The 7 Short Stories in John: Introduction

The Gospel of John features 7 short stories that offer a sampling of the miracles Jesus performed during his time of public ministry. At the end of the Gospel, John explained that he recorded these “signs” so that his readers would come to “believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing [they] may have life in his name” (John 20:31b). 

Image credit: “Mrs. Lecroy’s Online Classroom.”

I call these vignettes “short stories” because each passage contains all of the elements of a short story plot, according to the standards of literature today. That is, each short story includes an opening, the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

There is also an element of conflict present in each of the stories. The writer, Dave Hood, says, “Without plot, the writer has not crafted a short story.”[1] In addition to supporting the purpose of his overall narrative (for readers to believe in Jesus) these short stories also show off the skill of John, as a writer inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I have put together an outline of each of the plot lines for the signs John records in his gospel and I will be posting one each day for the next seven days. I hope these outlines help you in your study of scripture, build your faith in Jesus, and aid your teaching of these stories to others.


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