John 2 Bible Study
To what does the "third day" (John 2:1) refer?
It refers to 3 days from the end of the previous "chapter". When originally written in Greek, the Gospel of John and the other New Testament books were not marked with chapter or verse numbers. That was done much later to make it easier to identify passages.
Where is "Cana" (John 2:1)?
Cana is in the Galilee region, about 12 miles west of the Sea of Galilee and about 15 miles east of the Mediterranean Sea.
Why do you think Jesus and his disciples were invited to
the wedding at Cana?
Mary is probably one of the people organizing the wedding.
What clues are there?
She tells the servants what to do, knows the wine has run out even before the master of the wedding feast, and the wine being gone is of "concern" (John 2:4) to her.
Why would she be concerned about the wine running out at the wedding feast?
In those days, wine was the only drink other than water. Running out of wine at a wedding feast would be comparable to a wedding reception today running out of all drinks except for tap water, and the Jewish wedding receptions back then lasted for 7 days!
Why would she be helping to run a wedding feast in the first place?
It’s probably the wedding of a relative, hence the invitation to Jesus as well, and it was customary for the disciples of a rabbi to go everywhere he went.
What do you think of Jesus’ reply to Mary?
While the original Greek for "Woman" (John 2:4) isn’t derogatory, the fact that Jesus addresses His mother with this term and that the Bible records it are significant.
Jesus must have called her, 'mother' growing up. Why does
He now call her "Woman"?
Since His ministry had commenced, Jesus was differentiating Himself - God the Son - from her, a human vessel through whom God chose to come into the world.
If His ministry had commenced, why did He say, "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4)?
The term, "my hour" refers not to His ministry but to his final confrontation with the Jewish leaders that would lead to the cross. The timing of that had to be precise and Jesus knew that His miracles would draw the attention of the Jewish leaders. We will read other references to His time not yet coming until the final chapters of John.
What did Mary say?
"Whatever He says to you, do it." (John 2:5)
What else does the Bible quote Mary as having said after this?
Nothing else. These are the final words that God, the author of the Bible, chose to quote from Mary. So anyone who believes in or prays to Mary for guidance should heed her and do whatever Jesus, whom the Bible refers to as the Word of God, says to do.
What do you think about the description of the waterpots?
They are not described simply as "some" waterpots. They are made of "stone". There are "six" of them. And they are big enough to hold "twenty or thirty gallons a piece." (John 2:6) This type of visual precision on numbers, size and composition provides evidence of the Gospels being eyewitness accounts.
What is meant by, "the manner of purification of the Jews" (John 2:6)?
To be ceremonially clean, Jews had to wash not just their hands before a meal, but their hands and the dishes after every course of the meal. They also had to wash their feet for the reasons mentioned in John chapter 1, hence the need for large waterpots.
What might the servants may have been thinking
as they approached the master of the feast?
'We’re going to be in trouble for bringing washing water instead of wine...'
What’s lesson does the obedience of the servants and
Nike's marketing slogan have for us?
When God says to do something, just do it, even if you don’t understand why you need to do it. If you’re sure that God wants you to do it, that's enough.
Did Jesus come through for that wedding feast?
Absolutely. He gave them 120 to 180 gallons of arguably the finest wine ever made. Can you imagine what that wine must have tasted like?
By the way, what does John call this changing of water into wine?
"Beginning of signs." (John 2:11)
"Signs" of what?
That Jesus is God, as he declares outright in John 20:30-31, which we will cover later.
Where is Capernaum?
It's another town on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Then why does the passage say that He went "down" to
Capernaum when it lies north of Cana?
Cana is located at a higher elevation.
Who’s missing from those listed?
Joseph, who probably has already died since there is no mention of him after Jesus began His ministry.
Who went with Jesus, His disciples and Mary?
Jesus' "brothers" (John 2:12).
Jesus had brothers?
Yes, and sisters too.
How do we know that?
Matthew 13:55-56 states, ..."Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us?"... So according to the Bible, Mary had given birth to at least 5 sons and 2 daughters.
What does that mean about Mary’s alleged virginity throughout her life?
It’s a myth, and those who wish to propagate this myth try to twist the above passage in Matthew. They say that those brothers and sister must have been from Joseph's previous marriage. But there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that Joseph had been married before he married Mary. Or they try to assert that they must have been either biological cousins or "spiritual" brothers and sisters, again without any evidence. But there is another passage in Matthew that they cannot get around: "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus" (Matthew 1:24-25). The expression, to "know" is consistently used throughout the Bible to indicate sexual relations, and the context of the passage above makes this evident. Saying that Joseph did not have sex with her "until" she had brought forth her firstborn son means that he did have sex with her thereafter. And "firstborn" son means that she had other sons.
What is Passover?
It's a feast that commemorates God's deliverance of His people from bondage in Egypt by pouring out His wrath on the land while sparing those who were marked by the blood of a lamb that had been sacrificed: (Exodus 12:1-14): "1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire - its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance."
What was the requirement for the lamb's condition?
It had to be "without blemish" (Exodus 12:5).
What does the lamb symbolize?
Jesus, whom according to Hebrews 4:15 is the only one "without sin".
What does the lamb's blood symbolize?
The blood Jesus shed on the cross to protect us from the wrath of God directed at sins.
What are the money-changers doing
in the temple, and why did the "Jews" object in John 2:18?
At first, people brought their own animals and the priests inspected them to make sure that they weren't sick before sacrificing them. Fast forward a few hundred years and the priests were telling the people to leave their animals at home and instead just come and buy animals at the temple to sacrifice. But there was a catch. Since priests couldn't touch coins that bore the Caesar’s image, the people first had to change their money, for a fee of course, into a special temple money. So the priests were making money twice - the currency conversion and the sale of animals - on each person and didn’t appreciate Jesus crimping their business.
Does anything like this ever happen today?
It happens in every religious organization in which the leaders live in luxury from the monies collected for God's work around the world. The tactics may have changed but profiteering in the name of God hasn't.
Where does the Bible say the judgment will begin?
According to 1 Peter 4:17, "house of God".
What’s peculiar about what the Jews said in verse 18?
They actually are not saying that what Jesus did is bad. They are simply asking him to prove his authority to do it.
What does Jesus say in response?
His resurrection will prove who He is. The resurrection of Jesus confirms His deity. If there had been no resurrection, Christianity is one big waste of time.
From this passage, did Jesus do miracles after all?
Yes, as per John 2:23, but at his time and place.
Why didn’t Jesus commit to them if they believed in His name?
They believed in His name as that of a healer, but they didn’t see the healings as the sign of his deity. Jesus knew that those who desired and believe in just the miracles will not truly believe Him for who He is. He doesn’t want someone who just wants a genie who grants them their wish. He wants people who want to have an intimate, personal relationship with Him for who He is - the creator of the universe, including us - and for what He already did for us 2000 years ago.
What drives your curiosity about Jesus?