(Today’s study on John 2 is sponsored by Stonehill Winery in Hermann and the Missouri Winery Association. Smile! I’m just kidding - ha!) We do rejoice in the first miracle of Jesus! As “they” say, “It’s happy hour somewhere,” so…feel free to pour a glass of WINE in honor of John 2! As St. Paul tells us in I Timothy 5:23 - "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." Yes, that verse is actually in Holy Scripture! Ok, enough fun; it’s time to get serious.
During January 2021 we read through the Gospel of John. Just one chapter a day - 28 chapters - and I will provide points to ponder, additional information, and personal application. Pray God strengthens our faith on this spiritual journey through the sacred Good News of Matthew.
Comments, highlights, and/or insights on JOHN 2:
- John 2:1-11, Jesus performs His first of seven significant signs (or miracles) at a wedding in Cana. These signs are miracles--and more! They have a Divine purpose in John to reveal that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
- Jesus and His Disciples are invited to a wedding at Cana. Cana is a small town still in existence today in the hill country not far from Capernaum which is near the Sea of Galilee (in northern Israel).I’ve had the joy of visiting Cana twice - it is a tourist trap today. You might guess what the souvenir shops specialize in selling - ah yes: WINE!In Spring of 2019 our Immanuel group visited Cana. We witnessed a wedding group in front of the church that commemorates Christ’s first miracle. We also enjoyed a wine taste testing session at a Cana souvenir shop. Janet Rau blessed us by blasting out some “music” on a ram’s horn! (I have the video.)
- Weddings and wedding banquets (aka “receptions”) in the time of Jesus could typically last up to a week. Can you say: “Par-tay?!” A wedding in New Testament times was THE premier social event for the community, a time of joy, and it was an honor to be invited to a wedding. PERSONAL REFLECTION: As you think back to all the wedding receptions you have attended over the years, what is one or two that stands out in your mind? Last year our family attended the wedding at a White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge - which was incredible. I was also privileged to preside at a few beautiful weddings in New Orleans, and let’s just say they know how to have fun in the French Quarter!
- Notice what Jesus’ mother Mary says in John 2:5, The wine had run out, so Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” These words of Mary are marvelous motto for us to follow during 2021 - Do whatever Jesus tells us!
- This is an obvious point, but ponder the fact Jesus has NO permanent earthly home. He is almost always on the move. After He performs the wedding miracle, John 2:12 describes the ongoing movements of Jesus as He travels from Cana down to Capernaum:“After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.”
- Then in one verse (2:13) John jumps and takes us on a journey with Jesus from northern Israel “up to Jerusalem” (which is about 120 miles south of Capernaum).
- In John 2:13-22 Jesus arrives with His disciples in Jerusalem for the Passover (about 30 AD). He discovers the Temple (God’s sacred Sanctuary) has become a consumer market place filled with "money-changers" selling animals for sacrifices. Jesus reacts with Divine zeal by turning over the merchant tables and driving them out of the temple. When the Jews ask Jesus for a sign to justify his authority to cleanse the temple, Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Jesus is referring to the sacred temple of His body thereby giving them a prediction of His death and resurrection they do not understand. In these verses John gives us a preview of the end of his Gospel.
- The Lutheran Study Bible(LSB) comments on the final verses of John 2:23-25 (p.1782 of LSB): In Jerusalem, many come to believe in Jesus, but theirs is a superficial faith based mainly on the miracles they see. The all-knowing Christ calls us to abandon all outward pretense, to repent truly, and to trust Him fully. The Lord Jesus offers Himself in mercy and forgiveness to those who trust in Him. .
+Prayer+ O all-knowing Savior, forgive my secret sins and cover them with Your boundless love. Amen.
- Ponder an interesting connection between John 2 and the crucifixion of Christ in John 19. Toward the end of John’s Gospel we hear again about wine--when Jesus is on the cross. But it is not fine wine, it is sour wine offered to our Savior as a sedative by soldiers to Jesus as He dies for our sins. John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
- The image of a wedding banquet is used often throughout Scripture to give us a picture of the eternal banquet in Heaven. For example, see Matthew 22:1-14 and Revelation 19:6-10.
We now read: John 2 (ESV)
The First Miracle of Jesus at a Wedding at Cana 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus Knows What Is in Man
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
APPLICATION Point and QUESTION: John 2 shows us that Jesus is concerned about and active in the details of our daily lives. Jesus’ first sign and Messianic miracle was to transform water into fine wine for the wedding at Cana. In what wonderful ways do you already see Jesus is providing for you in this New Year?
+ PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for being present with us in all the daily details of our lives. Thank You for Your overflowing blessings. Give us faith to follow Your Word throughout 2021. Amen.
Pastor Scott Schmieding