By: Steve Shirley
Let's begin by reading (Jn 2:1-12).
What stands out to you in these verses?
As we see in (verse 11), this was the first miracle that Jesus performed.
(Verse 1) "And the third day" This wedding took place three days after Jesus chose Philip and Nathanael as his disciples (Jn 1:43-51). (Jn 21:2) tells us that Cana was the home town of Nathanael.
(Verse 2) It seems clear that Jesus, His mother, and His disciples (5 at this time: Peter, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael, and the unnamed disciple of John 1:35 [likely John]), were friends or relatives of one of the two getting married.
(Verses 3-5) Three questions come about in these verses:
1. Mary says to Jesus, "they have no wine." Why did she say this to Jesus, and what did she expect Him to do about it?
2. Why did Jesus call Mary "Woman?" Doesn't this seem rude?
3. "Mine hour has not yet come." What did Jesus mean by this?
(Verse 4) "what have I to do with thee?" My Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald says this: "Williams points out the following: The expression "what does your concern have to do with me" occurs several times in the Bible. It means, "what have we in common?" The answer is "Nothing." David uses it twice with respect to his cousins, the sons of Zeruiah. How impossible it was for them to have anything in common with him in the spiritual life! Elisha uses in in 2 Kings 3 to express how deep was the gulf between him and Jehoram the son of Ahab. Three times the demons, by using the same expression, reveal how Satan has nothing in common with Christ, or Christ with Satan. And lastly the Lord used it to the Virgin Mary to show how impassible is the gulf between His sinless Deity and her sinful humanity, and that only One Voice had authority for His ear.
***Note: (Verse 5) "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." These are the last recorded words of Mary in the Bible.
(Verse 6) "six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews" Let's look at (Mk 7:1-9) for a little deeper understanding on this.
***Note: Interesting parallel! The first miracle of Moses was to turn water into blood (Ex 7:14-25). The first miracle of Jesus was to turn water into wine.
(Verse 11) "This beginning of miracles" This was the first miracle that Jesus performed. This clearly rules out the teaching of some churches, that Jesus performed miracles as a child.
(Verse 11) "miracles.... manifested forth His glory" The primary purpose of miracles in the Bible was to confirm that people were sent from God. Jesus said in a number of places that His miracles were done to confirm that He was from God (Jn 3:2)(Jn 5:36)(Mk 2:10-12), and so that people would believe in Him (Jn 10:37-38)(Jn 20:30-31)(Mt 11:2-6). (Other places showing this: Acts 2:22, Heb 2:3-4).
In addition, miracles confirmed that the revelation God's representatives were giving was from Him. Because these were the primary reasons for miracles in the Bible, are there still miracles today? If so, what would be the reason for them?
Now, let's read (verses 13-17). The heading my Bible has for this section is: "The cleansing of the Temple."
(Verse 13) "the Passover of the Jews was at hand" What the Passover? This was instituted in Exodus Chapter 12.
***Note: This was the first of 3 Passovers mention in the book of John: (Jn 2:13)(Jn 6:4)(Jn 11:55). The first one as Jesus started His ministry, last one right before Jesus' death. This is evidence that the earthly ministry of Jesus lasted for about 3 years.
(Verse 14-16) Let me quote from the John MacArthur Study Bible to explain what is going on here: "During the celebration of Passover, worshipers came from all over Israel and the Roman Empire to Jerusalem. Because many traveled large distances, it was inconvenient to bring their sacrificial animals with them. Opportunistic merchants, seeing a chance to provide a service and probably eyeing considerable profit during this time, set up areas in the outer courts of the temple in order for travelers to buy animals. The money changers were needed because the temple tax, paid annually by every conscientious Jewish male 20 years of age or older..., had to be Jewish or Tyrian coinage (because of its high purity of silver). Those coming from foreign lands would need to exchange their money into the proper coinage for the tax. The money changers charged a high fee for the exchange. With such a large group of travelers and because of the seasonal nature of the celebration, both the animal dealers and money exchangers exploited the situation for monetary gain ("den of thieves"; Mt 21:13). Religion had become crass and materialistic.
(Verse 16) "My Father's house" One of the first statements of Jesus which alluded to His deity. Let's turn to (Jn 5:17-18) for more clarity on this.
(Verse 17) "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." This was an Old Testament prophecy, taken from (Ps 69:9), which pointed to Jesus. The disciples "remembered" this after Jesus' took His action.
Jesus clearly got angry here. But, the Bible says in several places that being "angry" is a sin (Mt 5:22)(Col 3:8)(2 Cor 12:20). Yet, Jesus was sinless (2 Cor 5:21)(Heb 4:15)(1 Jn 3:5). How do we explain the "anger" of Jesus here?
***Note: Jesus cleansed the Temple a second time near the end of His ministry: (Mt 21:12-17)(Mk 11:15-19)(Lk 19:45-48).
Finally, let's read (verses 18-25)(verses from NASB).
(Verse 18) "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" The Jews (likely the leaders of the Temple) demanded a sign to show that Jesus had the authority to do what He had just done.
(Verse 19) The reply of Jesus was: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." If you were one of the Jewish leaders, how would you have reacted to this statement? Probably in the same way they did in verse 20.
(Verse 20) "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
(Verse 21) However, John (writing this Gospel many years later: after the fact) explains what Jesus was saying here: "But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
(Verse 22) "So when He (Jesus) was raised from
the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this"
"and they believed the Scripture" (The Old Testament prophecies of Jesus resurrection.)
Clarifying verses 19-22 a little further, Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and arose from the dead on Sunday. In other words, Jesus was saying that after He was murdered on Friday, He would raise His body from the dead on Sunday, the third day.
***Small rabbit trail: So, who raised Jesus from the dead?
(Jn 2:19) Jesus
(Rom 8:11) Holy Spirit
(Gal 1:1) Father
(Rom 10:9) God
This points us to a triune God! Proof of the Trinity!
***Note: At the time of Jesus' crucifixion, the Jewish leaders used (verse 20) against Jesus to condemn Him (see: Mt 26:60-63, Mk 14:57-61). Mockers also repeated it to Him while He was on the cross (see: Mt 27:39-40, Mk 15:29-30).
(Verse 23) Again, showing what we said above, the "miracles" of Jesus were given so that people would "believe" in Jesus.
However, when (verse 23) is taken in context with (verses 24-25), what do you see? Why did Jesus "not commit Himself unto them?"