John 2

John 2:1

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

(a) The third day. The wedding took place on the third day which is to say it took place on a Tuesday.

Tuesdays were considered auspicious days for Jewish weddings because in the Creation week the third day is the only day where God said “it was good” twice (Gen. 1:10, 12). A Tuesday wedding also gave people time to prepare the food and travel after the preceding Sabbath, while leaving plenty of time to party before the following Sabbath. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, thus the day also symbolizes the transformation of death into new life.

(b) Cana of Galilee was an obscure town whose location has been lost to history. It was possibly near Capernaum since Jesus and his mother went there afterwards (John 2:12). We know almost nothing about Cana other than the Son of God chose to begin his ministry there. Just as God chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the strong (1 Cor. 1:27), Jesus chose an insignificant little village to first reveal his glory. Cana was also the hometown of the disciple Nathanael (John 21:2).

(c) The mother of Jesus. All four Gospel writers refer to Mary as the mother of Jesus. See entry for Matt. 1:18.

John 2:3

When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

The mother of Jesus was Mary; see entry for Matt. 1:18.

John 2:4

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

Woman. Mary was an extraordinary woman, highly favored by God, and rightly honoured by the Church. Yet nowhere in scripture does Jesus refer to her as mother. Instead, he calls her woman (John 19:26).

If you asked Jesus who his mother was, he would reply, “My mother and brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). Jesus was not being disrespectful to Mary, but like Melchizedek, he was “without father and mother” in the usual sense (Heb. 7:3).

John 2:6

Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

Jesus told the servants to fill six stone water jars (John 2:6). Six stone jars equates to more than 120 gallons of wine (or about 500 litres). The Jews used the water from these pots to wash themselves before eating (see Mark 7:3). The hosts had probably borrowed extra water pots from their neighbors to accommodate the wedding guests.

John 2:12

After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.

(a) His mother; see entry for Matt. 1:18.

(b) His brothers or half-brothers were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matt. 13:55). At first, these men did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 3:21). But they and their mother Mary were among those praying in the Upper Room after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14). James became the influential leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). It’s possible the other brothers became ministers of the gospel and apostles, but we have no direct evidence for this (1 Cor. 9:5).

John 2:15

And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;

(a) A scourge of cords is very handy for moving livestock. Jesus did not come to scourge people but to put an end to animal sacrifices (cf. Heb. 12:6).

(b) Drove them all out. When it comes to moving merchants and money-changers, nothing is more effective than a herd of stampeding oxen.

This was the first of at least two times that Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple (see entry for Mark 11:15).

John 2:16

and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

My Father; see entry for John 4:21.

John 2:18

The Jews then said to him, “What sign do you show us as your authority for doing these things?”

Sign. The Jews wanted a sign from heaven to prove that God was with Jesus; see entry for Matt. 12:38.

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