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As you watch the opening video, let the worship of our Lord Jesus “wash over you.”
In this chapter there is the discussion of the first of two temple cleansings by Jesus.
Key Verse: John 2:24 (G. Campbell Morgan, 1863-1945)
John 2:24 New International Version (NIV)
24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.
John 2 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Scriptures taken from BibleGateway.com)
Miracle at Cana
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were six stone water pots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus *said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter *called the bridegroom, 10 and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
First Passover—Cleansing the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.
(Chapter 2 notes follow, and are taken from the Reformation Study Bible. Everyone should own a Reformation Study Bible.)
2:1–11 Jesus’ first sign: turning water into wine at Cana. This miracle signifies the transformation of the old order (symbolized by the stone water jars used for ceremonial washing, v. 6) into the new (the wine standing for eternal life in God’s kingdom) through Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). See Is. 25:6–9 for the background image of salvation as a banquet.
2:3 wine. This is the normal term employed in the New Testament for the fermented drink. Paul uses it when he says, “do not get drunk with wine” (Eph. 5:18).
2:4 Woman. This is a respectful way of addressing a woman within that culture and is the way Jesus normally addresses women (4:21; 8:10).
what does this have to do with me. Jesus answers Mary’s request, not because she is His mother, but as part of His work as the Messiah. This indicates that Mary’s special role as Jesus’ mother gives her no authority to intervene in Christ’s messianic career—a strong argument against offering prayer to Mary.
My hour. Usually Jesus’ “hour” refers to the time of His suffering and death (12:27). Here Jesus is asserting that He and not Mary must determine the timetable of His earthly ministry.
2:11 manifested his glory. The theme of Christ’s glory had already been introduced (1:14 note). In the Old Testament, God manifested His glory in a variety of miraculous events, and John’s comment indicates that he wants his readers to recognize Jesus’ deity.
And his disciples believed in him. See also v. 23 and 20:31, where John’s purpose for writing the book is disclosed.
2:12–23 Jesus is the final and full expression of what was only a shadow in the Old Testament (Heb. 10:1). Here He indicates that God is present in Him. The temple in Jerusalem could be destroyed, but not the temple that Jesus would rebuild in three days, His own body that was to be raised from the dead. John’s record of the temple cleansing immediately after the miracle at Cana (vv. 1–11 note) offers an important key to the whole of Jesus’ ministry. In these events are signaled replacement of the old order (water of ceremonial cleansing, Herod’s temple) with the new (the wine of salvation, Is. 25:6–9; the risen Lamb as the new temple, Rev. 21:22).
Matthew, Mark, and Luke report a cleansing of the temple in the week of Jesus’ crucifixion. In spite of some similarities, these are best viewed as different incidents (Mark 11:15 note). It is noteworthy that Jesus’ statement about destroying the temple, which John alone records (v. 19), probably was the basis for the accusation by the false witnesses (Matt. 26:61; Mark 14:58), and again for the taunting comment of some spectators at the crucifixion (Matt. 27:40; Mark 15:29). The first three Gospels confirm the historical character of John’s narrative. An echo of the same thought is found in the accusation against Stephen (Acts 6:14).
2:12 his brothers. See Matt. 12:46.
2:15 a whip of cords. Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Mal. 3:1–4. He comes suddenly to the temple and purifies the sons of Levi, as a demonstration of His zeal for God and for keeping God’s ordinances holy.
2:20 forty-six years. The sentence itself does not indicate whether the temple was finished or was still under construction after these years of building. The first century Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities, 15.380) says that the temple was begun in the eighteenth year of Herod the Great (around 19 b.c.) and was not completed until the reign of Herod Agrippa (a.d. 63), indicating that construction was still continuing in Jesus’ time.
will you raise it up in three days. The Jews (and the disciples,v. 22) misunderstand Jesus’ ambiguous statement. Such initial misunderstanding is common in John’s Gospel (e.g., 3:4; 6:52). Those who “receive” Jesus (1:12) are led on to full understanding, but those who reject Him remain at the level of complete misunderstanding (1:5).
2:22 his disciples remembered. During His final instruction of the disciples before His arrest, Jesus promised that what He had taught them would be brought to their remembrance by the Holy Spirit (14:25, 26). The ability to predict events otherwise unknowable is evidence of divine authority. This applies to the prophecies of the Old Testament and to the predictions made by Jesus, especially about His resurrection.
2:23 believed in his name. In biblical times the “name” summed up a person’s character, activity, and place in God’s purpose. The faith of those mentioned here remained superficial, however, because they came to it only because “they saw the signs” (see Introduction: Interpretive Difficulties). For that reason, Jesus “did not entrust himself to them” (v. 24).
2:24, 25 Although Jesus did not exercise divine omniscience in the days of His flesh (11:34; Mark 13:32), He often displayed supernatural knowledge, important for His redemptive work, that indicated the divine endorsement of His claims and mission (1:48; Matt. 9:4; 17:27; Mark 11:2–4; 14:13–16).