Liam reminds us that John's Gospel is somewhat different from first three gospels, known as the synoptic gospels, largely because of the way in which John records the material he has in mind. The other three tell us their stories and impressions of Jesus. John is more theological in what he tells us about Jesus. He selects from the incidents that have occurred a number of significant events to record. What John has noticed is that very often either preceeding or proceeding a specific, important event there is a block of Jesus' teaching that prepares us for or explicates it.
John uses or describes several signs, and his concern is what these signs tell us about who Jesus is. On this particular occasion we find Jesus going up to another feast. This is the second of three trips he makes to Jerusalem. Where this incident takes place is not a sophisticated location: the sheep gate. Likely this is the spot where sheep were washed before slaughter at the Temple. Jesus is intentional about going there. At this gate there lay a multitude of invalids. He goes publicly, personally, and works particularly with one individual who had been an invalid for 38 years. In this passage John lays out for us the:
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