John 2:11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.

John 4:54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

Does "signs" means supernatural miracles?

  • Second sign can mean relative to the first one he did in Galilee, unless you would have John to contradict what he said nine verses earlier in verse 45.
    – user21676
    Jul 18 '20 at 11:54

The four Gospels record about 35 miracles of Jesus. However, there are numerous other miracles that are alluded to that are not specifically described, eg, Matthew 4:23, 24; 9:35; 12:15; 14:14, 35, 36; 15:30, 31; Mark 1:32 - 34; 6:5; Luke 4:40; 5:15; 6:17 - 19; 7:21; John 2:23; 3:2; 4:45; 6:2; 20:30; 21:25. This final reference 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.

Thus, we can be confident that there were many more miracles/signs that Jesus performed that are not described in the Gospels.

The Gospel of John specifically lists seven miracles or "signs" before the crucifixion in his Gospel:

  1. Turns water to wine (John 2:1-11)
  2. Heals a Royal official’s son (John 4:43-54)
  3. Heals a disabled man at Bethesda pool (John 5:1-47)
  4. Feeds ~20,000 people (John 6:1-15)
  5. Walks on Water (John 6:16-24)
  6. Heals a blind man (John 9 & 10)
  7. Resurrects Lazarus (John 11:1-57)

The first two in this list are explicitly described as the first and the second sign/miracle of Jesus.

John uses the Greek word, σημεῖον (sémeion) = "sign". BDAG gives two basic meanings for this words, the second of which is: "an event that is an indication or confirmation of intervention by transcendental powers, miracle, portent", eg, Matt 12:38, 16:1, Mark 8:11, John 2:11, 18, 23, 3::2, 4:54, 6:2, 14, 26, 30, 7:31, etc.


The ‘Signs’ were ‘supernatural’. Had to be. Signs were ‘miracles’ that were prophesied. To be a ‘sign’, there had to be a ‘link’ to a prophecy. That is,not ‘just’ a miracle to reflect or demonstrate deity.

John 4:48, NIV: "Unless you people see signs and wonders,' Jesus told him, 'you will never believe.'"

Signs were to announce that ‘he’, Jesus, was the prophesied Messiah, or put another way, verify that ‘he’ was the prophesied Messiah. So yes, the signs were all supernatural miracles. Signs were all ‘happenings’ that only the promised Messiah would be able to ‘perform’.

John 2:11 NIV: “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”

John 2:11 is saying that his disciples recognised this ‘water into wine’ as a prophetic sign. Something the Old Testament (Tanakh) talked about.

Jeremiah 31:12 “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, And they will be radiant over the bounty of the Lord— Over the grain and the new wine and the oil… And they will never languish again.

And elsewhere, example, Psalm 4:6-8. So the answer to your question ... Does "signs" means supernatural miracles? is yes.

  • Can you substantiate your statement To be a ‘sign’, there had to be a ‘link’ to a prophecy.. I am not contradicting it. I am just interested to see if you can support it.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 18 '20 at 13:08
  • Bit difficult in a comment. Nevertheless, an overview - A ‘sign’ is a ‘pointer’. It has to ‘point’ to something, a Messianic sign had to point to Torah. When manifested, that manifestation becomes ‘evidence’. The frequent use of the phrase, ‘by these things you will know’. - it comes down to the sovereignty of Gods word. Even God can’t violate his word. But it’s deeper than that. Nothing will ‘happen’ unless God speaks it. This includes ‘through’ a prophet. Example, the virgin birth couldn’t have happened, unless it was prophesied. Signs are crucial.
    – Dave
    Jul 18 '20 at 20:05

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