John’s gospel was written with a very specific purpose in mind: “… so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” [John 20:31].
So, the selection of material that John reports seems to me to be an odd choice in achieving that purpose. We know from John’s own words – and from the other gospels – that Jesus was a miracle-worker without peer.
John himself wrote in the very last verse “… there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
So why would he choose to report only seven miracles? And why would the first two miracles that he reports be ones performed out of sight of all but a tiny handful of people?
Every culture has its celebrities – those who stand above the crowd for their abilities and success in their chosen field. They attract attention wherever they go, command respect, and often receive adoration bordering on worship.
In the movie world, there are any number of stars and directors who we would pay to see, and pay even more to have a photo taken with them. Tom Cruise, Marilyn Monroe, Quentin Tarantino, Clark Gable, Rose Byrne… the list goes on.
Music, Art, Business, Sport – you name it, there will be celebrities for us to follow and to hang off their every word as if they spoke as gods.
It’s nothing new. The adoration of celebrities seems to be built into our human nature.
Even Christian culture is not immune to a fascination with celebrities. There are plenty of Christian musicians who qualify as celebrities – at least, in Christian circles they do.