The book of John - Proving that Jesus is the Son of God (Part 2)

John 2 (New King James Version) Water Turned to Wine

2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.

6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and [a]manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers [b]doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house [c]has eaten Me up.”

18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 Then the Jews 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 of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this [d]to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

The Discerner of Hearts

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.


John 2 (New International Version)

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[c]

18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[d] 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.


John 2 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited with His disciples to the wedding. 3 And when the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no more wine! 4 Jesus said to her, [[a]Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? [What do we have in common? Leave it to Me.] My time (hour to act) has not yet come. 5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it. 6 Now there were six waterpots of stone standing there, as the Jewish custom of purification (ceremonial washing) demanded, holding twenty to thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim. 8 Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some. 9 And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew—he called the bridegroom 10 And said to him, Everyone else serves his best wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then he serves that which is not so good; but you have kept back the good wine until now! 11 This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonderworks), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him]. 12 After that He went down to Capernaum with His mother and brothers and disciples, and they stayed there only a few days. 13 Now the Passover of the Jews was approaching, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 There He found in the temple [[b]enclosure] those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there [also at their stands]. 15 And having made a lash (a whip) of cords, He drove them all out of the temple [[c]enclosure]—both the sheep and the oxen—spilling and scattering the brokers’ money and upsetting and tossing around their trays (their stands). 16 Then to those who sold the doves He said, Take these things away (out of here)! Make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise (a marketplace, a sales shop)! 17 And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.] 18 Then the Jews retorted, What sign can [d]You show us, seeing You do these things? [What sign, miracle, token, indication can You give us as evidence that You have authority and are commissioned to act in this way?] 19 Jesus answered them, Destroy (undo) this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again. 20 Then the Jews replied, It took forty-six years to build this temple (sanctuary), and will You raise it up in three days? 21 But He had spoken of the temple which was His body. 22 When therefore He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this. And so they believed and trusted and relied on the Scripture and the word (message) Jesus had spoken. 23 But when He was in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, many believed in His name [identified themselves with His party] after seeing His signs (wonders, miracles) which He was doing. 24 But Jesus [for His part] did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all [men]; 25 And He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]


Side Notes


2:1,2 Jesus was on a mission to save the world, the greatest mission in the history of mankind. Yet He took time to attend a wedding and take part in it's festivities. We may be tempted to think we should not take time out from our "important" work for social occasions, but maybe these social occasions are part of our mission. Jesus valued these wedding festivities because they involved people, and Jesus came to be with people. Our mission can often be accomplished in joyous times of celebration with others. Bring balance to your life by bringing Jesus into times of pleasure as well as times of work.


2:1-3 Weddings in Jesus' day were weeklong festivals. Banquets would be prepared for many guests, and the week would be spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Often the whole town was invited, and everybody would come - it was considered an insult to refuse an invitation to a wedding. To accommodate many people, careful planning was needed. To run out of wine was more than embarrassing; it broke the strong unwritten laws of hospitality. Jesus was about to respond to a heartfelt need.


2:4 Mary was probably not asking Jesus to do a miracle; she was simply hoping that her son would help solve this major problem and find some wine. Tradition says that Joseph, Mary's husband, was dead, so she probably was used to asking for her son's help in certain situations. Jesus' answer to Mary is difficult to understand, but maybe that is the point. Although Mary did not understand what Jesus was going to do, she trusted Him to do what was right. Those who believe in Jesus but run into situations they cannot understand must continue to trust that He will work in the best way.


2:5 Mary submitted to Jesus' way of doing things. She recognized that Jesus was more than her human son - He was the Son of God. When we bring our problems to Christ, we may think we know how He should take care of them, but He may have a completely different plan. Like Mary, we should submit and allow Him to deal with the problem as he sees best.


2:6 The six stone water jars were normally used for ceremonial washing. When full, the pots would hold 20 to 30 gallons. According to the Jews' ceremonial law, people became symbolically unclean by touching objects of everyday life. Before eating, the Jews would pour water over their hands to cleanse themselves of any bad influences associated with what they had touched.


2:10 People look everywhere but to God for excitement and meaning. For some reason, they expect God to be dull and lifeless. Just as the wine Jesus made was the best, so life in Him is better than life on our own. Why wait until everything else runs out before trying God? Why save the best until last?


2:11 When the disciples saw Jesus' miracle, they believed. The miracle showed His power over nature and revealed the way He would go about His ministry - helping others, speaking with authority, and being in personal touch with people.

Miracles are not merely superhuman events, but events that demonstrate God's power. Almost every miracle Jesus did was a renewal of fallen creation - restoring sight, making the lame walk, even restoring life to the dead. Believe in Christ not because He is a superman but because he is the God who continues His creation, even in those of us who are poor, weak, crippled, orphaned, blind, deaf, or with some other desperate need.


2:12 Capernaum became Jesus' home base during His ministry in Galilee. Located on a major trade route, it was an important city in the region, with a Roman garrison and a customs station. At Capernaum, Matthew was called to be a disciple (Matthew 4:13-19) and a high-ranking government official (4:46) . It had at least one major synagogue.

Although Jesus made this city His base of operations in Galilee, He condemned it for the people's unbelief (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).


2:13 The Passover celebration took place yearly at the temple in Jerusalem. Every Jewish male was expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during this time (Deuteronomy 16:16). This was a weeklong festival - the Passover was one day, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted the rest of the week. The entire week commemorated the freeing of the Jews from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-13).

Jerusalem was both the religious and the political seat of Palestine, and the place where the Messiah was expected to arrive. The temple was located there, and many Jewish families from all over the world would travel to Jerusalem during key feasts. The temple was on an imposing site, a hill overlooking the city. Solomon had built the first temple on this same site almost 1,000 years earlier (959 B.C.), but his temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C., and Herod the Great had enlarged and remodeled it.


2:14 The temple was always crowded during Passover with thousands of out-of-town visitors. The religious leaders crowded it even further by allowing money changers and merchants to set up booths in the court of the Gentiles. They rationalized this practice as a convenience for the worshipers and as a way to make money for the temple upkeep. But the religious leaders did not seem to care that the court of the Gentiles was so full of merchants that foreigners found it difficult to worship. And worship was the main purpose for visiting the temple. No wonder Jesus was so angry!

The temple tax had to be paid in local currency, so foreigners had to have their money changed. But the money changers often charged exorbitant exchange rates. The people also were required to make sacrifices for sins. Because of the long journey, many could not bring their own animals. Some who brought animals had them rejected for imperfections. Some animal merchants conducted a flourishing business in the temple courtyard. The price of sacrificial animals was much higher in the temple area than elsewhere. Jesus was angry at the dishonest, greedy practices of the money changers and merchants, and He particular disliked their presence on the temple grounds. They were making a mockery of God's house of worship.


2:14ff John records this first clearing, or cleansing, of the temple. A second clearing occurred at the end of Jesu' ministry, about three years later, and that event is recorded in Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48.


2:14-16 God's temple was being misused by people who had turned it into a marketplace. They had forgotten, or didn't care, that God's house is a place of worship, not a place for making profit. Our attitude toward the church is wrong if we see it as a place of personal contacts or business advantage. Make sure you attend church to worship God.


2:15,16 Jesus was obviously angry at the merchants who exploited those who had come to God's house to worship. There is a difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation - yet both are called anger. We must be very carful how we use the powerful emotion of anger. It is right to be angry about injustice and sin; it is wrong to be angry over trivial personal offences.

Jesus made a whip and chased out the money changers. Does His example permit us to use violence against wrongdoers? Certain authority is granted to some, but not to all. For example; the authority to use weapons and restrain people is granted to police officers, but not to the general public. The authority to imprison people is granted to judges, but not to individual citizens. Jesus had God's authority, something we cannot have. While we want to live like Christ, we should never try to claim His authority where it has not been given to us.


2:17 Jesus took the evil acts in the temple as an insult against God, and thus he did not deal with them halfheartedly. he was consumed with righteous anger against such flagrant disrespect for God.


2:19, 20 The Jews understood Jesus to mean the temple out of which He had just driven the merchants and money changers. This was the temple Zerubabbel had built over 500 years earlier, but Herod the Great had begun remodeling it, making it much larger and far more beautiful. It had been 46 years since this remodeling had started (20 B.C.), and still wasn't completely finished. They understood Jesus' words to mean that this imposing building could be torn down and rebuilt in three days, and they were startled.


2:21, 22 Jesus was not talking about the temple made of stones, but about His body. His listeners didn't realize it, but Jesus was greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6). His words would take on meaning for His disciples after His resurrection. That Christ so perfectly fulfilled this prediction became the strongest proof for His claims to be God.


2:23-25 The Son of God knows all about human nature. Jesus was well aware of the truth of Jeremiah 17:9, which states, " The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jesus was discerning, and He knew that the faith of some followers was superficial. Some of the same people claiming to believe in Jesus at this time would later yell "Crucify Him!" It's easy to believe when it is exciting and everyone else believes the same way. But keep your faith firm even when it isn't popular to follow Christ.




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