John 2

The wedding at Cana, Temple cleansed, Belief because of miracles
Text Comments
 1 ¶ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
 2  And both Jesus was called [invited], and his disciples, to the marriage.
.3  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.


   1 - Third day We would say "the second day after. . . ." They counted beginning and ending days. Here it is the second day after the incident of jn0143. It is not related to His time in the heart of the earth. In fact the other three gospel writers mention it but not John. See Luke lu2253.
   2 - Called The example of our Lord indicates His blessing on social gatherings. The idea of a "party" often means pride, lavish expenditures, and intoxication with alcohol. These He would not have condoned.
   The institution of marriage and the gathering for the ceremony was also blessed by the Saviour. The marriage covenant needs to be witnessed by those the couple knows.
   1 - Cana See Galilee map under title (west).
   3 - Wanted wine That is, the wine was wanting or lacking. The word for wine oinos in Jesus' time, meant grape juice, fermented or unfermented re1408g. God made all things very good ge0131. Jesus would not here create fermented wine which the Scriptures warned against pr2001 and which would become a symbol of His blood 1co1125. Also the fermentation process of yeast was used as a symbol of false doctrine mt1611f., re1408.
   Aristotle recognized two meanings for oinos. He recommended grape juice (glukus) because "though called wine (oinos) ... [it] does not have the effect of wine ... and does not intoxicate like ordinary wine." (Airstotle, Meterologica 387.b.9-13.) He lived 384-322 BC.
   An ancient Roman writing described wine as best when fermentation was removed by boiling or straining. The Mishna (book of Jewish traditions) is against alcohol at weddings. The absence of complaint about this strengthens our idea that this was pure juice.
   Running out of wine before the end of the feast time certainly was embarrassing.
.4  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

   What have I to do with thee? Literally, "What to you and to me?" It was apparently a courteous, oriental expression a way of saying, "Please excuse me." Compare jg1112, 2sa1610, 1ki1718, 2ki0313, mt0829, mr0124, lu0828.
  My time has not yet come. From His visit to the temple at the age of 12, He was able to see His mission. Then He had told His parents, "I must be about My Father's business." (Luke 2:49). Mary was not the one to whom He was responsible here and His statement clarified this. Miracles were not to be the basis of bringing souls to harmony with Heaven. His ministry may have been better if Mary's expectations had not been thus expressed. At the same time, He would be courteous and save the situation. The last three verses in the chapter help us understand the effect of the miracles v23. Also see on mt1246ff.
  Mine hour From jn0706ff, jn0730, jn0820, you can see what His "hour" was.
   The interesting illustration apparently came from a picture painted on ceramic tiles which were then fired and assembled. You can see color variances from tile to tile. Also, with apologies to the progeny of the original artist, I removed halos from the heads of Jesus and Mary, and I brightened the colors from the original photo (from a Correl collection). tw.
.5  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
.6  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
  5 -Whatsoever he saith The simple command of Mary is a good lesson for us and our children. In the light of Jesus' courteous explanation in verse 4, however, she was having a hard time realizing her role. And the developing Christian church, wanting to follow the custom of the other religions which had female gods, tended early to place Mary in a special role contrary to what is explained about her in the Scriptures.
  6 - Of stone ... purifying For ceremonial washing before eating. See mr0701ff.
  6 - Manner ... of the Jews John was apparently addressing non-Jews or a universal readership.
 7  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
 8  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
  7 - Jesus said We should also note that miracles are not for proof of doctrine re1313a and, that this was a real miracle. Some let their feelings run their lives including their worship. Others take the opposite approach and deny the divinity of Christ trying to figure out some scientific explanation. They make the Master of the laws of science to be their servant.
  7 - Fill the waterpots This was the human part. Also 2ki0402, mt1534.
  7 - To the brim No room to add grape juice concentrate.
 9  When the ruler [governor] of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
 10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
 10 ... and when all have had enough he puts out what is not so good. (BBE)
 11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

  9 - But the servants knew God does not reserve His greatness for the high class of society.
  10 - Well drunk "the [Greek] word ... cannot be shown to mean intoxication; but it may mean when they had drunk as much as they judged proper or as they desired...." (Albert Barnes' NT Commentary). In the Roman society of NT times, "Plutarch points out that wine is 'much more pleasant to drink' when it 'neither inflames the brain nor infests the mind or passions' because its strength has been removed through frequent filtering." (Jan. 13, 2004 email newsletter from Samuele Bacchiocchi quoting from Plutarch, Symposiac 8, 7.) Thus we have no reason to see the "good wine" Jesus made as anything but pure grape juice. In modern English "drunk" implies intoxiction. This was not so when the King James authorized version Scriptures were translated into English. We use this KJV version in the left column unless otherwise noted. Also see on 1ti0303.
  10 - Kept the best He apparently still didn't know the source of the great wine v9.
  11 - Beginning of miracles Notice one of the outcomes. The next recorded miracle was again in Cana about a year later jn0446.
12 ¶ After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
.13  And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
 14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
  12 - After this Greek meta tuto. John used the term to indicate sequence without specifying what time may have passed. Se the north edge of the map for "Capernaum."
  12 - His brethren See mt1246.
  13 - Passover ex1203ff, le2305, de1601f.
  14 - Found in the temple Jesus first act of national significance, AD 28. "Temple" is from hieron which means the temple courts and outlying buildings. Christ clarified His role as Lord of the temple ezr0310, mal0301.

.15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
.16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.


  15 - Scourge or "whip." One man with a rope whip would not have been able to interrupt the activities and clear the temple court. We may see the whip as a symbol of authority, not as a weapon to hurt people physically. Jesus was not angry. The wicked leaders fled from the presence of divine judgment jn0320.
  16 - My father's house It was the dwelling place of God ex2508. The Jews did not like this assertion of His divinity jn0517. It was also Christ's house mt2113. When He finally left it He described it to the Jewish leaders as "your house" mt2338.
  16 - House of merchandise Or marketplace. Our places of worship must be considered houses of prayer where we resist common thoughts and words. jn0423f, ps09609.
.17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
 18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
.19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
 20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
.21  But he spake of the temple of his body.
 22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
   17 - Written In ps06909
   18 - This was a sign which certainly brought conviction when he arose from the tomb. Those who wish to doubt may do so in spite of the clearest evidence. The Jews were jealous of their power and wanted to prove that He had no authority over the temple area. For the word, "Jews," see on jn0119.
   19 - Destroy this temple John explains in verse 21. This helps us understand how the sanctuary in da0813 represented Christ and His ministry. The sanctuary is a term for the temple or, in the wilderness, the tabernacle. It reveals holiness and the process of making holy.
  22 - Scripture Perhaps ps01610 or all of the OT.
.23 ¶ Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
 24  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
.25  And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
  23 - Many believed Belief not to be based on miracles re1313so.
  24 - Did not commit himself He guarded against premature close relationships.
  25 - Needed not He did not need to be told. He could read their hearts as He would read the heart of Nicodemus in the next chapter.
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