Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 2:4-5
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 2:4
v4: Jesus’ reply to her, stated literally, was, “What [is it] to Me and to you, woman?” His words are often badly translated, which leaves Him sounding harsh and disrespectful. He was neither. Addressing Mary as “woman,” here or from the cross (Jn 19:26), was no different than addressing someone in a crowd who asked Him a question, as “man” (Lk 12:14). He seems to be asking her, “Why do you feel it’s our responsibility to solve this?” But then He adds a statement which lets us know that Mary must have had in mind the possibility that He would perform a miracle. He said, “My hour is not yet” (literal).

Monday: John 2:4
v4 (continued): The term “My hour,” in this case, must mean the season of ministry in which He would publicly reveal His identity as the Messiah by doing certain miracles. Up to this point in time, as far as we know, He had been baptized by John, tempted in the wilderness and held conversations with five or six men who became convinced that He was the promised Messiah. He exercised words of knowledge in His encounters with Peter (Jn 1:42) and Nathaniel (Jn 1:48), but He had not yet done a “sign” (v11). John uses the term “sign” to mean a miracle which fulfilled one of the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah (Jn 2:11, 23; 3:2; 4:54; 6:2, 14, 26, 30; 7:31; 9:16; 10:41; 11:47; 12:18, 37; 20:30). When Jesus performed “a sign,” He did something the Scriptures said the Messiah would do when He came.

Tuesday: John 2:4
v4 (continued): Judging from Jesus’ response, Mary’s request of Him must have been that He do a miracle to provide more wine. But the problem was if He did that particular miracle, He would be performing a “sign,” because one of the prophecies concerning the Messiah was that He would restore Israel’s harvest and as a result, “the vats will overflow with new wine and oil” (Joel 2:24) and “the mountains will drip sweet wine” (Am 9:13). Every miracle Jesus did proved that God was with Him, but certain miracles pointed to specific Messianic promises. People who loved God’s Word would recognize what that miracle meant.

Wednesday: John 2:4
v4 (continued): So if Jesus were to multiply wine, it would be more than simply a helpful miracle, it would be a way of saying openly, “I’m the Messiah!” This, He was hesitant to do. He may have wanted more time to converse privately with His disciples, but obviously, when He sought the leading of the Holy Spirit, He discerned that He was, indeed, supposed to meet this need and was also shown how (Jn 5:19-20). The fact that Jesus said to His mother “My hour is not yet” tells us that His true identity was something both He and Mary already understood. Apparently they had discussed the topic at some point during the years while He was growing up. There’s no other explanation for a mother turning to her son and asking Him to do a miracle like this.

Thursday: John 2:4
v4 (continued): If so, she may have told Him about the miraculous events surrounding His birth, probably before He was twelve years of age (Lk 2:49). It’s hard to imagine that the mean-spirited people of Nazareth did not confront Him with the fact that He had been conceived out of wedlock (Jn 8:41), and it’s equally hard to imagine that Mary (and Joseph) did not then explain to Him what had really happened. Why wouldn’t they have told Him about Gabriel’s announcement (Lk 1:26-38), or Joseph’s vision of the angel (Mt 1:20-21), or the angels appearing at His birth (Lk 2:13), or the shepherds who came to the stable (Lk 2:15), or about meeting Simeon and Anna at the Temple (Lk 2:25-38), or the visit by magi from the east (Mt 2:1-12), or their flight to Egypt to save His life (Mt 2:13-15)? While He was a very small child such information would have been too much to comprehend, but at some point during His years in Nazareth He would have needed to know the truth, and it appears from this exchange between mother and son that a conversation about this had taken place.

Friday: John 2:5
v5: John tells us that Mary responded to Jesus’ initial refusal by going to the servants and telling them, “Whatever He says to you, do” (literal), but John doesn’t tell us why she still felt confident He might help in that situation. In John’s brief description of the event, which he is recalling decades later, there would have been many details that he didn’t feel led to mention, so it’s quite possible that Jesus may have done or said something at that moment which indicated that He was still considering what to do. For example, He may have stepped aside and begun to pray, which would have caused Mary to remain hopeful.

Saturday: John 2:5
v5 (continued): The one thing we can be certain of is that she did not cause Him to do something He did not want to do, for He would not have responded to anything other than the leading of the Spirit (Jn 5:19-20). Something He did or said must have led her to believe that His “hour” (v4) was about to begin. As we read this account we need to remember that Mary is a woman who is strong in her knowledge of the Word. Anyone who can prophesy the way she did (Lk 1:46-55) knows exactly the sort of “signs” the Messiah would perform, and we can also be certain there was no doubt in her mind that her son was the Messiah. 

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