The Wedding at Cana
2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus Knows What Is in Man
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
John 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In ancient times, weddings were week-long events. Imagine. Today people put months and months into such planning of a celebration that lasts one day. The stress is off the charts. And usually for the parents of the bride and well, bride herself, the week of is where more meltdowns happen as things many times go wrong or curve balls are thrown. So imagine living in the ancient times when you had to plan for several days of food, to name just one aspect. Banquets were put together usually for the entire village or town and everybody would come. There was no guest list – the city population was it. Most turned out as to not attend would be considered an insult. Ancient times held a very high ethic for hospitality and it was on full display during such a festivity. So to run out of wine was more than embarrassing, it was a downright social faux pas.
Jesus and his disciples were in town when a wedding was being celebrated. Of course, the invite was extended and after they showed up, Mary approached her son telling Him of the dilemma. The wine was gone. There was none to be found. Although Mary didn’t flat out ask Him to do something, there was a hope He would. And He did. His first miracle involved taking six stone jars of water that held up to thirty gallons. They were filled to the brim. Without a waving of the hand, some incantation or anything else, Jesus simply said – “Now take some out of the jars and give a taste to the master of the banquet. The water had become wine, the master was stunned at the taste of the quality and remarked how this was far superior to the wine originally served.
There are many rich aspects to this story. However, what I’m drawn to is many times we are empty. We have nothing left to give. We have nothing to offer. We’ve spent all we can and frustration and discouragement press in. As Mary came to Jesus, letting the request be known, she didn’t press Him to do something. She simply trusted Him. She knew He could. And I think quite often we believe we know what we need. We’re pretty quick to let those needs be known to Him as well. In actuality, He knows far better to the desires and hurts of our hearts the very deficits of our souls. He knows how empty we are.
Maybe like Mary, we should simply let Him know, remind Him of how we need to be filled again. How we need to be strengthened. Then trust Him to do what He knows best. The results from this event were amazing and were far better than what was expected. Don’t you think He can do the same for each of us?
John 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Jesus cleansed the temple twice. The first, recorded here in John 2, was early in His ministry. The second is recorded by the other gospel accounts during passion week.
Jews and proselytes from all over the region were flooding into Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. They were required to pay a half-shekel temple tax in the correct coinage so anyone coming from a different country would have to get their money converted.
There was also an animal sacrifice that needed to be offered. It used to be that the people would purchase their animals and exchange their money at a place outside the temple near the Mount of Olives. Bringing the currency exchange and the animals into the temple was undoubtedly more convenient, but was this the real reason for the move?
Technically speaking, the people traveling into Jerusalem were permitted to bring their own animals, however, it most likely would not get approved by the judges. This is the same tactic we see used at theme parks and professional sporting events where the food and drink prices inside are astronomical. It was just easier and more convenient to pay the high price to have a “pre-approved” animal. It was much the same with the money changers. There was a “fee” to have your coinage converted and the entire system was set up to promote deceit and abuse.
Furthermore, the businessmen set up their tables in the outer courts, which was the same place the Gentiles were permitted to worship. Can you imagine trying to worship in the midst of barnyard animals? The move had effectively turned a place of worship into the New York Stock Exchange.
Jesus wasn’t having it. Whip at His side, He got the sheep and oxen moving, and the people followed. Some today assume that the whip was an act of physical aggression, however, farmers know it takes force to get animals in gear. It’s clear from the text that Jesus was not trying to start a fight, but was only using the whip as any animal herder would.
Most interesting to me is the fact that the Pharisees do not question Jesus’ actions, but His authority. This is because Jesus uses the word “Father.”
He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me. 18 So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign of authority will You show us for doing these things?”John 2:16-18 HCSB
The Jewish leaders have tunnel vision. It is fair to assume that at this point in Jesus’ ministry His statements are difficult to fully grasp. However, we see the difference between those who were open to His teaching and those who were afraid of losing their authority. The disciples (not revered as “experts” of the Scriptures like the Pharisees) remembered the prophecy. The religious leaders (knowing the Scriptures) suppressed the truth and focused on how such a statement would affect them personally.
“These Jewish leaders, on the other hand, seem able only to question. In contrast to the disciples they jump to conclusions; they cannot be silent and wait. So the opponents are left with their questions, while the disciples have a vague but substantial hint at the fact that Jesus’ action can be seen in the light of Scripture.”IVP New Testament Commentary
It is applicable to ask ourselves, do we question or believe? When Jesus does things we don’t quite understand, do we take Him at face value and trust that He is in control, or, do we complain, argue, and question the motives of a good God?