Exodus 6:3 Again
Let me begin by framing this study of John 2.1-22 (ESV) as representative of Jesus’ developing our mindset on God throughout the remainder of John’s Gospel. This is the reason the Word (John 1.1) took upon Himself flesh (John 1.14) to reveal the Father/ Creator to mankind (John 1.18). Our challenge is to know and understand God (Jeremiah 9.23-24) through the specific seven miracles and other teachings of Jesus, among the many (John 21.25), which the Holy Spirit refreshed in John’s memory during the 60 years from the time John personally experienced Jesus (1 John 1.1-4).
The study of John 2.1-22 prompts the following questions:
- Why do you think the Holy Spirit begins with Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine?
- What did Jesus’ objection, “My hour has not yet come” (verse 4), mean?
- What did Mary expect Jesus to do (verse 5)? What or Who might have prompted her to engage Him in the bridegroom’s troubles?
- How did Jesus’ solution “manifest His glory” (verse 11)? What is the connection of this to John 1.18?
- How many disciples were with Jesus at this wedding?
- Why did Jesus object to merchants’ enabling worshippers in the Temple with their offerings?
- Why did Jesus justify His actions with, seeming, hyperbole?
- To what past and future events was Jesus referring and why (verse 19; Jonah)?
- What was the reaction of His disciples?
The Wedding Feast
On the “third day” after Jesus’ baptism and calling of Andrew and Simon/Peter as disciples, (John 1.26-42) and on the same day that Jesus called Phillip and Nathanael as disciples (John 1.43-2.1), Jesus left Bethany (or Bethsaida, perhaps) for Cana in Galilee, to attend a wedding there with his mother. At the wedding feast, Jesus replenished the exhausted supply of wine with pure, Heavenly wine (John 2.1-10).
Jesus’ objection but obedience to Mary’s request (John 2.3) is understood in the following:
The phrase [“My hour has not yet come.”] constantly refers to Jesus’ death and exaltation (John 7:30 8:20 12:23, 27 13:1 17:1). He was on a divine schedule decreed by God before the foundation of the world. Since the prophets characterized the messianic age as a time when wine would flow liberally (Jeremiah. 31:12; Hosea. 14:7; Amos 9:13–14), Jesus was likely referring to the fact that the necessity of the cross must come before the blessings of the millennial age. (MacArthur, John 2.3)
As I was prayerfully reflecting upon Jesus’ objection, I was reminded that Jesus will be our Bridegroom in the New Earth (Revelation 21.1-22.14) and will celebrate our wedding feast! It was a pleasing thought that Jesus might have expressed melancholy, too, in His statement.
The study title, Exodus 6.3 Again, suggests another understanding that might be communicated by the Holy Spirit through this, Jesus’ first miracle. This OT verse is a pivot by God to Moses that will evidence the hitherto unacknowledged characteristic of God’s Omnipotence: LORD! God had revealed Himself to earlier generations as El Shaddai or God Almighty (Psalm 91.1) providing for their various needs. And, while God Almighty would continue to provide manna (Exodus 16.14-15; Joshua 5.12) and resilient cloths and sandals (Deuteronomy 29.5) for the wandering Jews until they crossed the Jordan River opposite Jericho, He would reveal His Lordship by driving from the Promised Land the peoples whose lifestyles were profaning it (Leviticus 18.24-28). In Cana, Jesus reveals God Almighty (John 1.18) by providing wine for His needy celebrants…and only the best! He would, next, demonstrate God as LORD of the Temple and of life.
Cleansing the Temple
At Jesus’ first presentation of Himself at the Feast of Passover (Deuteronomy 16.16-17) in Jerusalem as Messiah, His indignant behavior, expressing His mindset, drove out the Temple merchants, which He might have seen there during earlier annual, family visits. They were, now, abhorrent! The four disciples understood that Jesus’ words (John 2.15 & 16) and deeds were probably from God reminding them of David’s Psalm 69.9: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Jesus had demonstrated His “zeal” on one other recorded occasion, when at age 12, He questioned and answered the teachers in the Temple; Luke 2.46.
What did Jesus’ answer announce to those who heard Him (John 2.19)? This reply would be repeated to accuse Jesus at trial (Matthew 26.61, Mark 14.58) and would become a derision from the onlookers at the Cross (Matthew 27.40, Mark 15.29-30). But, was this Jesus’ ‘poking the bear’, so to speak? Was this announcement of His resurrection an initial statement of certainty that He would triumph in the end over their threats and, eventual, crucifixion of Him? Would Jesus’ second “loud cry” from the Cross (Matthew 27.50; Mark 15.37) declare His victory over satan’s evil system, like the male lion announcing his successful night of hunting? Jesus’ pronouncement would be a repeat of Omnipotent God declaring in arrears and in advance His victory over all of the gods of Egypt, in Exodus 12.12. Jesus IS Lord (Luke 2.11, Romans 10.9, Joel 2.32a, Philippians 2.11)!
MacArthur writes about the 46 years construction of the building (verse 20): In 20/19 b.c. Herod the Great began a reconstruction and expansion [of the Temple completed by Jews returning from Babylonian captivity in 516 b.c.]. Workers completed the main part of the project in 10 years, but other parts were still being constructed even at the time Jesus cleansed the temple. Interestingly, the finishing touches on the whole enterprise were still being made at its destruction by the Romans along with Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The famous “Wailing Wall” is built on part of the Herodian temple foundation. (MacArthur, John 2.20)
John 2.11 & 22 tell us the reactions of the disciples to these two events. How were their mindsets changed? Remember that only four disciples were present with Jesus at the Feast and would have been among others experiencing His resurrection. They already knew Jesus was Omniscient (John 1.35-51). What characteristic of God did they learn in Cana and Jerusalem? What is your reaction? How will this study increase your faith and change your lifestyle? How do these two illustrations change your mindset about Jesus?
ESV. English Standard Version of the Holy Bible. www.olivetree.com.
MacArthur. MacArthur Study Bible Notes. www.olivetree.com.
Exodus 6.3 Again 180819
Praise God!!! Copyright © 2018 by Maurice L. Painter. www.sozoclass.com.