Jesus Turns Water into Wine

Water into Wine

Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-25)

Verse 1: "On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there."

The "third day" was not the third day of the week, but is believed to refer to the third day after Nathaniel became a follower of Jesus. (in our last study)

Most scholars believe Khirbet Kana (over eight miles from Nazareth) to be the location of "Cana."

Verse 2: "Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples."

Weddings were week-long festivals with banquets with many distinguished guests and prominent teachers.

The source of invitation cannot be known; evidently John considered it enough to know that Jesus and His disciples, and His mother were invited and that they attended.

Verse 3: "When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."

Many times the whole town would attend weddings. It was considered an insult to refuse and invitation.

This required careful planning. The host was to provide enough wine to last for seven days. To run out of wine at a wedding would have been a social blunder that would have been a source of embarrassment to the family for years.

Jesus' mother knowing He could perform the miracle of creating wine out of nothing, apparently hoped her remark would enlist His aid.

Verse 4: "And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come."

"Woman" was a respectful address and was used much in the same was as ("Ma'am") in our day; however it was not a customary term for ones' mother. Most believe Jesus' statement was intended to establish a polite distance. Nevertheless, a mild and respectful reproof of his mother cannot be separated from this.

Jesus' reference to "My hour" is a reference to the cross. Jesus was saying He would begin doing miracles when He began His journey to the cross.

Verse 5: "His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Mary left the outcome in Jesus' hands and at the same time, did not take no for an answer. She was confident Jesus would handle the situation in the best possible manner. (Many ancient bible teachers used Mary's act of confidence as a demonstration of "strong faith.")

Verses 6-7: "Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim."

The 6 stone water jars, holding 20-30 gallons each, were being reserved for ritual purposes and would have been enough to fill a Jewish immersion pool used for ceremonial purification.

The servants obeyed and filled the waterpots to the brim.

Verses 8-10: "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."

The miracle of turning water into wine is seen as a literal creative act of God incarnate.

The "Master of the banquet" was considered to be a position of honor. The Jewish teachers disapproved of drunkenness at weddings, so the responsibility of the Master of the banquet was not only to preside over the entertainment but to control the level of dilution for the wine. The alcohol level of new wine was watered down, with two to three parts water to one part wine. In this light he too may have been partly responsible for the host's running out of wine.

People sometimes wrongly expect life with God to be boring and dull. Just as the wine Jesus made was the best, life with Him is exciting and far better than life on our own.

Verse 11: "This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him."

This beginning of miracles is truly an introduction to all the other miracles performed by Jesus.

John refers to Jesus' miracles as "signs." God had often manifested His glory by doing signs (EX 16:7). Moses' first sign was turning water into blood (EX 7:20),

"And His disciples believed in Him," as with His Followers today, there was new faith and hope, a bonding and excitement with His disciples that would explode into total dedication to Him in all circumstances.

Verse 12: "After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days."

Capernaum was a principal city on the northwest banks of the Sea of Galilee, a place Jesus visited often, located in the area where He lived and many of His most notable deeds were performed.

This is what He had to say about Capernaum: "Thou Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day" (Matt 11:23).

This is the first mention of Jesus' brothers in John; and as we will see in John 7:5 they did not yet believe in him.

Jesus and the Money Changers: Jesus Cleanses the Temple

This cleansing of the temple should not be confused with still another event where He also cleansed the temple a few days before the crucifixion. In this cleansing Jesus uses a scourge that is not mentioned in the accounts of the second cleansing.

Verse 13: "The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."

The Passover feast was part of an annual event that lasted one week. It was held in Jerusalem and all Jewish males were expected to attend. The Passover was for one day, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted the rest of the week.

Verse 14: "In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there."

Sheep, doves, and cattle were necessary for the people's sacrifices. The only money that could be used in such purchases was controlled by the temple. Money-changers, who charged enormous fees, would standardized the foreign and Galilean currencies into the temple coinage that were then used to pay taxes and to buy and sell sacrificial animals.

Making a mockery of God's house of worship, the money-changers and merchants had moved right into sacred area of the temple itself, and Jesus was angry!

Verse 15: "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."

This disrespectful mockery of God's house was unacceptable to Jesus. Here we see a part of Jesus many do not understand. Those who think Jesus was weak or wimpy in any way should study this Scripture.

Jesus' love and reverence for the Father became a demonstration of righteous indignation and unlimited power under control. The Messiah of Israel had arrived and was laying claim to His rightful position as head of the Theocracy by using a whip to chase them out.

Our study will show that from this day forward murderous schemes were devised for getting rid of Jesus.

Verse 16: "And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade."

These people had either forgotten or didn't care that God's house is a place of worship, not a place for making a profit.

"My Father's House" indicates the unique sonship of Jesus and the advent of the Messiah.

Verse 17: "His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."

The disciples recall Psalms 69:9, a psalm of a righteous sufferer. The cleansing of the temple was another excellent sign pointing to the Messiah, but it was rejected.

Verses 18-21: "So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20The 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."

Jesus was speaking of the temple of His body, but the Jews thought He was talking about the temple they had just been driven out of.

It had taken forty-six years to build the temple, so to most Jews, and especially to the ones who controlled Jerusalem's temple, Jesus' words here (He would raise it up in three days) would sound blasphemous.

Verses 22: "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."

A prophetic word is often understood only in retrospect. Jesus words would be better understood by His disciples after His death with the resurrection of His body occurring on the third day. This prophecy/prediction became the strongest proof for His claims to be God.

Jesus Knows What Is in Man Verses 23-25: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man."

Many people believed on Jesus when they saw the signs and miracles He preformed, but this sudden wave of popularity did not deceive Him, because He knew how fickle and unreliable public opinion could be. He knew this would be short lived and did not entrust Himself to them.

Jesus knows the heart of all people. Miracle workers of that day were often thought to know some hearts, but only God, who was called the "Searcher of Hearts," knew the hearts of all people.

Just as He read the hearts of both Peter and Nathaniel, He could see right through these people. Without a doubt He knew that some of these would be among those who shouted, "Crucify him!" when the Lord stood before Pilate.

Our next study, (John 3:1-21), Jesus tells Nicodemus:

"You Must be Born Again"



Gospel of John Bible Study

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Jesus Turns Water into Wine

Samuel L. Mills