John chapter 2 has two parts; the Wedding at Cana, and a First Clearing of the Temple. Verses 1 thru 11 are of a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Chapter 1, at verse 19, up to here, all seem to be a part of just one week, as 1:29, 35 and 43 all open with, ‘The next day,’ and here, we commence with, ‘On the third day’. This is all very early on, before Jesus has become well known. This explains Jesus’ words to His mother in verse 4, that His time had not yet come. Now the 6 stone water pots held some 120 to 180 gallons, and Jesus miraculously turned all of that water into a very fine wine. While drunkenness is not to be approved of; in Middle-Eastern culture, that taboo is set aside during the time of a wedding celebration. It was then, and it still is down to our day. Verse 10, no matter how you want to take it, expresses that very thing. None of that is germane to the account here. The entire point and purpose is two-fold. First, to relate that this was Jesus’ very first miraculous sign concerning Who He was; and, second, that His first disciples might begin to place their #6, faith in Him. This He did accomplish, no matter what anyone might think of the means!
Then, with verses 12 thru 25, the scene transitions to a Passover in Jerusalem, where Jesus clears, or cleanses, the Temple of the merchants there; as that was the Court of the Gentiles, where the people of the non-Jewish world could come and seek the One True God of Israel… but, not with all that commercial hub-bub going on in there! This provokes His first confrontation with the Jewish leadership in Israel, as they question His authority to do such a thing, though they must have known in their hearts that He was right in what He did. Jesus’ response is amazing. He prophesies unto them of His very resurrection on the third day. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the second of the 2 elements of #5, the Gospel; that ‘Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead‘. As with the turning of the water into wine, the purpose and result of His words and actions was to begin to get His people, Israel, to #7, believe upon Him.
If you are counting, this concept has already appeared some 7 times in just these first 2 chapters. Remember, it is all John’s purpose in writing his Gospel account, as he stated in 20:31. We also catch a glimpse of man’s problem, with the closing 2 verses, as Jesus would not entrust Himself to them. He knew what was in a man… that he is a #2, sinner, in need of a ‘heart transplant‘! Which is just what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell