In review

John completes the work of the Old Testament connecting the crossing of the Jordan, Elijah’s anointing and call and proclaiming the fulfillment of the Old Testament celebration of Passover that the final lamb has come to pour out his life so we all might have life.

Jesus calls the first of his disciples and they come to him as they are in their own style and we will watch as they draw closer to him and understand the relationship with the Father, just how their lives and character change…as we all should as we grow in our relationship with Him

John 2:1,2

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.

The next day or literally the third day, means that Jesus and the 6 guys showed up the third day in most likely a 7-day wedding feast. It was fairly normal for there to be 7 days of celebration and festivities surrounding a wedding. The third day is important so much in scripture. It is the day of double blessing in creation it was the day Isaac was set free from possible sacrifice, the day, Jesus resurrected, Jonah in the great fish and something to do specifically with this story

John 2: 3-5

The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

I know in our culture, it may seem disrespectful for Jesus to call his mother “woman” but in Greek and in this culture it is a term of endearment and respect, Mary knew even though Jesus had said it was not his time, because he used that term Jesus was going to do whatever she asked of him.

John 2:6-10

Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

The stone pots were not simple jars standing by the were specific for a cleansing ritual. They held 20-30 gallons and needed to be filled so much of the ritual water had been used, making it perfect for Jesus’ purposes. Numbers 19 tells us what the purpose of these pots…

If someone touches the dead, they become ceremonially unclean. People died all of the time and family and friends would want to care for them so obviously they would touch them. They weren’t able to travel to Jerusalem to get cleansed as they would be unclean unless they went through a cleansing ritual. The ritual was, a red heifer was brought into the temple and all of the animal was burned with cedar, hyssop, and a scarlet piece of cloth. Cedar and hyssop were signs of cleansing and the scarlet cloth represented blood a precursor to the cleansing blood of Jesus. The ashes from the red heifer were put into pots and mixed with water. On the third day, after the person touched the dead, and then again on the seventh day, they would be sprinkled with the water and ashes, making them clean after seven days. This stopped death’s contagion from spreading. AS people could not travel to Jerusalem for this cleansing ceremony, pots with these ashes were placed in strategic places around the nation so anyone could be ceremonially cleansed if they needed it at any time.

These are the pots used for Jewish ceremonial washing ceremony.

Why did Jesus use these pots specifically?

Amos 9: 13,14 tells us that good wine was symbolic of a blessing from the Lord. Jesus the 

Lord and savior coming into the world was the best blessing and He would put an end to the contagion of death, by cleansing us by his blood and present all of us with life everlasting.

Jesus came as the best wine showing those in the feast, the messiah had come the best had come at last.  As a side not because of Jesus being responsible for 7 added people coming to the feast could have been a very practical reason Mary came to him looking for a resolve to the wine shortage. Only three days in and they were already out of wine it would have been a major embarrassment to the whole family (some theologians believe this family was related to Jesus as to why Mary was there before him)

Jesus will never leave us empty he always wants to fill us with only the best from him.

John 2:11,12

This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.

John is saying this is the first miracle Jesus did. Which means all of those goofy miracles attributed to Jesus during his childhood are not true.

I want you to notice that Jesus stayed until the wedding was over. He created the best wine for them to drink for the remaining days. God is interested in your joy, he created laughter and joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit. For four more days he danced, laughed, sang, talked, feasted and drank but please understand Jesus never got drunk, gluttonness, or got out of control, he celebrated life and their marriage.

Jesus enjoyed celebrations of God’s goodness to people and His blessing.

John 2:13,14

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.

Passover was an annual event required for attendance by all Jewish men. John records three Passovers in his gospel (2:13; 6:4; 11:55) giving us the understanding of Jesus ministry being about 3 years.

Roman coinage had an image of Caesar on it and was unacceptable in the temple so the common currency had to be exchanged for temple currency and people traveling to bring sacrifice and prepare for the Passover would purchase their animals, most conveniently at the temple. They had forgotten their purpose…

John 2:14-17

In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

The selling of the animals and exchanging of coins in itself was not wrong it was both the motivation and placement that were wrong. 

The challenge is still for us today….the temple of God is no longer a building of stone but you

1 Corinthians 6: 19,20

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

The merchants had forgotten their purpose and the purpose of the temple. Their purpose was to honor God in their exchange and selling but they had taken over the temple, the money and merchandising had got them caught up rather than remembering to worship the Lord, love him with their whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love people seeing them through God’s eyes and reach them for the kingdom.

It is a personal challenge to us, like the merchants we are all gifted to do what we do, that gifting comes from God but if we get so caught up in the gift, making money, advancing our careers, gaining power, prestige, influence and we forget our calling to love God and love people. We don’t care that people are hurting, going to hell, have no hope then we have forgotten who we are, whose we are and why we are here.

Jesus didn’t do what he did to chase people away from God but instead to awaken them to their calling.

These two stories tie in together in that pots of stone become filled with Jesus wine to bring great joy and a temple of stone is challenged to be filled with Jesus to return it to it’s joy

John 2:18-22

But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Notice they knew he did righteously, because they are not calling for guards to arrest him but instead want to know the authority, because it is something they should have done. They are always asking for a sign….they had a sign 30 years earlier when the wise men came. They had a sign when John the Baptist said he saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, and the Father spoke….But Jesus makes it clear that they will kill him and in three days He will raise it up…another sign of the trinity as the Bible says Jesus raises himself, Romans 8:11, Acts 2:24 say God raised Jesus from the dead, Romans 6:10 says the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead 

What signs has the Lord shown you to prove His great care and love for you? Remember from the youngest days until now even before you came to Christ how he was always there for you, because there will be days when it feels as if he is distant or even forgotten about you

John 2: 23-25

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.

Notice the play on words they trusted him because of the signs but he knew their nature so he didn’t trust them! Next week we will hear from one of those Pharisees that began to trust him because of the signs

What is part of the take away

– Jesus wants us to celebrate the life we have been given he enjoyed celebrations and will give us the best. He even cares about the little things you are concerned about

– He is the purifier when we have blown it he is faithful to cleanse us 

– We are the temple of God and as such He calls us to remember our calling and not get caught up with all the stuff in life, even good things to always remember to put him first Love God and love people enough to show them the one who loves you the most.

– He is always looking for ways to draw us back to himself and help us to remember all the good he has done for us.

And so much more