< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: John 2:1-10

Monday, March 13, 2017

John 2:1-10

John 2.1-2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

After His talk with Nathanael, Jesus and His (so far) 5 disciples left Judah in the south of Israel and began the long walk north to Cana, a village near Nazareth, in the hills above the Sea of Galilee. This journey of perhaps 60 miles would have taken two or three days. 

1st-century Jewish weddings were special occasions. They didn’t have an easy life. And they were under Roman occupation. So a wedding was a chance to really celebrate and have fellowship with family and friends. It was a big deal!

The wedding was held late in the evening after the wedding feast. Afterwards the newlyweds would lead a joyful procession to their new home. The festivities continued for at least a week and the bride and groom wore crowns and wedding clothes and were treated like a king and queen as guests visited their home.

John 2:3  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

This family may not have had much money, but no matter how poor, the bridegroom was responsible to provide enough wine for a full week of wedding festivities. Few things humiliated a family more than to have too little food and wine for guests. This was a social disaster!

It’s possible this was a wedding of a relative since Mary felt like she should go to Jesus about it. And this is the reason Bible scholars think Joseph was no longer living – a. he wasn’t mentioned and b. she went to Jesus for help.

When she said “they have no more wine” she probably wasn’t requesting a miracle. We have no reason to believe Jesus preformed miracles while growing up, and in fact later in verse 11 it actually says this was His first.

But for 30 years she had been treasuring what the angel had told her before He was born. And also the events of the night He was born. And now here He was with disciples!

John 2:4  “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

I have to admit; when I first read this it kind of bothered me. To us it comes across kind of rude. Addressing someone as Woman was a common expression back then, but it wasn’t the way a son would address his mother. A commentator suggested Jesus was preparing His mother to see Him no longer as her flesh and blood son who was obedient to her. She needed to know Jesus as her Lord and yield obedience to Him.

It probably wasn’t easy for her. But remember when Mary brought the baby Jesus to the temple and Simeon prophesized telling her a sword would pierce her heart? This may have been the start of it.

Where He says, “my hour has not yet come”, hour is a key term in John’s Gospel. Jesus knew why He came to earth. He knew His Father’s will. And whenever He spoke of His hour He referred to the cross. He knew it wasn’t time to reveal that He was the Messiah by doing a miracle.

John 2:5-9  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom asid. 

The 6 huge stone water jars were by the door and they were essential to the special ceremonial cleansing of feet, hands and household objects that Jewish tradition required. The servants listened to what Jesus said and then obeyed instantly. They filled the jars to the brim and then drew out some to give the master of the banquet. And Jesus transformed their simple act of obedience into an experience of His mighty power.

Because they were obedient, they, and Mary, were the only ones who knew Jesus had preformed a miracle.

Our lesson is: when you present your difficulty to the Lord in prayer, listen for His command. Look for how you are to obey Him in faith. Expect Him to enable you. That way we move from merely intellectual belief in Jesus to the actual experience of His strength at work in us.

Mary gave us a good example with coming to Jesus about a problem. She told Him the problem and then left it in His hands, ready to do what He told her to do about it, but not telling Him how she thought He should handle it.

John 2:10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Jesus created this wine. And it was abundant and the best. Because that’s the way He does stuff!

This miracle shows us that Jesus cares deeply about anything that concerns His people.

But the miracle was also symbolic. In the Old Testament, wine often pointed to the joys of the Messiah’s reign and God’s restoration of His people. The prophet Amos spoke of a day when “new wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.” Wine was also a picture of intense heart satisfaction in God as well as a sign of the blessings He lavishes on His undeserving people. So remember last time when I said the John called the miracles signs because they pointed to something eternal? The miracle of Jesus creating wine points to the start of the Messiah’s reign. His earthly ministry and His death and resurrection which would restore us to God.

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