Chapter 2 - Jesus Turns Water into Wine
John 2:1-2 NIV - “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.”
Jesus was invited to the party before anyone knew who he was. The Pharisees and Sadducees were religious sects during Jesus’ time. The Pharisees acted like they had to be holy and didn’t have any part of culture. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection and lived everyday like it was their last. Neither of these sect’s could impact culture being set in their own ways. Jesus fell in between. Jesus would hangout in places where people didn’t believe what he believed, but he conducted himself in a way where he got invited to the party.
John 2:3-4 NIV - “When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.””
Weddings in the first century could last an entire week. Running out of wine was a really big deal and embarrassing to the bride and groom. Jesus’ mother trusts him enough to turn to him when something is wrong. As humans today, we have the same tendencies when things go wrong. We look to elders or someone above us to “fix” things.
Jesus reinstates that his hour has not come to emphasize about God’s timing rather than man’s. Take a step back in your life and focus on who God is rather than the things you want him to do for you.
John 2:5-7 NIV - “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”
Mary leaves the situation up to Jesus. She doesn’t tell him to make or buy more wine. She just tells Jesus her concern and tells the servants to listen. Likewise, we should trust God with our worries and remember that His plan is better than what we think it should be. It’s difficult to have that trust truly in your heart. However, when we do, we realize that God’s hand is in everything.
John 2:8 NIV - “Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so,”
The servants do what Jesus says but they must have had some doubts. Jesus still hasn’t performed any miracles yet so they have no clue what he can do. What do you do when God tells you to do something that you don’t understand?
The single step of obedience of filling the jars hangs in the balance of a miracle on the other side. By being obedient and trusting God completely, you’ll be able to see the miracles he will perform in your life.
What step are you going to take?
John 2:9-10 NIV - “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 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.””
Not only does Jesus help in the crisis, but it turns out for the better. When we give up the reigns of trying to control every detail of our lives, God shows us how His ways are higher. We have to ask and trust Him to show us.
John 2:11-12 NIV - “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. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.”
John describes Jeusus’ miracles as “signs” pointing to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. Although the gift of wine was for the bride and groom, the miracle was for the disciples, so that they would believe.
As we continue to learn about the miracles, some still doubted who Jesus was. However, when we put our faith in Him completely, we learn that God can perform miracles in our lives to this very day.
John 2:13-14 NIV - Jesus Clears the Temple Courts “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.”
People traveled from all over to Jerusalem for Passover. Merchants, money-traders, and lenders set up so that Jews could purchase proper sacrifices. Their intentions were good until money became the motive and they began conducting business inside the temple grounds. They were abusing the situation and not focused on telling people about God.
The warning in the story relates to the danger of allowing ministry to become a business and losing sight of its purpose. We must always put our spiritual concerns above our business concerns.
John 2:15 NIV - “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.”
Jesus is the lion and the lamb. Jesus is often depicted as a wise guru rather than the bold and powerful person that He is. He makes a point in the temple that God’s house is not a place for personal gain, but a place to worship and focus on Him.
It’s too often that we put our own interests before our relationship with God. When we do this, God finds ways to fix our eyes back on Him.
John 2:16-17 NIV - “To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.””
The love of money has a powerful grasp on many people. Jesus warns those in the temple to stop allowing this sin to devour them. His followers take note that Jesus’ teachings align with the Old Testament scriptures and prophecies, proving again that Jesus is God.
Is your desire for money interrupting your relationship with God?
John 2:18-19 NIV - “The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.””
Why do we look for proof of God’s power when it surrounds us? Jesus has a double-layered answer. First, He means that the Jews are destroying the temple referring to the building. Second, destroying the temple referring to His body.
We ask the same question as the Jews. We doubt or ask God what he can do for us rather than just trusting in Him. He doesn’t need to show you a sign, just look around at all we have.
John 2:20-21 NIV - “They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”
The temple was giant and beautiful, built by King Solomon (1 Kings 6). It was an insult that Jesus said that he could build back up such a building in 3 days. Jesus was alluding to his death and resurrection, once again showing he is all knowing to those who do not yet see and believe Him.
We see later that His statement is used against him during trials (Matthew 26:61) and on the cross (Matthew 27:40). What will it take for you to have just an ounce of faith to believe in Him?
John 2:22 NIV - “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.”
God gives us more than enough reasons to know that Heis who He says He is. However, he wants us to seek Him and know Him with our own hearts. He is just and allows us to make our own choices (though he already knows what we will do), but also desires for us to have a relationship with him. This is the sole purpose for which we were created: to live in harmony and walk with God, praising him in all things.
John 2:23-24 NIV - “Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.”
Most people seem to only turn to God when times get tough. Why do we need to “see the signs” to believe? Our lives change when we realize that we need God just as much on our good days as on the bad ones. Sometimes God speaks to us the loudest when He is seemingly silent. We just have to have patience and trust that His plan is better than ours, and it always is!
John 2:25 NIV - “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”
John alludes again to Jesus as the Son of God, reiterating that he knows all. Jesus is God. He didn’t need anyone to educate Him on people’s thoughts, He knew what each person needed to hear. Jesus will prove to reach people at the right place and time as we continue through John.
God knows when we are following Him for who He is, rather than for what He can do for us.