I wonder how many of us by our demeanor communicate to others that we know the Savior in whose presence is fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures forever (Ps. 16:11)? How many of us experience the fact that Jesus came so that we would have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10)? He wants His joy to be in us and our joy to be made full (John 15:11).
If we’re lacking in the “fullness of joy department,” we might benefit by meditating on the story of Jesus’ first miracle, when He turned about 150 gallons of water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. He didn’t say, “They’ve had enough fun. Let them drink water.” No, He made wine, and lots of it! While there is much more to this story, one obvious lesson is that Jesus was not a killjoy! He wanted this young couple and their guests to enjoy the wedding festivities. He wants us to enjoy the blessings of salvation.
It’s an interesting story in that there is no mention of who the groom or bride or their families were. There is no mention of how the wedding party or the guests responded to the miracle, if they even knew about it. John doesn’t even tell us how the miracle was done. It was very low key. Jesus didn’t call all the guests around and like a magician have someone confirm that it was only water in the pots. Then, “Abracadabra,” He had them taste it again. Everyone marveled, “Wow! How’d He do that?” In fact, so far as John reports, Jesus didn’t even touch the waterpots or pray. The focus in the account is not on the spectacular part of the miracle, but on Christ and His glory. Those who had eyes to see knew what He did and believed in Him.
John calls this miracle a “sign” (2:11): it pointed to something beyond itself, namely, to Jesus and what He came to do. It was an actual historical event—if you had been there you could have tasted the new wine after the miracle. But the miracle is like a parable, in that you have to think about the meaning behind it. With some of the other miracles that John reports, the significance is more obvious. In chapter 6, Jesus feeds the 5,000 and then proclaims (6:35), “I am the bread of life.” In 8:12 He claims, “I am the light of the world,” and then in chapter 9 He opens the eyes of a man born blind. In 11:25, He asserts, “I am the resurrection and the life,” and then He raises Lazarus from the dead.
But here there is no explanation to tell us the significance or deeper meaning of the miracle. Some well-meaning commentators read all sorts of fanciful meanings into the text. To determine the intended meaning, we need to consider the context as well as some clues in the account itself. In John 1:16-17, we read, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” The contrast with Moses and the Law puts the focus on the new covenant blessings that Jesus provides. “Fullness” emphasizes the abundant blessings that Jesus bestows. Here He gives an abundance of wine, a symbol of the Messianic kingdom.
Chapter 2: John 2
The Wedding at Cana
Read John 2:1-12
Jesus, His mother, and His disciples went to a wedding. According to the custom, wine was served at the feast. Before the feast was over, the wine was all gone.
Jesus was always ready to help people. Mary, His mother, asked Him to do something so that the couple would not be embarrassed at their wedding. It would take the power of God, a miracle, to meet this need. Mary had no right to tell Jesus to do a miracle. Only God, His Father, had that right.
Jesus was not sure that it was time for Him to start doing miracles, but God must have let Him know that it was. He turned water into wine, and not just any wine but the “best” wine and met the need. The Son of God can do anything.
Jesus Goes to the Temple
Read John 2:13-22
Every year the people of God went to His house in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. They sacrificed lambs in memory of the Passover lamb that had saved their people from death long ago. When the angel of death was going to pass through the land, God had told His people what to do. Each family had killed a lamb and put its blood on the door. The death angel passed over every house marked by the blood of a lamb. In all the other houses the oldest son died.
All this was a picture of how Jesus, the Lamb of God, was going to save people from eternal death. And the Passover celebration was a very important kind of worship to God.
Everyone should have been very respectful and worshipful in God’s house. Instead of that, some traders were ruining everything. Jesus drove them out because they were just making a business out of religion.
Jesus refused to do a miracle just to show people who He was. He did all of His miracles to help people. But He did mention the greatest miracle of all which would prove that He was the Son of God. He spoke of His body as the house of God because God lived in Him. The people would destroy it, kill His body later on right there in Jerusalem, but in three days He would rise again from the grave. However, the people didn’t understand what He meant.
Jesus Knows All Men
Read John 2:23-25
One reason we are studying this course is so that we can understand who Jesus really is and what He can do for us. In Jerusalem many persons believed in Jesus when they saw the miracles that He did. Let us believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus.
Many people say they believe in Jesus but don’t act like it. If we believe that Jesus is the Word, we will believe what He taught. If we believe that His life is our light, we will follow where He leads. If we believe that He is the Lamb of God, we will accept Him as the sacrifice for our sins.
Answer a few questions covering what you have read.
1. What were the results of Jesus’ first miracle?
a) Mary realized her place of importance.
b) He demonstrated His glory and His disciples believed in Him.
c) Jesus became good friends with the bride-groom.
2. What did Jesus do in the temple at Jerusalem?
a) He drove the traders and the money-changers away.
b) He made a sacrifice.
c) He tore the temple down and rebuilt it.
3. What lesson did Jesus teach while in the temple?
a) That the temple was the place to do business.
b) That He would destroy that very temple and build it again in three days.
c) That His body was a temple. He would die and arise from the grave after three days.