North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

John’s miracles

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(graphic by Oniric Mermaid)

Loved this post at One Cosmos. Loved it.

There are only seven miracles described in the Gospel of John, beginning with the transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana, and ending with the raising of Lazarus. The conclusion of John points out that if every miracle attributable to Christ were to be recorded, “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.'” Therefore, [Valentin] Tomberg suggests that the seven miracles of John are intended to be “archetypal,” or to summarize certain categories of the miraculous — of how humans, unlike any other beings in existence, may surpass themselves in love, wisdom, and action.

Might there also be an implicit parallel between these seven miracles and the seven primordial acts of God described in Genesis 1-2?… Tomberg feels that there is an inverse relationship between the seven phases of creation in Genesis and the seven miracles of John. Thus, for example, the wedding at Cana somehow mirrors the seventh day of creation.

The renewal of love is indeed a miracle, even though we rarely think about it in those terms. To put it another way, only love can renew the world, one’s being, and one’s wedding vows. At the wedding, Jesus not only transforms water into wine, but the second wine is even better than the first. In other words, not only does love not degenerate, but it is miraculously renewed and increased; as such, this miracle is the “sign” of the healing of marriage — i.e., “healing in the service of restoring the marriage relationship to correspond to the divine cosmic archetype, which is the seventh day of creation.”

Is it important that John 2:1 says that the wedding took place “on the third day?” Why is that seemingly random fact inserted at the outset? And when they run out of wine, it is specifically Jesus’ mother who brings this message to her son. Interestingly, Jesus says something very strange, in that he immediately interprets Mary’s news about the wine in symbolic terms, asking her, “what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

Thus — I am hardly a Biblical scholar, so I don’t know if I’m pointing out the obvious here — the wedding on the third day clearly has resonance with the entire mission of Jesus, in which he will restore the marriage between God and man.

And again, strikingly, there are exactly six waterpots, apparently referencing the other six days of creation and the other six miracles.

The third day, according to the Genesis story, was the day that the earth and the waters were separated, and seed bearing plants sprouted up. It’s quite an image of separate things coming together in symphony (and sympathy).

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Written by Curt

March 14, 2007 at 7:22 pm

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