New Testament Lesson
The “beginning of miracles” was Jesus changing water to wine, symbolizing the change of heart that occurs as we are born again and become his disciples.
Excerpt from “The Fourth Gospel and Expectations of the Jewish Messiah,” by Joshua M. Matson, in Thou Art the Christ, the Son of the Living God ,ed. Eric D. Huntsman, Lincoln H. Blumell, and Tyler J. Griffin
“The Samaritan expectations of the Messiah differed from those of the Jews of that period. While the Jews emphasized the words of the Hebrew Bible, the Samaritans relied heavily upon oral traditions. Unfortunately, records about the messianic expectations of the Samaritans are reliant upon records that postdate the Second Temple period by nearly two hundred years. According to these traditions, Samaritans expected the coming of a figure named Taheb, a descendant of Jacob and a great prophet-teacher, who would come from the east to Mount Gerizim. To prove his messiahship, he would show the staff of Aaron, produce manna, bring the holy tabernacle back to its residence on Mount Gerizim, and aid in making the Hebrew language universal. Eventually, he would die and be buried with Joseph the son of Jacob.
“Allusions to the traditions of Taheb are preserved in the dialogue between the Samaritan woman and Jesus in John 4. However, like those in the temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritan woman followed the expression of her understanding of the coming messiah with a listening ear that allowed Jesus to expand her knowledge. It was through this exchange that the woman was truly converted to say, “Come, see a man . . . is not this the Christ” (John 4:29). By choosing to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Samaritan woman received a personal witness and shared it with friends and neighbors (John 4:29). The Fourth Gospel does not attempt to overdramatize the event but shows that while the Samaritan woman and Jesus disagreed at the beginning of their conversation, through an encounter with the Christ, her expectations for the Messiah were changed by belief.”
See “The Woman at the Well”, a painting by Jorge Cocco Santángelo. (used by BYU Studies with permission)
"Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost," William S. Bradshaw, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
This short entry defines what it means to be baptized with fire: "The baptism of fire, ministered by the Holy Ghost, is manifested through a set of personal sensations, impressions, and insights that constitute a spiritual witness from deity that one has received a remission of sins (2 Ne. 31:17)." It adds references to early Christian practice: "The ordinance of conferring the Holy Ghost initiated early Christian converts into the Church (Acts 8:12-17; 3 Ne. 18; Moro. 2-3; 6)."
"Miracles," Paul C. Hedengren, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
This entry defines a miracle as a "beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand and of themselves cannot duplicate." It explains that miracles are beneficial for personal growth, but they usually happen after faith is established.
Chart 7-8: "Miracles of Jesus," Charting the New Testament
This chart lists forty-two of the miracles that Jesus performed, along with their scriptural references in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The chart shows that Jesus was a man of deeds as well as a man of words.
"Miracles of Jesus in the Gospel of John," Blair G. Van Dyke, Religious Educator, Volume 9, no. 3
This article discusses the seven miracles of Jesus that are recorded in chapters 2-11 of the book of John. Author Blair Van Dyke writes, "Since John’s Gospel is generally understood to have been directed toward an audience that already believed that Jesus is the Christ, we may reasonably conclude that the purpose of these seven miracles...is to deepen faith in Christ." Through this article, readers may gain a deeper understanding of how sharply the Gospel of John is focused on Christ.
The Miracles of Jesus, Eric D. Huntsman, Deseret Book, 2014
The miracles of Jesus are more than individual blessings; author Eric Huntsman asserts that they are also symbols of Jesus and his atonement. Using textual analysis, paintings, music, and photographs, Huntsman illuminates the deeper meaning behind the miracles and suggests personal application. Eric Huntsman is affiliated with the BYU New Testament Commentary and BYU Studies.