Learn Why There Are 8 And Not 7 Miracles In John’s Gospel – Yeshuah Boyton

Learn Why There Are 8 And Not 7 Miracles In John’s Gospel

In the background is an open Bible lying on a wooden podium. In the foreground a text says: why there are 8 miracles in the gospel of john

Many sources list seven miracles in the gospel of John, but I disagree with that number count. In this article, I want to answer how many miracles of Jesus are actually recorded in the gospel of John.

I go into more detail about the miracle count in the gospel of John, share why I came up with 8 miracles and not 7, and answer related questions.

How many miracles are in John?

In total, there are eight miracles recorded in the gospel of John. They consist of three healings, five wondrous miracles like Jesus walking on water, and one raising the dead. Some sources don’t include the account of the miraculous catch of fish in John 21:4-11, which leaves them seven miracles.

Obviously, miracle counts might vary depending on what is defined as a miracle and what is not.

Some might take descriptions of an event and come up with natural explanations of how this event could have occurred.

I personally lean towards including all possible miracle accounts in the overall list. Then everyone can make an educated decision for themselves.

Why 8 miracles and not 7?

Yeshuah Boyton sitting on an armchair resting his head on his hand. In front of him is an open Bible on a coffee table. A comic thought bubble says: why though...
This is me enacting the contemplation of the meaning of life.

When you do a quick google search, you’ll find many sites listing only seven miracles in the gospel of John. Even Wikipedia does so. (wikipedia.org)

Some exclude the miraculous catch of fish in the last chapter of John’s gospel (John 21:4-11). (Book: The Miracles of Jesus According to John by Stephen S. Kim)

Some don’t count Jesus walking on water because it is a “private” miracle and not a public sign which reveals Jesus as the messiah. In turn, they’d include Jesus’ resurrection (and leave out the fish). (Source)

They say the catch happened after the resurrection, or they don’t see it as a sign that reveals the messiah.

However, I count both as distinct miracles recorded in the gospel of John. The catch of fish seems a lot like the situation in Luke 5:1-11 (the first miraculous catch of fish). Maybe Jesus led them into this situation to reveal Himself in His resurrected body.

Obviously, this is just speculation. But one thing we do know: They fished all night and didn’t catch anything. In the morning, Jesus tells them to put the net back in, and they make a huge catch.

Either this is a big coincidence how Jesus has to tell experienced fishermen where to fish. Or it is indeed a miracle similar to the one He did before. I let you decide.

Some commentaries (Milne, Maier) also mention the theory that John 21 was added later, and John 20:31 would sound like the official ending of the gospel’s writing. However, they add how the content, the language, and the style are congruent with the rest of the gospel of John. Therefore, chapter 21 is in unity with the canon.

Consider Paul’s letter to the Romans. It also included some sentences that sounded like endings (Romans 15:15; 16:16, 20, 24, 27).

Further, I read the argument online about how eight (8) miracles don’t fit into the number pattern of John’s gospel. The number seven (7) would be too predominant. This is based on the seven I am’s recorded throughout the gospel, and allegedly there were seven names given to Jesus in the first chapter.

Though the latter is false. I found two different lists online that both list seven partly differing names in the first chapter. So, I went through the chapter myself. And I came out with about 11 descriptions for Jesus. Go, do your own research – you’ll see.

It shows what a made-up bogus the whole number interpretation thing is.

Does it matter to God how many miracles He does or how many are recorded in the gospels? No. The number doesn’t matter as much as that they are documented for us. They are a witness to us for Jesus as the son of God, the Christ, our great deliverer. That’s what’s important.

Anywhoosies, I let you be the judge. 

To me, the catch at the end is a miracle. That’s why I count 8 and not only 7. 

I did a little bit more research on Jesus’ miracles which goes beyond the gospel of John. I put together a couple of helpful articles which give you a good overview and might present a practical resource for your Bible study.

This article is just one of ten or so. I list the most relevant articles here:

What kind of miracles are in the gospel of John?

An open Bible lies in front of a laptop on a desk. Next to the laptop is a wooden plaque with Hebrew letters

I sorted all 8 accounts of Jesus’ miracles into four categories: healings, raising the dead, and other wondrous miracles. Obviously, one could assign more groups, but I believe these four give you a good overview.

The accounts are listed out of order but include their Bible reference. If you want to see them all in order, you can use this helpful overview here.

3 healings in the gospel of John:

  1. Jesus heals an official’s son at Capernaum (John 4:46-54)
  2. Jesus heals a man at Bethesda (John 5:1-15)
  3. Jesus heals a man born blind (John 9:1-41)

4 wondrous miracles in the gospel of John:

  1. Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11)
  2. Jesus Feeds 5,000 Plus Women and Children (John 6:1-15)
  3. Jesus walks on water (John 6:16-21)
  4. A miraculous catch of fish (John 21:4-11)

1 raising from the dead

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (John 11:1-45)

What was Jesus’ first miracle?

Jesus raising his hands towards heaven with the sunset in the background
Do you think His first miracle looked this spectacular? 😉

The first miracle of Jesus is recorded in John 2:1-11, in which Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. John documents this as the “beginning of signs Jesus did.” (John 2:11) It is Jesus’ first public miracle as a manifestation and revelation of His divinity.

I find the interaction between Jesus and His mother interesting. Jesus first tells His mom“Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” This clearly indicates how she asked for something outside of God’s timeline.

She probably knew Jesus was in the early stages of His ministry. He already had a small following, and she saw the first disciples accompany Him. She probably knew God would do great things through the Messiah soon.

So, why not have Him help out with the wine a little.

In the end, He does turn the water into wine. Still, this interaction baffles me.

Below is the whole passage:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. – John 2:1-11 NKJV

What was Jesus second miracle?

Jesus reaching out a hand to grab another hand
Jesus reaching out to heal.

The second miracle of Jesus is recorded in John 4:46-54, in which Jesus heals a nobleman’s son at Capernaum. John 4:54 documents it as “the second sign Jesus did.” There the man implores Jesus to come and heal his deadly sick son. Jesus then heals him by merely saying, “Go your way; your son lives.

We know the son was healed as John documents the interaction with the man’s servants one day later. They report how his son became well in the same hour Jesus said, “Your son lives.”

The result was the salvation of the nobleman’s whole household.

This is the passage below:

So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. – John 4:46-54 NKJV

It confirmed what Jesus started out with: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”

This remains true until today. So many people will only believe when they see or feel for themselves. Yet, Jesus also said miracles would be the result of walking in faith and preaching the word. (Mark 16:15-20)

This is and was certainly true for me. I was only saved because I had an intense encounter with God. I experienced Him do the supernatural things we read of in the gospels: people healed, delivered, and set free.

It might be a little off-topic, but you can listen to my whole salvation testimony in this video below.

In this video, I tell the story of how God saved me in a powerful way.

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Yeshuah Boyton

Yeshuah is an author, ordained minister, husband, and father who equips Christians to become fruit-bearing disciples. Because he was miraculously healed from cancer he now shares about healing, deliverance, discipleship, evangelism, and spiritual warfare on this website, on Youtube, on his podcast, and in his newsletter. Like what I share? Say Thank-You, become a supporter, and/or partner with us in prayer. Always remember, every day you live to bear much fruit!

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