Jesus Comes to a Wedding
1Now on the third day, # 2:1 This was a Tuesday as counted by the Hebrew week beginning on Sunday. The “third day” was chosen as the wedding day in ancient Judaism because it is only on the third day of creation that God said “It was good” twice (see Gen. 1:10, 12). Thus, the Jews considered the day twice blessed. Tuesdays were ideal for Jewish weddings, for that gave the guests time to get there after the Sabbath and remain for the multiple days of the wedding feast. The third day is also a picture of the day of resurrection glory, the day Jesus rose from the dead. This miracle is a revelation of moving from death to resurrection life, water to wine. Jesus’ mother went to a wedding feast in the Galilean village of Cana. # 2:1 Cana means “land of reeds,” which points to the weak and fragile nature of man. See Isa. 42:3; Matt. 11:7; 12:20. 2-3Jesus and his disciples were all invited to the banquet, # 2:2–3 This wedding likely involved someone of Jesus’ family since Mary and all his disciples were also in attendance. A Near Eastern wedding would often last between three and seven days. but with so many guests, they ran out of wine. # 2:2–3 Interpreting Mary’s words for today we could say, “Religion has failed, it has run out of wine.” The traditions of religion cannot gladden the heart, but Jesus can (Ps. 104:15). Moses (the law) turned water into blood, but Jesus (grace) turned water into wine. And when Mary realized it, she came to Jesus and asked, “They have no wine; can’t you do something about it?” # 2:2–3 This is a dilemma that Mary is hoping Jesus will solve by performing a miracle. Mary had no doubt about the power and anointing of her Son. Running out of wine is a picture of how the joy of this world runs out and fades away.
4Jesus replied, “My dear one, don’t you understand that if I do this, it will change nothing for you, but it will change everything for me! # 2:4 Or literally “Woman, what is that for you and for me?” This is an Aramaic idiom meaning, “What do we have in common if I do this?” For Mary, it would change very little, but for Jesus, this would be his first public miracle and would dramatically change his ministry from that moment on because the crowds would see the power that he possessed. Jesus knew his miracle ministry would “come out of hiding” by performing a miracle. Yet with Mary’s encouragement, Jesus proceeded to do just that. My hour of unveiling my power has not yet come.”
5Mary then went to the servers and told them, “Whatever Jesus tells you, do it!”
6Nearby stood six stone water pots # 2:6 Six is the number for man, for man was made on the sixth day. These six stone jars could represent man’s method of helping others. It is nothing but water. But Jesus changes the water of the Word of God into the wine of the Spirit. True spiritual life can fill our vessel as we bring joy to the world. The fruit of the Spirit includes joy, and there is no limit to the joy available for the child of God. See Gal. 5:22–23. meant to be used for the Jewish washing rituals. # 2:6 This was an outward purification (baptism) for worshipers coming into a synagogue. Each one could hold about twenty gallons or more. 7Jesus came to the servers and instructed them, “Fill the pots with water, right up to the very brim.” 8Then he said, “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the master of ceremonies.”
9And when they poured out their pitchers for the master of ceremonies to sample, the water had become wine! When he tasted the water that had become wine, the master of ceremonies was impressed with its quality. (Although he didn’t know where the wine had come from, only the servers knew.) He called the bridegroom over 10and said to him, “Every host serves his best wine first, until everyone has had a cup or two, then he serves the cheaper wine. But you, my friend, you’ve reserved the most exquisite wine until now!” # 2:10 Jesus delights in your joy more than you know. He does not withhold joy from his people. He created between 120 and 150 gallons of the very best wine for a wedding feast! This was one of five miracles that are unique to John’s Gospel. The other four are: healing the rich man’s son (John 4), healing the crippled man at Bethesda (John 5), healing the blind man (John 9), and raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11).
11This miracle in Cana was the first of the many extraordinary miracles Jesus performed in Galilee that revealed his glory, # 2:11 Chapters 2–12 could rightly be called “The Book of Signs,” and chs. 13–21 “The Book of Glories.” and his disciples believed in him. # 2:11 Or “The disciples made known his glory and believed in him.”
Jesus at the Temple
12After the wedding, Jesus, his mother and brothers, and his disciples traveled to Capernaum # 2:12 Capernaum means “the village of Nahum” which in turn means “the village of the comforted.” Jesus did many miracles and made his Galilean base of ministry in “the village of the comforted.” and stayed there for a few days. 13When the time was close for the Jewish Passover to begin, Jesus walked to Jerusalem. # 2:13 From Capernaum to Jerusalem was a journey of nearly one hundred miles. 14As he went into the temple courtyard, he noticed it was filled with merchants selling oxen, lambs, and doves for exorbitant prices, while others were overcharging as they exchanged currency # 2:14 These money changers would exchange Roman currency into Jewish currency to pay the temple tax. The leadership of the temple considered the Roman currency to be unclean, so the money changers had a captive audience. behind their counters. 15So Jesus found some cords and made them into a whip. Then he drove out every one of them and their animals from the courtyard of the temple, and he kicked over their tables filled with money, scattering it everywhere! # 2:15 Jesus came to sacrifice his life, which would end animal sacrifices and the financial tyranny of religion. 16And he told the merchants, # 2:16 Or “the dove dealers.” “Get these things out of here! Don’t you dare commercialize my Father’s house!” 17That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture: “I am consumed with a fiery passion to keep your house pure!” # 2:17 See Ps. 69:9.
18Then the Jewish religious leaders challenged Jesus, “What authority do you have to do this sort of thing and what supernatural sign will you show us to prove it?”
19Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, # 2:19 Or “sanctuary.” and I will raise it up again in three days.”
20Then the Jewish leaders sneered at Jesus’ answer, “This temple took forty-six years # 2:20 Our bodies (temples) have forty-six chromosomes in every cell. to build, and you mean to tell us that you will raise it up in three days?” 21But they failed to understand that Jesus was speaking of the “temple” of his body. # 2:21 Resurrection power would be the sign of his supreme authority. Jesus’ death and resurrection effectively dismantled the need for the temple, for now his powerful gospel of the kingdom realm has built us into a holy temple not made with hands. See Mark 14:58; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19. Jesus’ symbolic form of speaking was so different than the teachings of the Pharisees, as it is to the understanding of many Christians today. The God who was once worshiped by animal sacrifices is now to be worshiped in spirit and truth, and every believer serves as a priest. 22The disciples remembered his prophecy after Jesus rose from the dead, and believed both the Scripture and what Jesus had said.
23While Jesus was at the Passover Feast, the number of his followers began to grow, and many gave their allegiance to him because of all the miraculous signs they had seen him doing! 24But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. 25He needed no one to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing.