Monday, May 5, 2014

The Gospel According to John, Chapter 2

"On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.  When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."  And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me?"  My hour has not yet come."  His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water."  And they filled them up to the brim.  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."  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.

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

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.  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.  And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade."  His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."

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

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man."  John:2  ESV

Explanation for some of the verses in John 2 is from The MacArthur Study Bible, pages 1537-1539

"2:1-11  John relates the first great sign performed by Jesus to demonstrate his deity, the turning of water into wine.  Only God can create from nothing.  John identifies eight miracles in his Gospel that constitute "signs" or confirmation of who Jesus is.  Each of the eight miracles were different; no two were alike.(cf. v. 11)"

"2:13-25 John used this section where Jesus cleansed the temple in righteous indignation to reinforce his main theme that he was the promised Messiah and Son of God. In this section, he highlighted three attributes of Jesus that confirm his deity:  1) his passion for reverence (vv. 13-17);  2) his power of resurrection (vv. 18-22); and  3) his perception of reality (vv.23-25)."

"2:15 As John recorded this cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, the synoptic Gospels record a temple cleansing at the end of Jesus' ministry during the final Passover week before Jesus' crucifixion (Matt. 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-46).  The historical circumstances and literary contexts of the two temple cleansings differ so widely that attempts to equate the two are unsuccessful.  Furthermore, that two cleansing occured is entirely consistent with the overall context of Jesus' ministry, for the Jewish nation as a whole never recognized Jesus' authority as Messiah (Matt. 23:37-39).  Instead, they rejected his message as well as his person, making such repeated cleansing of the temple highly probable (as well as necessary).  drove them all out of the temple.  When the holiness of God and his worship was at stake, Jesus took fast and furious action.  The "all"  indicates that he drove out not only men but also animals.  Yet, although his physical action was forceful, it was not cruel.  The moderation of his actions is seen in the fact that to riotous uproar occurred; otherwise the specially large contingent of Roman troops in Jerusalem at that time because of the Passover crowds, stationed in the Antonia Fortress overlooking the temple, would have swiftly reacted.  Although the primary reference is to the actions of the Messiah in the millenial kingdom, Jesus' actions in cleansing the temple were an initial fulfillment of Mal. 3:1-3 (and Zech. 14:20-21) that speak of Messiah's purifying the religious worship of his people."

"2:18-22  The second way John demonstrated Christ's deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show his power over death through resurrection.  Only God has this right."

"2:23-25  The third way John demonstrated Christ's deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show his perception of reality.  Only God truly knows the hearts of men."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those who are reading the Bible today.  I pray that as You reveal Yourself to us in the Gospel of John and in the whole Bible--that their hearts and minds will be open to receive You as their Lord and Savior.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

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