John 2:1-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

September 27, 2009


Why did John write his gospel?

1. He’s going to clear a few things up.

It’s been a good 20-30 years since the other gospels were written. He’s going to fill in some of the blanks left by the other gospels.

2. He’s going to correct the Gnostic heresies.

Today, the heresy of Gnosticism has once again raised its ugly head. Whether it’s in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or a university classroom, people are hearing about the “secret” (and incorrect) writings of the Gnostics.

3. He wants people to believe.

John wants his readers to understand just who Jesus is and believe in Him.

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

:1 on the third day

It probably doesn’t refer to the third day of the week (Tuesday) because virgins were always married on Wednesday, and widows were married on Thursday.

It probably refers to the third day after the last event (John 1:43), when Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He met both Philip and Nathanael.

The walk from Bethany to Galilee is 60 miles, and another 15 miles up into the hills to Cana.  That’s a LOT of hard walking and sore feet.

:1 a wedding

A typical Jewish wedding feast lasted seven days.  The feast took place after the groom took his bride to his or his father’s house.

We look forward to the Rapture of the church, when Jesus will take us to His father’s house, and we will be with Him for seven years before He comes back and begins to rule the world.
There had to be at least 10 men at the wedding to participate in the blessing of the bridegroom
The Jewish rabbis taught:

“they do not bless the blessing of bridegrooms, but with ten principal and free men; and the bridegroom may be one of the number.”

Jesus and his disciples would have been at least 6 of the ten required.

:1 CanaKana – “place of reeds”

Play video of Road to Cana. Cana is in the northern, Galilee region of Israel.

Cana has been around a long time.
It is located up in the hills of Galilee about 3 miles northeast of Nazareth.  You can look up in the hills and see Nazareth from Cana.
Like many “religious” places in Israel, there is a church built there – the “wedding church”.  Could you imagine getting married there?

Cana was the hometown of Nathanael (John 21:2)

(John 21:2 NKJV)  … Nathanael of Cana in Galilee…
This might have something to do why Jesus and His disciples have been invited to the wedding.
Nathanael was the skeptical disciple who said “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (1:46).
Perhaps a few more folks in Cana are going to find out if anything good could come from Nazareth.

Today, the place is called Kafr Kanna, or “Village of Cana”

It’s a small Arab town in Israel.  Population 17,500, 85% Muslim, 15%Christian.

:1 the mother of Jesus

There are some things to learn about Mary here.

She acts like someone related to the bride or groom.
Joseph may be dead.  He is never mentioned during the ministry of Jesus.
John had been entrusted by Jesus to care for Mary after His death (John 19:26-27)
(John 19:26-27 NKJV)  When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" {27} Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
One church tradition has Mary dying in the city of Ephesus, which is where John is when he’s writing this gospel.
John isn’t someone with a bone to pick with Mary.  He cares about her.  He knows her very well.  He’s giving us an eyewitness account of a special event.

:2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.

Jesus … invited It's always a good idea to invite Jesus to your wedding.

We had another wonderful wedding just yesterday – Justin and Nicki … and Jesus was invited.

Right now there are only five disciples: John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael.

:3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."

:3 wineoinos – The word means “wine”.

She seems to be implying that Jesus should do something about the situation.  Kind of like moms do from time to time. Remember that Mary is a Jewish mother.  Oy!

:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

:4 Womangune – a woman of any age

This word “woman” isn’t a demeaning term, it’s who she was.

Jesus does use the word in what seems a more kindly manner from the cross:
(John 19:26 NKJV)  When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"

On the other hand ... It isn’t quite like calling her “mom” either.

“As much as to say,” says Augustine, “thou art not the mother of that in me which worketh miracles.”

:4 what does your concern have to do with Me?

The Greek is literally, “What to me and to you?”

It seems to mean “What does this have to do with me?”

The expression is used more than a few times in the Scriptures … like … (1Ki 17:18 2Ki 3:13 2Ch 35:21 Mt 8:29 Mr 1:24 5:7 Lu 4:34 8:28)
When Jesus approached a demon possessed man in the synagogue, the man and demon replied:
(Mark 1:24 NKJV)  saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are; the Holy One of God!"
When Jesus approached the demon possessed man named Legion:
(Mark 5:7 NKJV)  And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me."
The widow rebuked Elijah when her son died:
(1 Ki 17:18 NKJV)  So she said to Elijah, "What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?"
When the king of Israel asked the prophet Elisha about an upcoming battle:
(2 Ki 3:13 NKJV)  Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, "What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother." But the king of Israel said to him, "No, for the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab."
When Josiah came out to battle with Pharaoh Necho, Necho responded:
(2 Chr 35:21 NKJV)  But he sent messengers to him, saying, "What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you."
When Jesus approached two demon possessed men, the demons said,
(Mat 8:29 NKJV)  And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"
It’s hard to see this any other way than as a rebuke to Mary.

:4 My hour has not yet come

This is a reference to when Jesus would fulfill His ultimate purpose, dying for us.

You will see the concept of this “hour” building throughout the gospel.

In John 7, Jesus’ brothers want to go to Jerusalem, but Jesus doesn’t go with them because they would have tried to make a big splash about Jesus
(John 7:6 NKJV)  Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come…
(John 7:8 NKJV)  "You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."
Several times people tried to arrest Jesus, but they were unable because it wasn’t the right time.
(John 7:30 NKJV)  Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
(John 8:20 NKJV)  …and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
Finally, during the last week, the hour has come.
(John 12:23 NKJV)  But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.
(John 12:27 NKJV)  "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
(John 13:1 NKJV)  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come …
(John 17:1 NKJV)  Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

Jesus knew there was a sequence of events that needed to happen, prophecies that needed to be fulfilled.

He was not going to act in a way that would speed those things up.  If Jesus became too well known too quickly, the pressure would be on for Him to become King of Israel.  He had a date with destiny to fulfill.  He wasn’t going to be early.  He wasn’t going to be late.

:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

:5 Whatever He says – Apparently, though she had received a mild rebuke from Jesus, Mary must realize that Jesus was still going to do something.

And so she puts the whole thing into Jesus' hands.

She's going to let Him do whatever He wants, in the manner He wants.


There’s something about Mary

Some folks think a bit too highly of Mary
They will refer to her as the “mother of God”.  They will say she was sinless. They will pray to Mary.  They will call her the “co-redemptrix”, someone else besides Jesus who is responsible for your salvation.
Those folks might be surprised to see that Jesus rebuked His mother.
Some folks think too lowly of Mary
She indeed was a special woman.  She was chosen by God to give birth to His Son.
Jesus might have rebuked her, but He did respond to her request.

Though some folks might take this to be a reason to pray to Mary, as if she has special pull with Jesus, I’ve got news for you.  You have the same pull with Jesus that Mary does.

(Mat 12:47-50)  Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." {48} But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" {49} And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! {50} "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

Mary is an honorable, blessed woman.  But so are you when you follow Jesus.

Pay attention to Mary. She gives some good advice here. Listen to what Jesus says, and do it.

:6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece.

manner of purificationkatharismos – a cleansing, purification, a ritual purgation or washing

:6 waterpots – These were waterpots used for the Jewish ritual purification.

The Jews regarded themselves ceremonially unclean if they did not wash both before and after eating.

These waterpots were not used for drinking water. Jesus is only picking out these pots because they would provide a large supply of water.

At twenty gallons each, this would make a supply of 120 gallons of water.

Think of 120 gallon milk jugs filled with water.

:7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.

fillgemizo – to fill, fill full

Jesus is going to take these 120 gallons of water, and turn it into wine.

That is a LOT of wine.  We’ll talk a little about wine in a minute.

For now, just think about how incredibly huge this was.  We have a God who can do things in a big way.

(Eph 3:20 NKJV)  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,



Jesus didn’t just send Peter to the corner store for a jug of wine, He provided 120 gallons instead!
Nancy Spiegelberg wrote:
     I crawled
     across the barrenness
       to You
     with my empty cup
     in asking
       any small drop
       of refreshment.
   if only
     I had known You
   I'd have come
   with a bucket.
(John 10:10 NKJV)  "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

:8 And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it.

drawantleo – to draw out of a ship’s bilge-water, to bale or pump out; to draw water

:8 master of the feastarchitriklinos – the superintendent of the dining room

This was the person who placed in order the tables and the couches, arranged the courses, and tasted the food and wine beforehand.

Sounds like the “wedding coordinator”

We aren’t told just when the water was turned to wine.

But somehow between the time that the water was put into the pots, and the time that it was delivered, it had turned into wine.

:9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.

:10 And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!"

A smart host serves the best wine first.  Then when you bring out the lesser quality stuff, perhaps people might be a bit too tipsy to notice.

:10 goodkalos – beautiful, excellent, choice, surpassing

A testimony that the wine that Jesus had made from water was better than the wine served at the beginning of the feast.

They served no wine before it’s time.

Was Jesus' wine an alcoholic beverage?

Short answer:  Yes.  Wine (oinos) is wine.  It is not simple grape juice.

In fact, the Pharisees leveled accusations at Jesus because unlike John the Baptist, He drank wine:

(Luke 7:33-34 NKJV)  "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' {34} "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
Note:  This does not mean that Jesus was ever drunk.  Only that He was accused of it because He did drink wine.

Is it okay to drink alcohol?

A qualified yes.

Wine was often the beverage of choice after water.
It was usually mixed with one part wine with two or three parts water, lowering the alcohol content considerably.
Paul even recommended to Timothy to drink wine for a reason:
(1 Tim 5:23 NKJV)  No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.
It seems that Timothy was getting “Montezuma’s revenge” from drinking the local water, so Paul recommends he mixes a little wine in the water to drink.

But there are problems with wine.


How to drink

1.  Don’t Get Drunk

Jesus said:
(Luke 21:34 NKJV)  "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
A fellow decides to take off early from work and go drinking. He stays until the bar closes at 2am at which time he is extremely drunk. When he enters his house, he doesn’t want to wake anyone up so he takes off his shoes and starts to tip toe up the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, he falls over backwards and lands flat on his rear end. That wouldn’t have been so bad except that he had an empty pint bottle in his back pocket that broke and the broken glass carved up his rear end terribly. But, he was so drunk that he didn’t know he was hurt. A few minutes later as he was undressing, he noticed blood, so he checked himself out in the mirror and sure enough, his behind was cut up something terrible. He repaired the damage as best he could under the circumstances and went to bed. The next morning, his head was hurting, his rear was hurting and he was hunkering under the covers, trying to think of a good story, when his wife came into the bedroom. “Well, you really tied one on last night,” she said, “where did you go?” “I worked late,” he said, “and I stopped off for a couple of beers.” “A couple of beers? That’s a laugh. You were plastered last night, so where did you go?” she inquired. “What makes you so sure that I got drunk last night anyway?” “Well, she replied, “My first big clue was when I got up this morning and found a bunch of band aids stuck to the mirror!”
We might find that story slightly amusing.  But if you are the drunk, it’s not so funny.  If you live with the drunk, it’s even less funny.  In reality, there is nothing cute or funny about a drunk.

The Bible tells a realistic picture of what an alcoholic looks like:

(Prov 23:29-35 NLT)  Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? {30} It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. {31} Don't let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you. {32} For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings like a viper. {33} You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. {34} You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. {35} And you will say, "They hit me, but I didn't feel it. I didn't even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can have another drink?"
Paul gives a better alternative to being drunk:
(Eph 5:18 NKJV)  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

It’s interesting that when the early church first experienced the filling of the Spirit, people around them thought they were drunk (Acts 2:13).

I’ve never experienced a hangover after being filled with the Holy Spirit.  I have experienced other things:

(Gal 5:22-23 NKJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control…

It is okay to drink.  It is not okay to get drunk.  If you can’t drink without getting drunk, perhaps you ought not to be drinking.  I’d rather be filled with the Spirit.

2.  Don’t trip up someone else

If you have the ability to enjoy wine with your supper, there is one more consideration.
Could your drinking cause them to start drinking when they shouldn’t?  Paul wrote,
(Rom 14:13-15 NKJV)  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. {14} I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. {15} Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

If you are friends with an alcoholic, and they see you drinking, is it going to nudge him into drinking?  I have a lot of friends who are alcoholics – I’d hate to be the one that caused them to lose their sobriety.

What would you think if while you got seated at your table at the Olive Garden and you look at the next table and see me sipping a big glass of wine?

It’s not love to be the cause for someone else getting drunk.

We have freedom in Christ.  We have freedom to drink.  We also have freedom not to drink.

:11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

:11 signssemeion – a sign, mark, token

This is going to be a recurring theme throughout the gospel of John.

John has picked 8 of Jesus' miracles, and laid them out for us as signs, a miracle that teaches us something, that reveals something to us about Jesus.
There was a purpose and design in this and the other miracles recorded by John.

What was the significance of this miracle?

Jesus is gracious – look at that abundance!
Jesus brings true joy (the life of the party?)
Jesus is a transformer
He changes lives, taking something ordinary like water, and turning it into something special, like wine.
When we fill these old stone pots with the water of the Word, He can change it into wine.

(2 Cor 5:17 NKJV)  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

:11 manifested His glory

He made visible or known His glory which had been hidden from them thus far.

The apostle John has already written

(John 1:14 NKJV)  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
This is one of those little peeks at the glory of Jesus.

:11  His disciples believed

That was the purpose of the miracles in the first place.

(John 20:30-31 NKJV)  And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; {31} but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
The disciples that were there saw what had happened, and it caused them to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.

What does John’s account cause you to believe?   Let’s review it …

Play the Gospel of John clip.  What do you believe?
1. Jesus is like no other.
He is the Son of God.  He is amazing.
2. Jesus is humble
He wasn’t out to draw attention to Himself.  It wasn’t time yet.  He did this miracle in a way that didn’t draw attention to Himself.
3.  Jesus can change things
He can take something ordinary like water and turn it into something special like wine.  Could He change your life?
Remember what Mary said to the servants, “Whatever He tells you, do it”.  That’s when things change.
4. Jesus loves marriage
For the Jews, going to a wedding was a way of showing kindness and support for the couple.
If He thought marriage was a waste of time, why did He prolong the feast by turning the water into wine?
Marriage is a good thing.  It’s even better when Jesus is invited in.

(Eccl 4:9-12 NKJV)  Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. {10} For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. {11} Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? {12} Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

He wants to be a part of your marriage.  He wants to be that third cord holding things together.

5. Jesus makes the party
It’s not the snacks that make the party.  It’s Jesus.
The friends are coming over to the house, but is Jesus invited?
Christians, don’t be ashamed to put Jesus right in the center of your gathering, or your party.
The only fun that Jesus spoils is the kind of fun that destroys you.
Jesus doesn’t destroy good parties.  He’s the one who makes water into wine.