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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

John 2

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-11

The First Miracle (Predestination) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Fulfillment of the Father's Predestined Plan to Redeem Mankind) - We find in John 2:1-11 the record of the first of seven miracles recorded in John's Gospel where Jesus testifies of His deity. At the first miracle of turning the water into wine Jesus testifies of God the Father's divine plan of redemption through His predestined shedding of blood and atoning death. At the wedding feast in John 2:1-11 Jesus declares that His time had not yet come, a reference to the fact that He has been predestined to shed His own blood on Calvary at God the Father's preordained time, revealing God's predestined plan of redemption for mankind as well. The reason Jesus did not explain more about the "time" of His coming Passion and Atonement is because His disciples were not yet ready for this revelation. They would have been confused with such an explanation. Jesus would continue to reveal more about His divinity and divine calling later in His ministry as a basis for their faith to understand and accept the need for His atonement for the world. In His last discourse with the disciples, John records the words of Jesus, saying, "But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." ( John 16:4) Thus, John the apostle writes his Gospel in a way that progressively reveals the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is through Christ we have been predestined for redemption and salvation. This miracle also reflects man's inability to meet his own need, specifically his primary need for redemption, and the fact that God the Father predestined Jesus Christ to be the ultimate source of every human need. The wine is symbolic of the precious blood of Jesus as the means of man's reconciliation with God, and it alludes to the superior covenant that God will make with mankind through His Atonement. In order to fulfill our needs Jesus first needed to fulfill His destiny on Calvary. He alludes to His atonement when asked to help at the wedding by saying, "My time is not yet." ( John 2:4) In other words, this miracle testifies specifically of God the Father's plan of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ His Son. It provides the testimony that Jesus Christ was predestined for suffering and shedding His own blood for man's redemption. Our response to this first miracle is to believe that God the Father has foreordained redemption to mankind as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Historical Background- John 2:1-11 records the first miracle that Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. The setting for the wedding at Cana falls within the context of a traditional ancient Jewish wedding ceremony, which John MacArthur describes as "the most celebrated social event" in such cultures, involving the entire community. 121] Only a limited knowledge of ancient oriental weddings exists through ancient writings, and such customs are believed to have varied from one geographical location to the next. 122]

121] John MacArthur, Matthew 24-28, in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), 84.

122] Ulrich Luz, Matthew 21-28: A Commentary, in Hermeneia - A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, ed. by Helmut Koester and trans. by James E. Crouch, (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005), 228; Blomberg, Preaching the Parables, 170.

The Institution of the Family- The fact that this first miracle took place at a wedding suggests that God has come to restore and bless the institution of the family as the primary means of man fulfilling God's plan of redemption through Christ Jesus and finding peace and prosperity. The family institution was first created in the Garden of Eden with the divine mandate to fill the earth and take dominion over it. Although man failed to fulfill this divine mandate, Jesus has come to Revelation -equip mankind with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill this initial call of God to multiply and fill the earth. This command was the original purpose and intent for creating mankind, and it holds steady through the course of history, through the period of the Mosaic Law, now in the dispensation of the grace with the preaching of the Gospel, and later in the Millennial Reign of Christ and on into eternity in Heaven. The family institution will always be foundational for everything that God calls man to accomplish. It has been predestined from the beginning as the instrument that God will use to bring redemption to mankind. The good wine that Jesus made at the wedding feast, which was offered to the guests afterwards, is symbolic of the New Covenant, which is superior to the old. These wedding guests were feasting under the Old Covenant of the Law and Jesus gives them a taste of the New Covenant, which will be sealed by His own blood.

John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

John 2:1 — "And the third day" - Comments- John 2:1 makes a reference to the third day of Jesus" earthly ministry. The first day is found in John 1:29 and the second day is found in John 1:35. Since Jesus Christ was driven into the wilderness immediately after his water baptism for a period of forty days ( Luke 4:1-2), the sequence of days mentioned in John's Gospel probably refer to His appearance to John the Baptist and the people and He came out of the wilderness. Note that John's Gospel does not narrate the water baptism of Jesus Christ.

John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

John 1:35, "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;"

Luke 4:1-2, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered."

In these first two chapters, the Gospel of John records the first three days of Jesus" earthly ministry. On the first day, Jesus was manifested to the Jews as the Messiah through water baptism and the voice of the Father speaking from heaven. On the second day, John the Baptist"s witness confirmed Jesus as the Messiah. On the third day, the miracle of Cana confirmed the Messiah. Thus, there were three witnesses given in three day. Why would John introduce the Messiah in this manner? Perhaps this took place because in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established ( 2 Corinthians 13:1).

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

Jesus will refer to these same three witnesses of the Father, John the Baptist, and His miracles later in the Gospel of John ( John 5:33; John 5:36-37). Note:

John 5:33, "Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth."

John 5:36, "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."

John 5:37, "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."

There was another reason John the apostle refers to the early days of Jesus' ministry. We can see from studying the quotes of the early Church fathers that John the apostle was encouraged to write his Gospel because his disciples asked him to record the events of the Lord Jesus Christ before the imprisonment of John the Baptist, since the Synoptic Gospels did not record the early years of Jesus' ministry. Thus, the phrase "and the third day" distinguishes Jesus' early ministry from the later period after the imprisonment of John the Baptist.

John 2:1 — "there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee" - Comments- The city of Cana is mentioned only four times in Scripture ( John 2:2; John 2:11; John 4:46; John 21:2). As a result, we have little knowledge of it. We know that this city was the home of Nathaniel ( John 21:2), and some may suggest the home of Simon the Canaanite ( σίμων ὁ καναναῖος) ( Matthew 10:4).

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 4:46, "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum."

John 21:2, "There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples."

Matthew 10:4, "Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him."

Gesenius tells us there was a city in ancient Israel with the name "Kanah" ( קָנָה) (H 7071) in the tribe of Asher ( Joshua 19:28), as well as "a stream on the confines of Ephraim and Manasseh" by that name ( Joshua 16:8; Joshua 17:9). 123] However, scholars generally do not consider Kanah in Asher the same city of Canan mentioned John's Gospel because of its distant location to Jesus' public ministry in Galilee.

123] See Gesenius on ( קָנָה).

Joshua 19:28, "And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;"

Josephus mentions a village of Galilee named Cana, 124] which he locates in the "plains of Asochis." 125]

124] Josephus writes, "Now at this time my abode was in a village of Galilee, which is named Cana." (The Life of Flavius Josephus 16)

125] Josephus writes, "So they all came into the great plain, wherein I lived, the name of which was Asochis." (The Life of Flavius Josephus 41)

W. Ewing tells us that the Greek word ( κανα) is likely a transliteration of the Hebrew word "qanah" ( קָנָה) (H 7071), which means, "place of reeds." The modern town of Khirbet Qana preserves this ancient name, with a nearby marshland full of reeds, which would have given the town its appropriate name. Some suggest Khirbet Qana to be ancient Cana, while the Greek and Latin churches credit the modern town of Kefr Kennah, near Nazareth, to the home of ancient Cana. The town called "Qana el-Jelil, the exact Arabic equivalent of Kana tes Galilaias" is another possible location; but there are no reeds in the area. 126]

126] W. Ewing, "Cana," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

John 2:2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

John 2:2Comments - The six feast sections of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-9; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at a feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1).

Comments - We can assume that Jesus now had as His disciples the five listed in the previous passage, which were Andrew, [John], Philippians , Simon Peter, and Nathanael. Although Nathanael was from Cana of Galilee, the Scriptures do not tell us who extended this invitation to Jesus and His disciples, simply because this detail is not needed to develop the redemptive message of this narrative event.

John 2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

John 2:3 — "the mother of Jesus saith unto him" - Comments - John's Gospel will not call Mary or the apostle John by their names. He will refer to her on a number of occasions in this Gospel ( John 2:1; John 2:3; John 2:5; John 2:12; John 6:42, John 19:25-27).

It was Mary's faith in her Son that prompted her to ask Him for a miracle, which manifested His deity. As a result of the faith of this one individual, Jesus' disciples believed upon Him as well.

John 2:3Comments- Scholars understand that a traditional Jewish wedding feast lasted one week ( Genesis 29:27).

Genesis 29:27, "Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years."

Judges 14:14-15, "And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson"s wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father"s house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?

The Old Testament apocryphal book of Tobit mentions a wedding that lasted two weeks, perhaps for the more wealthy, who could afford the additional costs.

Tobit 10:7, "But she said, Hold thy peace, and deceive me not; my son is dead. And she went out every day into the way which they went, and did eat no meat on the daytime, and ceased not whole nights to bewail her son Tobias, until the fourteen days of the wedding were expired, which Raguel had sworn that he should spend there." 127]

127] The Apocrypha: King James Version (Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), Tobit 10:7.

We understand from John 2:9-10 that the family of the bridegroom had provided the wine. Perhaps Jewish tradition required this family to finance the wedding.

John 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

John 2:4 — "Jesus saith unto her, Woman" - Comments- We must note in John 2:4 that Jesus does not address her as "mother," but rather "woman." Jesus will again call her "woman" at the cross when He hands her over to John ( John 19:26).

John 19:26, "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!"

When Jesus' mother and brethren stood outside wishing to see Jesus ( Matthew 12:46-50), Jesus explained that His mother and His brethren were those who do the will of His Father in Heaven. Song of Solomon , we never find evidence that Jesus ever addressed Mary as His mother after His water baptism when He was manifested to Israel as their Messiah. The reason is because after Jesus' presentation at his baptism He moved into a divine position with the Father. Therefore, Mary no longer had parental authority or the closer relationship with Jesus. This authority and intimacy was now held by the Heavenly Father, and all other people were placed on a lower level of relationship.

John 2:4"what have I to do with thee?" - Comments- Note other uses of this phrase in the Scriptures:

Judges 11:12,"And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?"

2 Samuel 16:10, "And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?"

2 Samuel 19:22-23, "And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?"

1 Kings 17:18, "And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?"

2 Kings 3:13, "And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab."

2 Chronicles 35:21, "But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not."

Hosea 14:8, "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found."

Joel 3:4, "Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;"

Matthew 8:29, "And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"

Matthew 27:4, "Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that."

Luke 8:28, "When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not."

John 21:22-23, "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?"

Another verse that reflects this idea is Matthew 8:22, "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."

Jesus seems to be saying that He no longer has the same relationship of an earthly son obeying a mother since His public appearance. In other words, from now on, Jesus is obligated to do the will of His Heavenly Father, and no longer subject to His earthly mother, under which He served for the past thirty years of His earthly life.

John 2:4 — "mine hour is not yet come"- Comments- What event was Jesus Christ referring to when He said in John 2:4 that His hour had not yet come? It is not difficult to understand what He was saying if we look at the overall theme and structure of the Gospel of John. The theme of this Gospel is to reveal Jesus Christ as the Divine Son of God who came from the Father. The Gospel of John is structured around seven particular miracles that the Evangelist uses to manifest His Divinity, with the last miracle being His resurrection, which fully revealed His Majesty. The author states in John 2:11 that this first miracle of turning the water into wine "manifested forth His glory" and that this manifestation resulted in His disciples believing in Him.

Thus, Jesus said, "Mine hour is not yet come," in reference to the time when He would work miracles and manifest forth His glory. Jesus was initially referring to the time when He would enter into His public ministry full time, which took place according to the Synoptic Gospels after the imprisonment of John the Baptist. However, He was ultimately referring to the miracle of His resurrection and exaltation at the right hand of the Father, which was to reveal His full Majesty; for the Scripture says in John 13:1, "Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father." Since Jesus tells us in Luke 22:53 that His Passion was the hour of the evil one, then His hour must have been the event of the Resurrection.

Luke 22:53, "When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

Initially- This was a Reference to the Beginning of His Public Ministry- Jesus Christ had not yet entered into the fullness of His public ministry until after the imprisonment of John the Baptist. Until that time, He was not out healing the sick and performing miracles full time. After His baptism John the Baptist preached perhaps a year or two before he was imprisoned. During this interval, Jesus kept a low profile in order to allow John the Baptist to fulfill his ministry. The Synoptic Gospels tell us that Jesus Christ did not increase His public ministry until after John's death. Thus, Jesus Christ is saying in John 2:4 that it was not proper for Him to perform a miracle until His public ministry began, but nevertheless, at His mother's request, He decided to perform this miracle.

Ultimately- This was A Reference to His Passion and Resurrection - Jesus knew He was destined by His Father for Calvary. He must have known that His Passion would be associated with a Jewish feast day. However, He knew that this wedding feast was not the time. Jesus Christ said His hour had not yet come ultimately in referring to His Passion and Resurrection, for He defines this hour in John 13:1 as the time of His departure unto the Father.

John 13:1, "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."

The mother of Jesus told her Son that there was no wine. At the Last Supper, we are told that the bread symbolizes Jesus" broken body and the wine represents His shed blood. Therefore, Jesus was saying that the time for Him to offer the world the true wine, which was His shed blood, had not yet come. Jesus Christ often made references to His Passion in John's Gospel. For example, Jesus mentions His death and resurrection in John 2:19 when speaking to the Jews at the cleansing of the Temple.

John 2:19, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

Jesus Christ was predestined from the foundation of the world to be slain on Calvary and raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit. Song of Solomon , when Jesus says that His hour had not yet come ( John 2:4), He reveals that He is aware of His calling that the Father predestined for Him regarding His redemptive death on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead as the firstborn of many brethren. This suggests that the spiritual meaning of the ruler's comments that the last wine was better than the first ( John 2:10) may refer to the fact that the second covenant in Christ Jesus is far better than the first covenant under the Law.

The seventh and final miracle that the Evangelist records will be the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, when His time for glorification had indeed come. The miracle of turning the water into wine will "manifest His glory" ( John 2:11) so that His disciples will believe, but not in its fullness, when His body and blood will serve as the true bread and wine of the new covenant.

Jesus often spoke of spiritual matters when questioned about earthly matters. We see this in chapter 3when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in spiritual terms while this Pharisee was speaking in the natural.

John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

We see this when Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman:

John 4:10, "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."

When His disciples returned from buying food to question Jesus on this Samaritan woman:

John 4:32, "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of."

From the first day that Jesus entered the ministry, He knew that He must go to Calvary. It is to this end that He came, and to this end He was predestined. All of His speech and activities centered upon this upcoming event.

Finally, when we can compare Jesus' statement that His "hour had not yet come" to His words later in John's Gospel when He said that His "time had not yet come" ( John 7:6-8), thus making a clear reference to His resurrection and full manifestation of His Majesty. There are other passages that clearly refer to "His hour".

John 7:6-8, "Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come."

John 7:30, "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come."

John 8:20, "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."

John 12:23, "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified."

John 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."

John 13:1, "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."

John 2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

John 2:5Comments - This first miracle recorded in John 2:1-11 reveals that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the first to believe in her own Son's divine nature. Mary, more anyone else at the wedding, even more than her other children, knew of Jesus" divine birth. She had hidden in her heart the events that overshadowed His birth. She was the first believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, in John 2:5 she speaks with words of faith in Jesus, as one called of God. It was Mary's faith that drew upon Jesus to perform His first miracle, which manifested His deity, and inspired Jesus' disciples believed upon Him as well. These disciples would, in turn, later testify abroad of Jesus' deity, so that the multitudes could also believe in Mary's Son as the Son of God, who was willing to heal and work miracles for those would believe in Him.

In addition, we know that this was Jesus' first public miracle. Yet, Mary's words imply that Jesus had performed private miracles in the past, because she believed that Jesus could solve this problem. Evidently Jesus had solved her domestic needs for years, and she believed He could now do the same for this household. I do not think that even she understood His statement predicting His crucifixion. But she did have faith in Him, or she would not have asked for His help.

John 2:6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

John 2:6 — "And there were set there six waterpots of stone" - Comments- These six water pots were distinguished by the fact that they were made of stone, compared to vessels that were made of clay, shells or animal skins. Matthew Henry notes, "and of stone, which is not apt to retain the scent of former liquors, if ever they had had wine in them." 128] Therefore, these stone water pots were very likely a more expensive type of water pot in those days, with most people only being able to afford clay or skin containers.

128] Matthew Henry, John, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on John 2:1-11.

John 2:6 — "after the manner of the purifying of the Jews" - Comments - The Scriptures show us that the Jews washed their hands ( Matthew 15:1-2), and possibly their vessels ( Mark 7:3-5) before and probably after meals as a form of hygiene. As a missionary in Africa, many cultures do not practice simply hygiene because water is scarce and not used liberally. Thus, people cook and eat with unwashed hands and vessels, which becomes a cause of transmitting diseases.

Matthew 15:1-2, "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread."

Mark 7:3-5, "For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?"

John 2:6 — "containing two or three firkins apiece" - Comments- In reference to the size of this measure of liquid, John Gill says, "it is most likely it answered to the "Hebrew bath," which was a common measure of liquids with the Jews, and held four gallons and a half, or more; so that such of these vessels, that held two of these measures, contained nine gallons, and such as held three of them, thirteen gallons and a half." 129] Matthew Henry remarks on this issue, "two or three measures, baths, or ephahs; the quantity is uncertain, but very considerable." 130]

129] John Gill, John , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on John 2:6.

130] Matthew Henry, John, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on John 2:1-11.

John 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:7Comments- We are in a dispensation when we thirst for the presence of God, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, the new wine that is better than the old. As Jesus provided more than enough wine for this wedding feast, so does He provide more than enough for us to walk in an abundant life. The presence of the Holy Spirit is more than enough to satisfy our desires for joy and peace. Just as Jesus would feed the five thousand and with twelve baskets left over, so will He provide an abundance of wine for the wedding feast, with much left over for future refreshing and joy to this family.

John 2:6-7Comments- The Filling of the Water Pots- It is important to note that the pots used to hold the water turned to wine were set apart for the Jewish tradition of ceremonial cleansings. This attempt by man to cleanse himself of impurities by tradition stands in direct contrast to man's need of a supernatural, miraculous cleansing from the blood of Jesus Christ. It was a cleansing that man was unable to do for himself. The fact that they were filled to the brim represents the fact that there is an endless supply of His cleansing blood once He manifested forth His glory at His resurrection.

John 2:8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

John 2:8Word Study on "Draw out" - Strong says the Greek word "draw out" ( ἀντλέω) (G 501) means, "to bail out, to dip water (with a bucket, pitcher, etc.)."

Comments- Jesus is our well of living water, our joy (wine), our source of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our source of Joy

John 2:9 When the ruler 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,

John 2:9Word Study on "the ruler of the feast" - Strong says the Greek word "the ruler of the feast" ( ἀ ρχιτρί κλινος) (G 755) means, "director of the entertainment," and is a compound word from ( τρία) (G 5140), meaning, "three," and ( κλίνω) (G 2827), which means, "to incline, to recline." BDAG says it means, "head waiter, butler, a slave who was responsible for managing a banquet." Meyer calls him the "table master," the chief waiter who managed this feast, and who tasted the meats and drinks. 131]

131] Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of John , vol 1 , trans. William Urwick and Frederick Crombie, in Critical and Exegetical Handbook on the New Testament, ed. Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1874), 144.

John 2:10 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.

John 2:10 — "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" - Word Study on "well drunk" - Strong says the Greek word "well drunk" ( μεθύω) (G 3184) means, "to drink to intoxication, to get drunk." BDAG says it means, "to be drunk." Vincent says it means, "intoxication." Meyer translates this word, "when they had become intoxicated." 132]

132] Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of John , vol 1 , trans. William Urwick and Frederick Crombie, in Critical and Exegetical Handbook on the New Testament, ed. Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1874), 145.

We can refer to older translations to see how this word was translated. The VgClem reads, "cum inebriati fuerint" (be intoxicated, drunk). John Wycliffe's translation reads, "be filled." 133] William Tyndale's translation reads, "be drunk." 134]

133] Herre de Groot, Wycilf's Translation of the Gospel of St. John , vol 2 (Montral: University of Montral, 1959), 8.

134] William Tyndale, The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, ed. J. P. Dabney (Andover: Gould and Newman, 1837).

Comments- A number of people have adopted the "unfermented-wine theory," which claims that the wine that Jesus made from water was actually unfermented grape juice. Vincent responds to this argument by citing a number of uses of the word ( μεθύω) (G 3184) outside the Scriptures, showing that it has been used in a metaphorical and figurative sense by the classical writers, but says, "In every instance of its use in the New Testament the word means, intoxication." He explains that every use of this word in the LXX is used in the sense of "drenching or soaking." 135]

135] Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol 2 (New York: Charles Scribneer's Sons, 1905), 82 (comments on John 2:10).

John 2:10 — "but thou hast kept the good wine until now" - Comments- In like manner, God has kept the best wine, or the best of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, for the last. These last days before the coming of the Lord are glorious times of miracles, signs and wonders. No other century has experienced a greater number of demonstrations of the work of the Holy Spirit than this past twentieth century.

John 2:10Comments- Perhaps a figurative meaning behind the good wine followed by the better wine is to say that the second covenant with its glory will be greater than the former one. Thus, Jesus would say in this passage of Scripture that the time to institute this new covenant, which was better, was not yet.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

John 2:11 — "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee" - Comments- Eusebius tells us that John was compelled by his friends to write his Gospel in order to tell of the early miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ, before John the Baptist was cast into prison. 136] This record in John"s Gospel of these early miracles is in contrast to the records in the other three Gospels that only record the miracles of Jesus after the death of John the Baptist. Note how the other three Gospels show Jesus" ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist ( Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14, Luke 3:19-21).

136] Eusebius writes, "They say, therefore, that the apostle John , being asked to do it for this reason, gave in his Gospel an account of the period which had been omitted by the earlier evangelists, and of the deeds done by the Saviour during that period; that Isaiah , of those which were done before the imprisonment of the Baptist. And this is indicated by him, they say, in the following words: ‘This beginning of miracles did Jesus';" (Ecclesiastical History 32411)

Matthew 4:12, "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;"

Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"

Luke 3:19-21, "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip"s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"

Note John's reference to the second miracle in this region in John 4:46; John 4:54 :

John 4:46, "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum."

John 4:54, "This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee."

John 2:11 — "and manifested forth his glory" - Comments - Jesus reveals His Messianic office. John opens his Gospel by stating in John 1:14 that his Gospel is intended to reveal the glory that Christ Jesus had with the Heavenly Father. Each miracle that John recorded was done so to reveal His glory as the Son of God, and jointly as the Messiah unto which the Jews were expectantly awaiting.

John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

We see Jesus making similar references to His glory being revealed by the miracles recorded in John ( John 2:11; John 9:3; John 11:4; John 11:40).

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 9:3, "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

John 11:4, "When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

John 11:40, "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

John 2:11 — "and his disciples believed on him" - Comments- In each of the seven miracles recorded in the Gospel of John the author notes how men believed in Him. The purpose of such miracles was to bring mankind into a saving knowledge of His salvation through faith in Him as the Son of God.

John 2:11Comments- John 2:11 tells us that the miracle at the wedding in Canaan was the first miracle that Jesus Christ performed. John 2:11 is an important verse in that it tells us the purpose of the seven miracles that John records in chapters 2-11, which is that these seven miracles are written in order to "manifest forth the glory (or deity) of Jesus Christ" in order that we might believe (that He is the Son of God). Thus, we have the underlying theme of this major division of the Gospel of John which contains the seven miracles which have been recorded in order to testify of Jesus' deity.

Within each of the six feast sections is found a miracle that testifies of Jesus' deity. We find six of these miracles ending with a statement that many believed in Him because of these miracles ( John 2:11, John 4:53, John 5:15, John 6:14, John 9:38, John 11:45). The seventh miracle ends with a similar statement ( John 20:29). It is interesting to note that each of these miracles will be performed at festive occasions, telling us that Jesus' work of redemption for mankind is a cause for rejoicing and celebrating. John Lange notes that while the Mosaic Law brought condemnation, Jesus brought "life and peace." 137] We are in a dispensation when we thirst for the presence of God, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, the new wine that is better than the old.

137] John Peter Lange, The Gospel According to John , trans. Edward D. Yeomans, ed. Philip Schaff, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical, With Special Reference to Ministers and Students, ed. John Peter Lange (Edinburgh: T. &. T. Clark, 1872), 102.


Verses 1-31

The Testimony of Jesus' Miracles- The third and largest section of John's Gospel is given to the testimony of the works, or miracles, of Jesus ( John 2:1 to John 11:54). In this section we find six miracles, or works, of Jesus that the author uses to reveal several important aspects about the deity of Jesus, with the seventh miracle being that of Christ's resurrection ( John 11:55 to John 20:29). (The section containing the seventh miracle will also contain the seven testimonies of Old Testament Scripture.) It appears that John the apostle selected seven particular miracles which occasioned Jesus that best testified of His deity. 119] Within each of the seven subsections of miracles, several common elements are found. Each will contain a miracle, followed by Jesus' testimony of His deity occasioned by the miracle, the response of the people's faith, and often His rejection by the Jews. The seven particular miracles recorded in John's Gospel clearly tell the story of how Jesus revealed Himself to mankind as the Son of God. Thus, these seven particular miracles "manifest" His glory, or deity. We find in John 2:1-11 the record of the first of seven miracles in John's Gospel. This passage closes with the comment from the author that the purpose of recording these particular miracles was to "manifested forth his glory" ( John 2:11), which is the underlying theme of the Gospel of John , to reveal the glory that Jesus Christ has with God the Father as the Son of God. These seven miracles serve as testimonies that reveal His glory as the Son of God, with each miracle revealing a difference aspect of Jesus' glory with the Father as well as His divine nature. Note how John 2:11, which verse closes the first miracle, declares this section of John's Gospel as the beginning of His miracles.

119] The proposition that the Gospel of John contains seven distinct miracles, or testimonies, that witness to the deity of Jesus Christ is not new. Those scholars who do propose seven miracles offer a variety of combinations as to which passages qualify as a distinct miracle or testimony. For example, G. Campbell Morgan names seven miracles that are popularly used as: (1) the water to wine 2:1-12], (2) restoration at Cana 4:43-54], (3) the man at the pool 5:1-9], (4) feeding the multitudes 6:1-15], (5) stilling the storm 6:16-21], (6) the blind man 9:1-7], and (7) Lazarus 11:1-44]. See G. Campbell Morgan, The Analyzed Bible: The Gospel According to John (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1909), insert page. I believe that John the apostle uses seven miracles to shape the literary structure of the Gospel of John in 2:1 to 20:29, with 20:30-31serving as a summary of these miracles. Thus, I proposed that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the seventh miracle, while suggesting that the miracle of Jesus walking on the water does not fit within this literary structure of the Gospel of John.

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 2:11 also says that these miracles serve to reveal His glory, with each miracle revealing a difference aspect of Jesus' glory with the Father as well as His divine nature and redemptive role for mankind. Thus, the miracles and declarations of Jesus found in this section all point to His coming Passion: death, burial and resurrection. It is important to understand that the revelations of Jesus' glory reveal progressively more and more of His divinity. Each revelation could only be understood by those believers who had embraced the previous revelation of His glory. 120] Thus, many turned back from following Him during the course of His public ministry, so that it was only to His dedicated disciples that He revealed His crucifixion and coming resurrection.

120] The progressive revelation of the deity of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John is noted by scholars. For example, Alexander MacLaren says, "…the story of the gradual illumination of his spirit until it came to the full light of the perception of Christ as the Son of God, was far more to the Evangelist, and ought to be far more to us than giving the outward eye power to discern the outward light." See Alexander MacLaren, The Gospel According to St. John chapters IX to XIV, in Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Song of Solomon , 1908), 11-12.

Structural Markers of John 2:1 to John 20:31 - John 2:1 to John 20:31 can be divided according to seven Jewish feasts. Within each of these seven feast sections is found a single miracle, a miracle that testifies of a particular aspect of Jesus' deity. We find six of these miracles ending with a statement that many believed in Him because of these miracles ( John 2:11; John 4:53; John 5:15; John 6:14; John 9:38; John 11:45). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also ends with a similar statement of people believing in Him ( John 20:29). In addition, the first six sections have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-10; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins and ends with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at the feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1). These sections begin with an introduction to a Jewish feast, and within these sections can be found subsections that can be divided by recurring narrative phrases such as "after these things." The word "miracles" ( σημειον) (G 4592) will occur fourteen (14) times within this section of John 2:1 to John 11:54 out of the seventeen (17) times it is found within the entire Gospel, since the miracles of Jesus Christ are emphasized in this section. Each occurrence of the word "miracle" in this section is accompanied with a statement about the people believing in Jesus, particularly the Gentiles, or about the Jewish leaders rejecting Him because of such miracles. Thus, the purpose of each of these miracles was to show forth the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ so that the people would believe in Him, while contrasting those who rejected His testimony. The seventh and final miracle will be found during the seventh and final Passover feast in which Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead by the power of the Father. The seventh miracle of the resurrection is the focus of the next section ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), which also gives us seven testimonies of Jesus' deity from the Old Testament Scripture.

The Thematic Scheme of John 2:1 to John 20:31 - John 2:1 to John 20:31 records seven miracles which Jesus worked on seven festival occasions that provided an opportunity to declare Himself as the Son of God, with the seventh miracle of the resurrection taking place on the seventh feast of the Passover. It is interesting to note that each of these miracles will be performed at festive occasions, telling us that Jesus' work of redemption for mankind is a cause for rejoicing and celebrating. This section of John's Gospel follows a thematic scheme revealing Jesus' role in man's redemption, which are predestination, divine calling, justification, indoctrination, divine service and perseverance, and glorification. Predestination ( John 2:1-11) - At the wedding feast Jesus declares that His time had not yet come, a reference to the fact that He has been predestined to shed His own blood on Calvary at God the Father's preordained time, revealing God's predestined plan of redemption for mankind as well. It is through Christ we have been predestined for redemption and salvation. Divine Calling ( John 2:12 to John 4:54) - At the first Jewish Passover Jesus performs miracles and tells Nicodemus that He has been sent from Heaven, only to be rejected by the Jews and accepted by the Gentiles, revealing Jesus' divine calling to come to earth for mankind to believe in Him. It is through Christ being sent from Heaven that we have been called to believe in Him. Justification ( John 5:1-47) - At the third feast of the Jews Jesus calls for men to believe in Him as the Son of God through the four-fold testimony of the Father, of John the Baptist, of the Old Testament Scriptures, and of His miracles. These four testimonies justify Jesus Christ as the Son of God and reveal man's need for justification through faith in Him. It is through Christ we have been given the testimonies by which man must believe unto salvation. Indoctrination ( John 6:1-71) - At the time of the second Jewish Passover Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, which provided Him the opportunity to declare Himself as the "Bread of Life," which testimony reveals man's need to partake of His redemptive work of indoctrination. Divine Service ( John 7:1 to John 10:21) - At the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus reveals Himself as "the Light of the world" ( John 8:12), the "Door of the sheepfold" ( John 10:1), and the "Good Shepherd" ( John 10:14), revealing man's redemptive need to follow Jesus in divine. It is through Christ we walk in the light of God's plan for our lives through His divine protection and provision so that we can persevere unto the end. Perseverance ( John 10:22 to John 11:57) - At the Feast of Dedication Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and declares Himself as the "Resurrection and the Life" for all mankind, revealing man's eternal hope of glorification. It is through Christ we, too, will partake of our resurrection and eternal glorification. Glorification ( John 11:55 to John 20:29) - The final Passover in John 11:55 to John 20:29 provides the seventh miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which reflects the theme of man's glorification. In addition, in this section John the apostle proves Jesus' testimonies through the fulfillment of seven events surrounding the Passion predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures.

The Miracles Testify to Similar Aspects of the Divinity of Jesus Christ - Each miracle that Jesus performed served as a type and figure of a similar aspect of Jesus' divinity. For example, Jesus turned the water to wine when testifying of the new covenant He was predestined to institute through His blood ( John 2:1-11). The healing of the nobleman's sons testified of Jesus' calling as the Saviour of the world ( John 2:12 to John 4:54). Jesus healed the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda and testified that eternal life is in Him ( John 5:1-47). During the Passover festival recorded in John 6:1-71, Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand and then told the people that He was the Bread of Life. At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus Christ healed the blind man and then declared that He is the Light of the World ( John 7:1 to John 10:21). During the Feast of Dedication ( John 10:22 to John 11:57), Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead as a way to declare that He was the Resurrection and the Life.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

11st Miracle & Testimony at the Wedding Feast — John 2:1-11

2. 2nd Miracle & Testimonies at the First Passover — John 2:12 to John 4:54

3. 3rd Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of the Jews — John 5:1-47

4. 4th Miracle & Testimonies at the Second Passover — John 6:1-71

5. 5th Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of Tabernacles — John 7:1 to John 10:21

6. 6th Miracle & Testimonies at the Feast of Dedication — John 10:22 to John 11:54

7. 7th Miracle & The Testimony of Scriptures — John 11:55 to John 20:29

8. Summary: The Author Testifies of All of His Miracles — John 20:30-31


Verses 12-21

Jesus' Testimony to the Jews of His Divine Calling- In John 2:12-22 Jesus testifies of His divine calling by referring to the resurrection of His body, which He calls His temple. His disciples would not understand this testimony until after His resurrection ( John 2:22). Jesus performed many signs to support this testimony and many believed in Him; but Jesus knew man's weaknesses ( John 2:23-25). He tells a particular Jew named Nicodemus that He has been sent from Heaven, only to be rejected by the Jews and accepted by the Gentiles, revealing Jesus' calling to come to earth for mankind to believe in Him ( John 2:12 to John 4:54). Nicodemus serves as an example of one Jew who believed that Jesus was sent by God ( John 3:1-21).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Cleanses the Temple & Testifies — John 2:12-22

2. The Jews Respond to His Calling — John 2:23 to John 3:21

a) Many Believe in His Miracles — John 2:23-25

b) The Example of Nicodemus' Faith — John 3:1-21


Verses 12-22

Jesus Cleanses the Temple and Testifies of His Divine Calling (compare Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46) - The first Passover that Jesus Christ attended was accompanied by the event of Him cleansing the Temple. We read in the Synoptic Gospels about this event taking place at the end of His ministry ( Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46). Thus, it is easy to suggest that Jesus cleanses the Temple on two separate occasions. The purpose of John's record of this event according to John 2:22 is to serve as a "sign," or a "testimony," of the deity of Jesus Christ in that He prophesied of His own death and resurrection. Note that the author states in John 2:22 that the disciples believed in Him after they remembered the words of Old Testament prophecy in Psalm 69:9 that Jesus quoted during this event about rebuilding the Temple in three days. Thus, this event served as a testimony of His deity in which His disciples believed. Jesus was crucified and resurrected during the Passover feast. As Jesus predicted His atonement during the wedding of Cana ( John 2:1-11), a passage that places emphasis upon the predestination of the atonement of Jesus Christ, John 2:12-22 offers the readers a little more insight into this predestined event as a transition into the next major section of John that reveals the divine calling of Jesus Christ, who was sent from Heaven to be the Saviour of the World ( John 2:12 to John 4:54).

John 2:22, "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."

The Condition of the Temple Reflected the Spiritual Condition of the Nation- The corrupted condition of the Temple in Jesus" day represented the condition of the nation of Israel in their relationship to God. Yet a remnant of faithful continued. As Jesus cleansed the temple, Hezekiah also had the Temple cleaned in 2 Chronicles 29:1-36. During this Old Testament time, the priest and the people sanctified themselves (verses 2 Chronicles 29:15; 2 Chronicles 29:31 and 2 Chronicles 30:3).

Jesus is Questioned by the Jews- Jesus spoke in parables when answering the Jews so that in the hardness of their hearts they would not understand what He was saying. His reference to His death and resurrection in John 2:19 was described in a way that fit within the immediate context of what He was doing, which was cleansing the Temple in Jerusalem. Within the context of John 2:12 to John 4:54, which emphasizes Jesus' divine calling, He will testify both to the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Galileans of His call to redeem mankind through His sacrificial death and resurrection.

Jesus would not clearly reveal His pending death and resurrection to His own disciples until Peter confessed Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God at Caesarea Philippi. Jesus answered this question from the Jews correctly by telling them which particular miracle would be used to reveal why He was cleansing the Temple, which would be the miracle of His resurrection. Thus, He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." For the condition of the Temple in Jerusalem represented the condition of the heart of the nation. The miracle of Resurrection was needed to cleanse the hearts of the people. Just as Jesus referred to His resurrection in the previous passage in John 2:1-11 about the Wedding of Cana by saying, "Mine hour is not yet come" ( John 2:4), so does Jesus now make another reference here in John 2:19 to His death and resurrection.

The Chronological Placement of Jesus Cleansing the Temple - Scholars have noted for centuries that the four Evangelists did not record all of the events of Jesus' public ministry in the same order. While the Synoptic Gospels place the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus at the end of His ministry, John puts this event at the beginning of his Gospel. Although scholars today debate as to the original order of this event, it is not a new concern. For example, Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, comments on the efforts of the apostle John to set in order the events of Jesus' public ministry because the Synoptic Gospels had recorded some events out of chronological order.

"On account of this reason therefore, he [John the apostle] took special care also about the orders and sequences of the things that were done. This none of these Evangelists took care to do; but they wrote many things that were done first after those that were done last; and many things last, that were spoken and done before the former things; so therefore John did not [do this], but took care to put first the things that were at the first, and after them those that were afterwards; and yet in the middle he left many things out, those that had been related by those others." 139]

139] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, vol 1, in Horae Semiticae, no 5 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1911), 211-212.

In support of this testimony, Eusebius cites Papias (A.D 60-130), bishop of Hierapolis, who stated that Mark did not always put the events of his Gospel in chronological order.

"It is in the following words: ‘This also the presbyter said: Mark , having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not indeed in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.' These things are related by Papias concerning Mark." (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 33915)

John 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum, Hebrews , and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

John 2:12 — "After this he went down to Capernaum, Hebrews , and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples" - Comments- The Gospel of Matthew indicates that Jesus left the city of Nazareth, the city of his upbringing, and moved to Capernaum in order to fulfill prophecy ( Matthew 4:13-14). This move was needed because the people of Nazareth saw Him simply as the son of Joseph, while those of Capernaum believed in Him as the Messiah.

Matthew 4:13-15, "And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;"

Jesus is described as "going down" from Cana to Capernaum because Cana was located in the hill country west of the Sea of Galilee, while Capernaum was situated along the lake's shore.

"and they continued there not many days" - Comments- The point that Jesus did not stay long in Capernaum sets the pace for the plot of John's narrative, suggesting that Jesus' public ministry was to be orchestrated by a divine time clock. The next verse reveals that His public ministry will be centered around the Jewish feasts. Significantly, His teachings that reveal His divinity will take place during these Jewish feast days. Thus, the seven key miracles recorded in John's Gospel revealing His divinity will all take place during these feast days.

John 2:12Comments - The six feast sections of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-9; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at a feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1).

John 2:13 And the Jews" passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

John 2:13Comments- The Gospel of John records at least three different Passovers that Jesus attended. These three Passovers recorded in John support the view that Jesus' earthly ministry lasted approximately three years. The events surrounding the first Passover are recorded in John 2:12 to John 4:54. Note some Old Testament references from the Mosaic Law that refer to the Passover:

1. Exodus 12:1-20

2. Numbers 28:16-25

3. Deuteronomy 16:1-8

4. Leviticus 23:4-8

John 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

John 2:14Comments- The Passover was the greatest feast of the Jewish year, attracting Jewish and proselyte pilgrims from many nations ( Acts 2:8-11). They came with a few personal belongings, and money in their native currencies. They needed to offer the customary sacrifices. Therefore, greedy Jewish businessmen took this opportunity to exploit these pilgrims. There were two kinds of businessmen in the temple: (1) sellers of oxen, sheep and doves, and (2) money changers. The animals were used for Temple sacrificing. The changing of money was for the Jews to purchase an animal for sacrifice. Both sellers of animals and money changers sat at their tables and negotiated the best prices for themselves. Hence, Jesus accused them of making the Temple a house of merchandise.

John 2:15 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;

John 2:15Comments - A scourge is a whip. The money means coins, for there was no paper currency in the ancient world. The coins would have spilled onto the floor and rolled everywhere, while people were scrambling to get away from the wrath of Jesus as He swung His whip at men and animals. The scene would have been chaotic.

John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father"s house an house of merchandise.

John 2:16 — "a house of merchandise" - Comments - A house of merchandise is a market place. Jesus' description of the Temple becoming a "house of merchandise" showed the corruption of worldliness and the pursuit of riches within the Temple system of worship during the New Testament period.

John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

John 2:17 — "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" - The phrase "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" means that Jesus has been consumed with zeal.

John 2:17Comments - John 2:17 is a quote from Psalm 69:9. Psalm 119:139 is also similar in content. This quote is the second of only two Old Testament references found outside the passage in John's Gospel that emphasizes the Old Testament Scriptures as a testimony of Jesus' deity ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), the first reference being in John 1:23 regarding John the Baptist.

Psalm 69:9, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."

Psalm 119:139, "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words."

When John 2:17 says that Jesus' disciples remembered a verse in the Old Testament from Psalm 69:9, it was not saying that they remembered this Scripture standing in the Temple while He was cleansing it. Rather, it was referring to a time after His resurrection when Jesus had fully manifested His glory and the Holy Spirit had been poured into the hearts of the believes to guide them into a deeper understanding of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah. The importance of this Old Testament quote in John 2:17 is because it was one of the sources of the disciple's faith in Him, which faith is repeatedly mentioned in John's Gospel, even though this Scripture was not understood until after His resurrection. We find this same type of statement in John 2:21-22, since it also takes us ahead to the events after the Resurrection when the apostles were reconciling the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies to Jesus' life and ministry.

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

John 2:20Comments- Herod the Great ruled over various regions of Judea from 47 B.C. to A.D 4, and took Jerusalem with the aid of Roman soldiers in 37 B.C. Josephus tells us that he began building the Temple in the eighteenth year of his reign over the Jews (Antiquities 15111), approximately A.D 20. Although the main body of the Temple complex was completed by the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, forty-six years later ( John 2:20), work continued through the time of King Agrippa (Antiquity 20811). He reigned with force and cruelty until his death at the age of sixty-nine or seventy, soon after Jesus' birth and the slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem. Many scholars now date Jesus' birth around 2-3 B.C, which would change the date of Herod's death as well. Nevertheless, forty-six years later would place us in A.D 26-28, which is about the time that Jesus began His earthly ministry and a date that reconciles with John 2:20. 140]

140] Henry E. Dosker, "Herod," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008); "Herod," in Smith"s Bible Dictionary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1863, 1997), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

John 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

John 2:22 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.

John 2:22 — "and they believed the scripture" - Comments- That Isaiah , they believed the Old Testament prophecy saying, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up," which is recorded by John in John 2:17.

The importance of this statement in John 2:22 is because it was one of the sources of the disciple's faith in Him, which faith is repeatedly mentioned in John's Gospel, even though His statement was not understood until after His resurrection. We find this same type of statement in John 2:17, since it also takes us ahead to the events after the Resurrection when the apostles were reconciling the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies to Jesus' life and ministry.


Verses 12-54

The Second Miracle (Calling) (Jesus Testifies of His Calling by Being Sent from Heaven) - The second feast and its affiliated miracle of healing the nobleman's son in John 2:12 to John 4:54 emphasizes Jesus' divine calling as the Saviour of the world, as He testifies to the Jews ( John 2:13 to John 3:21), and to non-Jews, the Samaritans ( John 4:1-42), and a Gentile nobleman in Galilee ( John 4:43-54), that He has been send by God as the Saviour, with John the Baptist giving his final testimony of God sending His Son to bring everlasting life to men ( John 3:22-36). 138]

138] Andreas Ksterberger says, "The overall intent of :54 seems to be to present the initiation of Jesus' self-disclosure and its reception among various types of groups and individuals." See Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 53.

The events surrounding the first of three Passover recorded in John 2:12 to John 4:54 led to a number of testimonies that revealed the divine calling of Jesus Christ, who was sent by God; for Nicodemus begins his dialogue with Jesus saying, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." ( John 3:2) This section reveals how God the Father sent His Son from heaven to earth to redeem those would put their faith in Jesus. These testimonies reveal various aspects of Jesus' divine calling from the Father to make atonement for the sins of the world: He testifies to the Jews in the Temple of His bodily death and resurrection ( John 2:12-22); He testifies to Nicodemus of man's need to believe that God sent His only begotten Son into the world ( John 3:1-21); John the Baptist confirms Jesus' testimony of man's need to believe in the Son who has been sent by God ( John 3:22-36); Jesus testifies to the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah that is to come and to His disciples that He has come to do the Father's will ( John 4:1-42); He heals the nobleman's son as a testimony of His call to redeem all of mankind ( John 4:46-54). In other words, this section testifies that Jesus called all three major ethnic groups that lived in Palestine during His ministry. It is through Christ being sent from Heaven that we all have been called to believe in Him as the promised Messiah, both Jews and Gentiles.

Outline- Here is a suggested outline:

1. Jesus' Testimony to the Jews of His Divine Calling — John 2:12 to John 3:21

2. John the Baptist's Final Testimony of His Divine Calling — John 3:22-36

3. Jesus' Testimony to the Gentiles of His Divine Calling — John 4:1-54


Verse 23

The Jews Respond to His Calling - John 2:23 to John 3:21 discusses the testimony of the Jewish reaction to Jesus' miracles. John 2:23-25 gives us a statement by the author that many people began to believe in Jesus Christ because of His miracles; yet, Jesus Christ knew men's hearts and was not yet willing to commit Himself to them. The story of Nicodemus follows as an example of this statement of the Jews' unstable faith. For example, Nicodemus believed in Jesus Christ, but he was not willing to publicly acknowledge his belief before his Jewish peers out of fear ( John 3:1-21).

This passage in John 2:23 to John 3:21 is an illustration of John 1:10-12 in which Jesus came unto His own creation, and was rejected by it; yet, to those who did believe, He gave them the authority as sons of God.

John 1:10-12, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

Outline- Here is a proposed outline:

1. Many Believe in His Miracles — John 2:23-25

2. The Example of Nicodemus' Faith — John 3:1-21


Verses 23-25

Many Believe in His Miracles- John 2:23-25 tells us about how the people believed in Jesus Christ because of the signs that He performed. We have seen the first comment of this kind immediately after the first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee ( John 2:11).

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

Such statements about those who believe in Jesus are found throughout this Gospel as they accompany the testimonies of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Note a similar verse to John 2:23-25 in the Old Testament:

Nahum 1:7, "The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."

John 2:23 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.

John 2:23Comments - The apostle John records three Passovers in his Gospel ( John 2:23; John 6:4; John 11:55), which tells us that the public ministry of Jesus Christ lasted around three years.

John 2:23, "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."

John 6:4, "And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

John 11:55, "And the Jews" passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves."

Comments- John 2:23 reveals that Jesus performed many miracles in Jerusalem during the first Passover before returning to Galilee and performing His second miracle in that region by healing the nobleman's son ( John 4:54).

John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

John 2:24Comments - The Greek word πιστεύω (G 4100) is normally translated "to believe" throughout the New Testament. However, on a few occasions it carries the idea of "to commit, to put in trust" ( Luke 16:11, John 2:24, Romans 3:2, 1 Corinthians 9:17, Galatians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Timothy 1:11, Titus 1:3).

John 2:24 is saying that Jesus Christ did not believe those who were following Him. He did not trust them.

John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

John 2:25Comments- Jesus knew that the world would not receive Him. This is stated earlier in John 1:10-11 and again in John 3:10-11.

John 1:10-11, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not."

John 3:10-11, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."

Comments - The Principle of Trust and Promotion in the Kingdom of Heaven - When Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry, He did not immediately entrust His wealth of heavenly treasures unto those who gathered around Him. Many of those who followed Him did so for selfish motives. Jesus knew the heart of mankind; He understood human depravity, as Paul will later discuss in Romans 1:16 to Romans 3:30. However, there will come a time when Jesus will entrust His riches to those disciples who were faithful. For example, Jesus will reveal His coming Passion and Resurrection and Exaltation to the Twelve, and He will reveal His divine glory on the Mount of Transfiguration to three of those Twelve. Paul the apostle will later say, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;" ( 1 Timothy 1:12). In other words, there came a time in Paul's life where the Lord did trust him and called him into as an apostle.

Illustration - When I first took over the management of Lighthouse Television, I did not know and trust anyone in the mission field. I had to begin by carefully monitoring everyone's level of responsibility. No one was to be trust. After a number of years, I was able to delegate various tasks and responsibilities to staff members. Thus, I began a process of trusting those who were faithful and entrusting them with responsibility. This is the way the Lord handles every believer. He must go through a season of testing to prove himself before God will entrust him with divine gifts and callings.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 2:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/john-2.html. 2013.

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