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Posted By Nan

John 2:18-22
So Jesus has arrived in the temple. It would have been hard not to notice Him, given the level of disruption in the temple forecourt. I can imagine the temple leaders feeling affronted at this nobody taking the authority of chasing the stalls out of the court and referring to God as “my Father”. So it is not surprise they appeared to question this man. As the word ‘demanded’ in verse 18 suggests, they forcefully and probably fairly aggressively questioned him. Maybe they had heard rumours of his miracle in Cana. For whatever reason, they demanded a miracle, a miraculous sign to prove He had the authority to do what he had done.
Matthew Henry, in his commentary noted that the leaders should have come to applaud him for defending the temple. Instead, they came to chastise him for removing their little money spinner. The result was that the Son of God, with his important message to give, was challenged to prove himself. Just as the prophets of the Old Testament and the prophets God has sent since are challenged by those whose love of secular authority and ritual exceeds their love for God.
It is strange how often we do not want to believe God’s messages when they are sent through a messenger. We could read the scriptures and pray for guidance. However, we often will reject it and vilify the person, or ask for some miraculous sign. The need for a miraculous sign is an indication of the level of misunderstanding present in Jesus’s time and, when it occurs in the present, today. God will perform miracles, but not on demand. We must have faith and rely on our relationship with God for our proofs.
Jesus response to the demand for a miracle was to say “destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days”. What a radical suggestion! Destroy the temple! This temple took forty-six years to build; you couldn’t rebuild it in three days! Of course they misunderstood. Jesus was referring to his own body. If the temple leaders had been more concerned about their relationship with God and less about the ceremonies and prestige of their position, maybe they would have understood what Jesus meant or would have asked him so that they could gain understanding. So often, Christians are more concerned about rituals and what they have decided is appropriate worship. Christians in this situation forget that faith is all about God and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. They should be praying and reading the Bible, with an aim to seek God and His will. I wonder if Jesus arrived today and went into a church, whether he would be greeted with the same reception. We are no better than the Jews of Jesus’ time. We ignore messages that do not suit us and we fail to build a relationship with God that we should.

 
Posted By Nan

John 2:13-17
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Jewish Passover. Like other Jews who had come long distances, he would not have been able to bring animals for sacrifice, so he would have had to buy them in Jerusalem. Many Jews would have come with a different currency to that used in Jerusalem, so would have had to get their money changed, hence the money sellers. As always happens when you have humans and the opportunity for a quick profit, there were those who would have sold these items at heavily marked up prices. The worst of them, Jesus found in the temple forecourt. What sacrilege! Not only were these people selling goods at prices designed to fleece the traveller, but they were doing it in the temple thus breaching the sanctity of this place of worship. Also, the outer court was the only part of the temple where Gentiles could come. So their place of quiet worship was invaded by greed and the noise that accompanied it. Jesus was angry, he fashioned a whip and chased the merchants out of the temple.
The merchants were not the only wrongdoers here. Someone allowed them to set up their stalls in there. Who was it? No doubt some official hoping for a good kickback allowed them there at a price. Despite God’s words to Abraham that all people would be blessed through him (12:3b), the Jewish Leaders in Jerusalem did not extend that welcome to non-Jews. The temple forecourt that was there for the non-Jew to worship God in was not respected by them.
The disciples remembered the reference in the Psalms to “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Psalm 69.9. They saw this as proof of Jesus’ descent from David. I wonder if this was zeal for God’s house, which was already replaced by Jesus, or if it is anger at the corruption of faith by making a profit of worship and the blocking of the non-Jews from worshipping God in the temple forecourt. Given how much Jesus sought people and cared about them knowing about Him, I think the latter would have concerned Him more.
In Malachi 3:1-3 there is also reference to what Jesus did. In verse 1 the prophesy speaks of the messenger who will come ahead of the Lord. Then the Lord will suddenly appear in the temple. The Lord being the messenger of the covenant, The Messiah. In verse 3 the prophesy speaks of the Messiah sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver, who will purify the Levites and refine them so that they will be able to bring offerings acceptable to God in righteousness. The emphasis here is on how it has been many years since offerings have been acceptable to God. When we worship God, either on our own or in a church, how acceptable are our offerings?
If you have time, read Psalm 69 as though Jesus is speaking it to you. It is an amazing thing.

 
Posted By Nan

John 2:12
After the wedding Jesus went to Capernaum and rested there for a few days. With him went his mother, brothers and disciples. After the rush of the past week, Jesus rested. Just as God rested on the seventh day in Genesis. His next step would be to go to Jerusalem for the Passover. After the busy week just gone we would have needed rest for the full on ministry he would face in Jerusalem.
I wonder what was talked about during those few days in Capernaum? Did his companions talk about the miracle at the wedding feast? I think they probably did. In those early days, Jesus’ miracles were new and people were amazed at them. Later in his ministry people came to expect them and I am sure that for those watching they would have become more commonplace. I am sure the recipients of Jesus’ miracles always appreciated what He did for them, but I can imagine that, over time, people would have come to see Him expecting a miracle.
That brings to my mind two thoughts. One is about how we come to expect things and cease to value them. The other is that in this modern day, many believe miracles do not happen. I think that is a shame. In my years of nursing, I saw many miracles when people who were thought beyond saving lived. As a prayer chain member I have seen miracles in answers to prayer. I have experienced miracles when money appears to pay for bills, or something irretrievably lost is recovered. I commented in my previous blog that I had initially wondered why such an insignificant miracle should be included. That opinion was a bad as the people who turned up to see Jesus later in his ministry, expecting a good show of miracles. Most miracles occur quietly in the background, in front of only a few witnesses or the recipient. Sometimes, people are not even aware a miracle has happened. The message here? Trust in God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Never lose hope. Never think God cannot do anything to intervene. If it is the right thing, He will.

 
Posted By Nan

John 2:1-11
This passage talks about the first of Jesus’ miracles. This was the miracle at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. John has chosen to portray the period from Jesus’ baptism to this point as a seven day period. The first week of Jesus’ ministry. As I reread this passage I asked myself why it was included. It seemed so insignificant. Then I thought about why miracles have to be big production numbers. Miracles occur everywhere in places where only one person may be aware they happen, so why should a miracle not occur at a wedding?
John has revealed this as the first of the miracles that pointed to Jesus as the Son of God and revealed his Glory. Jesus disciples also saw evidence in this miracle of Jesus’ true identity which suggests they saw this as something special, not just a turning of water into wine at a provincial wedding.
I have always wondered at verse 4. Mary is worried at the embarrassment of the bridal couple in having their wine run out. Jesus is more concerned with the bigger picture of his ministry. Mary seems to have an understanding that Jesus can perform a miracle, yet she doesn’t appear to respect his authority as the Son of God. It is as if she knows her son is special but has not quite believed what she was told by the angel when she conceived. It leads me to think about times when I believe something, but when tested, realised I have not actually believed. This is so true about our relationship with God. We all say we believe things such as “God is in control”, yet when trouble strikes we try to solve it ourselves.
In my studies, I have come across the following points about this verse:
The first is that Jesus takes orders from God alone. His mother tells him the wine has run out with the expectation that He will fix it. He speaks quite harshly to her.
The second is that the reader gains an immediate understanding that Jesus is on a mission and time is short enough that he is not to be diverted from his task.
I have always wondered at what happens next. Mary appears to ignore Jesus and go ahead anyway! She asks the servants to do whatever Jesus instructs them. I have read one commentary that likened this to asking God in prayer for something, then obediently preparing the way for the answer to that prayer, should God choose to answer it. Another suggestion I read is that Mary, in telling the servant to wait for Jesus to issue orders had heeded his rebuke and understand she could not control him, but must wait for him.
Without fanfare, Jesus turns the water into wine. The way it is described, it is unclear whether all the water turned into wine, or whether it became wine when it was drawn for use. Was there any left over, or was there just enough for the needs of the wedding? Did the confused servants go to draw wine out of the jars the next day and find only water?
The master of ceremonies tests the wine and is amazed at how good it is. In fact he judges the wine to be the best and comments how unusual it is that the best should be saved until last. I have always wondered at that. Is it just a reference to the fact that anything Jesus does will be the best or is there another meaning? My research has been unable to find an answer to this question. Perhaps its aim is just to stress how mighty Jesus’ miracles are.
The section ends with John describing this as the first of Jesus’ miraculous signs. Signs suggest some deeper meaning that is being indicated by signs. His gospel is set out in a way that sets to identify and prove Jesus’ identity then draw us to the final fulfilment of prophesy and God’s promise of salvation.

 
Posted By Nan

John 2:1-11
This passage talks about the first of Jesus’ miracles. This was the miracle at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. John has chosen to portray the period from Jesus’ baptism to this point as a seven day period. The first week of Jesus’ ministry. As I reread this passage I asked myself why it was included. It seemed so insignificant. Then I thought about why miracles have to be big production numbers. Miracles occur everywhere in places where only one person may be aware they happen, so why should a miracle not occur at a wedding?
John has revealed this as the first of the miracles that pointed to Jesus as the Son of God and revealed his Glory. Jesus disciples also saw evidence in this miracle of Jesus’ true identity which suggests they saw this as something special, not just a turning of water into wine at a provincial wedding.
I have always wondered at verse 4. Mary is worried at the embarrassment of the bridal couple in having their wine run out. Jesus is more concerned with the bigger picture of his ministry. Mary seems to have an understanding that Jesus can perform a miracle, yet she doesn’t appear to respect his authority as the Son of God. It is as if she knows her son is special but has not quite believed what she was told by the angel when she conceived. It leads me to think about times when I believe something, but when tested, realised I have not actually believed. This is so true about our relationship with God. We all say we believe things such as “God is in control”, yet when trouble strikes we try to solve it ourselves.
In my studies, I have come across the following points about this verse:
The first is that Jesus takes orders from God alone. His mother tells him the wine has run out with the expectation that He will fix it. He speaks quite harshly to her.
The second is that the reader gains an immediate understanding that Jesus is on a mission and time is short enough that he is not to be diverted from his task.
I have always wondered at what happens next. Mary appears to ignore Jesus and go ahead anyway! She asks the servants to do whatever Jesus instructs them. I have read one commentary that likened this to asking God in prayer for something, then obediently preparing the way for the answer to that prayer, should God choose to answer it. Another suggestion I read is that Mary, in telling the servant to wait for Jesus to issue orders had heeded his rebuke and understand she could not control him, but must wait for him.
Without fanfare, Jesus turns the water into wine. The way it is described, it is unclear whether all the water turned into wine, or whether it became wine when it was drawn for use. Was there any left over, or was there just enough for the needs of the wedding? Did the confused servants go to draw wine out of the jars the next day and find only water?
The master of ceremonies tests the wine and is amazed at how good it is. In fact he judges the wine to be the best and comments how unusual it is that the best should be saved until last. I have always wondered at that. Is it just a reference to the fact that anything Jesus does will be the best or is there another meaning? My research has been unable to find an answer to this question. Perhaps its aim is just to stress how mighty Jesus’ miracles are.
The section ends with John describing this as the first of Jesus’ miraculous signs. Signs suggest some deeper meaning that is being indicated by signs. His gospel is set out in a way that sets to identify and prove Jesus’ identity then draw us to the final fulfilment of prophesy and God’s promise of salvation.

 


 
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Nan
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