, confirms "I am the bread of life", which, like "I am the true vine," the "I am" statement for the first "sign", is on the lowest level of the menorah structure, but on the far left instead of on the far right. The fifth "sign", the healing of the blind man, confirms "I am the light of the world", which, like "I am the way, the truth, and the life," the "I am" statement for the second "sign", is on the second to the lowest level of the menorah structure, but on the left instead of the right. The sixth "sign", the raising of Lazarus, "jumps" to the other side like the third "sign".


THE SEVENTH SIGN

Why are these six "signs" in this particular order? I believe it's because the switching of the third and sixth "signs" is consistent with the theme of the seventh "sign", Jesus entering the upper room "some other way," thereby switching places with a hypothetical thief, to illustrate the purpose and result of his substitutionary death. This seventh "sign" is right between the third and sixth "signs" in the menorah structure, so just as Judah was surrounded by role switching pairs of siblings in the family tree, the seventh "sign" is surrounded by role switching "signs" in the menorah structure. For a complete explanation of the seventh "sign", see the Good Shepherd page.

It's important to note here that the "original ending" of the Gospel of John, John 20:30, is not likely an original ending of the Gospel at all, but rather, far more likely, an original ending of the "signs" of the Gospel, since it immediately follows the account of Jesus entering the upper room when the door was shut. Therefore, it should be considered to be an identification of Jesus entering the upper room when the door was shut as the seventh and final "sign".


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