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John Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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

Cana. Cana, a small town near Nazareth, was the home of Nathanael (John 21:2).

mother of Jesus. Mary is never called by name in John's gospel. Note John 19:25-27.

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

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

wanted wine. In view of the long trip from Bethabara to Cana, it is probable that Jesus and the disciples arrived late to the wedding, only to find that the guests had exhausted the wine supply and had “well drunk” (literally, had “become drunken”—see John 2:10).

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

with thee. This question was not disrespectful but somewhat sad. Literally, Jesus said: “Woman what to me and to thee?” meaning, “Is there anything we have in common?” The Lord rebuked drunkenness (e.g., Luke 21:34), yet His mother not only seemed to tolerate it but now was asking for still more wine for the already drunken guests.

hour. Mary should have remembered what her son's mission was not to meet temporal (and questionable) social needs, and certainly not to encourage sinful behavior, but rather to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). On more than one occasion, He had to remind people that “my time is not yet come” (John 7:6; 8:20). Finally, however, He did come to that hour, and so testified (John 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).

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

do it. Somewhat rebuked by Jesus' response to her desire for Him to get more wine for the guests, she is never shown again in Scripture as requesting or demanding anything from Jesus. Instead, the only command the record shows on her part, anywhere in Scripture, is this one. Simply: “Do whatever Jesus says!” No doubt she would say the same to us today.

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.

six waterpots. These six waterpots (normally used for washing feet, etc.) would contain when full about 150 gallons. This much additional intoxicating wine would certainly be too much for guests who were already drunk, and it is inconceivable that Jesus would provide such.

firkins. A “firkin” was a “fourth” of a barrel of water, or about nine English gallons.

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

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

John 2:9 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 2:10 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.

have well drunk. “Have well drunk” is one word in the Greek (methuo) meaning simply “are drunk,” and is translated with this meaning in every other instance (e.g., Matthew 24:49) where it is used.

the good wine. This “good wine” had been miraculously created by the Creator, and was brand new, with no time to ferment and become old, intoxicating wine. The Greek word oinos was used for the juice of grapes in general, the same word for both unfermented and fermented wine, with the context determining which. The decay process, utilizing leaven (always in Scripture representing corruption) to convert good fresh wine into old intoxicating wine, could not have acted in this case, because Christ Himself had created the wine in its originally intended form before sin and decay entered the world. In this form, it was certainly the best wine, having all the health-giving, joy-inspiring character it was created to exhibit in the beginning. It was probably the same wine which Christ will provide in “that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom” (Matthew 26:29), and will certainly not induce drunkenness.

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

beginning of miracles. This is the first of the seven great “miracles,” or “signs” (same Greek word) which John describes in order to persuade his readers to believe on Jesus Christ (John 20:30-31). Like the other six (see John 4:49-54; 5:5-9; 6:5-14; 6:16-21; 9:1-7; 11:41-44), this first miracle was a miracle of creation (as distinct from miracles of providence, which only control rates and timing of natural processes). It required the direct creative power of the Creator, superseding the law of entropy, in order to cause an instantaneous increase of complexity, transmuting the simple molecular structure of water into the much more complex structure of new wine.

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

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

the Jews' passover. John called it “the Jews' passover” rather than “the Lord's passover” (Exodus 12:27), probably because he was writing for Gentiles, but perhaps also because the Jewish leaders had so corrupted its observance.

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

in the temple. This visit to Jerusalem and the temple at the beginning of Christ's ministry is recorded only by John, as is true with many of the other events and discourses in this gospel. As the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), John may well have been told more by Jesus, and also been able to remember more through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) than the other writers in order to do this.

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

my Father's. Note John's reference to “my Father” instead of “your Father” (see also Luke 2:49), essentially thereby claiming Christ's unique divine Sonship (John 1:34; 5:18).

house of merchandise. Three years later, when Jesus came to the temple again and found the situation even worse, He called it “a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13). This coming to the temple may also be considered as a precursive fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ's coming to the future temple (Haggai 2:7; Malachi 3:1-4; Ezekiel 40-48.; especially Ezekiel 43:5).

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

it was written. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 69:9.

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

What sign. “For the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22; Matthew 12:38).

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

in three days. In addition to referring to the temple of His body (John 2:21), there may be a parallel reference to the raising up of the future millennial temple. Compare Hosea 6:2.

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 2:21 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.

believed the scripture. Note the superior category of faith of the disciples to that of the “many” who believed “when they saw the miracles,” but soon fell away. The disciples did not believe because of the miracles, but because of the Scripture and Jesus' words. It is far better to place one's faith in God's Word than in signs and wonders.

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

commit. “Commit” here is the same Greek word as “believe.” Although many in the Jerusalem crowd “believed in His name, when they saw the miracles” (John 2:23), Jesus did not “believe” in them, because He knew their hearts and knew their outward faith in Him was only superficial.

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