Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
John 2:23 
In the King James version the word "miracles" is used as the English translation.  However, the Revised Standard Version uses the word "signs".
The Greek word here is different than other words also translated into the English word "miracles" in the Bible ("teras" and "dunamis").  Teras is a marvelous thing with no particular moral significance.  Dunamis means "power".  It's at the root of the word "dynamite" and refers to a power that effectuates undeniable change.  But the word in this passage is "semeion".  It means an act that reveals something about the character of the person doing the action.
In this passage, John is indicating that Jesus' actions that others observed while he was in Jerusalem manifested to them something about the character and nature of God, with whose will Jesus was in complete harmony.
However, Jesus did not articulate aloud who he was at that time.
   But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
John 2:24-25
He knew the nature of men, how they may misunderstand words or jump to conclusions based on their assumptions when something is articulated.  Declaring his messiahship would have been destructively interpreted by the people in Jerusalem at the time.  So he simply let his actions speak, and those who could truly understand what those miraculous actions signified about his holy character and the power and nature of God learned what they needed to know.
When you read the "signs" manifested in Jesus acts, what do you learn about the nature of a loving and powerful God?
Which made me think....
In temples there are signs mentioned.
Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.  ~Brigham Young (Oration delivered on laying the South-East Cornerstone of the Salt Lake Temple, April 1853, Journal of Discourses 2:31) 
We may see them or memorize or remember those signs, but do we seek to see and understand what they might also teach us about the nature and purpose of our loving and powerful God?

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