Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 2:6-11
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 2:6
v6: Six large, stone, water pots had been placed nearby, each able to hold between 17 and 25 gallons (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, Eerdmans, 1971, p182). Jewish tradition required that the feet of all the guests be washed when they arrived and that everyone’s hands be washed before each meal, which is why large amounts of water would have been needed to care for what appears to be a sizeable wedding and to last through the marriage festivities which often continued for a week (Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Hendrickson, 1994, p143).

Monday: John 2:7-8
v7: At some point when Jesus decided the Father wanted Him to perform this “sign,” He spoke to the servants saying, “Fill the water pots with water,” and they filled them up to the brim. His mother had already alerted the servants to watch for any instruction Jesus might give (v5). The fact that she felt the need to do this may indicate that Jesus did not yet hold any special position of authority in that community, but apparently Mary did. v8: Once the water level in each pot was replenished until no more water could be added, Jesus said, “Now dip out and carry [it] to the person in charge of the meal, and they carried [it to him]” (literal).

Tuesday: John 2:9
v9: When that man tasted the water, which had already become wine, John tells us that he was unaware that a miracle had taken place. All he knew was that a servant had asked him to taste a cup of wine. As the person in charge he must have known that the family’s supply of wine was running low, so he probably assumed someone had located additional wine and he was being asked to taste it to decide whether or not it was good enough to serve the guests. But John tells us the servants did know before they handed the cup to him. The wording he uses indicates that the wine was still water when they dipped it out of one of the large pots, but that it became wine before he tasted it.

Wednesday: John 2:9-10
v9 (continued): The willingness of the servants to participate in this process is amazing. Either Mary’s authority was strong enough to press them to do something so illogical, or they may have sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. Water doesn’t turn to wine without power, and real power can often be felt. v10: When the man in charge of the meal tasted the wine he was startled. Not knowing how it had been produced, he assumed the host-family must have kept a supply of their finest wine in reserve. So he called out to the bridegroom using a full voice so everyone could hear. He said, “Everybody puts out the good wine first, and when [their guests] become drunk, the inferior, [but] you have kept the good wine until now” (literal). He meant it as a compliment, and he wasn’t announcing that everyone present was drunk. He was simply describing a common practice which often took place at such festivities: cheaper wine was brought out after people became less aware of the taste of what they were drinking. John mentions the man’s announcement to highlight the authenticity of the miracle and to demonstrate that when Jesus did something, He did it well (Mk 7:37). The miracle spoke not only of His power but also of His character.

Thursday: John 2:10
v10 (continued): There was now approximately 120 gallons of fine wine standing in six stone pots, but it seems from the circumstances that the wedding festivities were nearing an end. If so, that much wine would certainly not be needed. In that culture wine was normally diluted with water before it was drunk (one part wine to three parts water) (Fire Bible: Global Study Edition, Donald Stamps, gen. ed., Hendrickson, 2009, p1911-1912), so it is possible this large quantity of a fine quality wine would have served as a wedding gift to the new couple. It could have been sold and the finances used to help start their life together. If so, this miraculous multiplication of wine would have had the same purpose as the huge catch of fish Jesus later provided for His disciples (Lk 5:1-11). The fish could be sold or kept in a livewell to provide for the families of the disciples while they were traveling with Jesus (Lk 5:11).

Friday: John 2:11
v11: John concludes his description of this event with these words, “This beginning of the signs (of His divinity and Messiahship) Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him” (literal). It’s important to note John’s words: His disciples believed in Him. In this verse John isn’t emphasizing the fact that they believed in God, though they certainly did, he says they believed in Jesus. This focus on Jesus Himself, not simply His teachings or His miracles is the reason John wrote this gospel (Jn 20:30-31). In it we repeatedly hear Jesus invite people to believe in Him (e.g. Jn 3:15; 5:46; 6:40). He declares Himself to be the “bread of life” (Jn 6:35); the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12), the “door” to the sheepfold (Jn 10:7, 9); the “good shepherd” (Jn 10:11, 14); the “resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25); the “way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6); and the “true vine” (Jn 15:1, 5). The “Jesus” John shows us isn’t merely a prophet pointing us toward God, but someone who is actually calling us to believe in Him. He applies to Himself terms which rightfully belong only to God. Yet the “Jesus” John shows us submits totally to God the Father (Jn 5:19) and honors Him as God (Jn 20:17), while at the same time, understanding Himself to be divine and worthy of worship.

Saturday: John 2:11
v11 (continued): None of this is meant to imply that Jesus is another God, that we are to think that there are now two Gods (or three), but only to reveal the mystery that the Father has begotten a Son and to show us His true nature: the Son is submitted to the Father; exactly like Him; and gladly came to earth to rescue us and bring us back to the Father and Himself (Rev 21:22-23; 22:1). Because Jesus’ spirit is divine, He was still able, after becoming a man, to exercise a level of spiritual authority that belongs only to God; He was able to invite people to focus their faith on Him, and He willingly received their worship; all of which would be absolutely blasphemous if He were not God’s begotten Son (Jn 1:18) and terribly dangerous if He were not perfectly yielded to the Father’s will. What we learn about the relationship between the Father and the Son, as we watch and listen to Jesus, is that there is not a trace of division, jealousy or competition between them. As humans, such unity and mutual love between two persons is beyond our experience. Nowhere else have we ever seen such a relationship, so it’s very difficult for us to comprehend, which is why our proper response is to humbly accept, by faith, what is revealed in Scripture and then to rejoice that God has sent His Son to save us, to believe the truth about the Son so that we might be restored to the Father. 

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