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The Gospel According to John: Chapter 2

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1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

12After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.

13The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty—six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

23When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. 24But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.

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2.1–12 : The wedding at Cana.

1 :

On the third day, Nathanael (and those he represents; see 1.47–51n. ) did not have to wait long for the promise of “greater things” ( 1.50 ) to be fulfilled. Cana, a small village about 15 km (9 mi) north of Nazareth. The mother of Jesus is never named in John.

4 :

Woman, a term of respect and affection (cf. 4.21; 8.10; 19.26; 20.13,15 ). The hour of Jesus’ glory on the cross (see 12.23; 17.1 ) was not to be determined by his mother's desires.

6 :

Rites of purification were ceremonial; unlike clay or wooden vessels, stone vessels would not become ceremonially unclean by contact with an unclean object or person.

8 :

Steward, headwaiter or master of ceremonies.

11 :

Jesus’ miracles were not wonders to astound, but signs pointing to his glory, God's presence in him (see 1.14 ).

12 :

Capernaum, on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

2.13–25 : The demonstration against corruption in the Temple

(cf. Mt 21.17; Mk 11.15–19; Lk 19.45–48 ).

13 :

Passover was celebrated in March‐April.

14 :

Animals were sold for sacrifice. Different currencies used by worshipers had to be changed to the official half‐shekel of Tyre for the Temple tax (see Ex 30.11–16 ). Roman money was changed into Jewish money to pay the Temple tax.

15–16 :

A public demonstration against the materialism that had become part of Temple worship services. Jesus’ indignation was not toward those engaged in worship, but those detracting from it.

17 :

Ps 69.9 (see Zech 14.21; Mal 3.1 ).

18 :

The Jews, the Temple religious authorities. What sign … ? is less a question than an assertion by the religious authorities that only they have authority to make religious pronouncements ( 9.34 ).

19 :

Destroy this temple …, reflects a longstanding tradition of Temple critique (cf. 4.21; 2 Sam 7.5–7; see Jer 7.1–15; 35.2–10; Ezek 10.18–19; Acts 7.48 ).

20 :

Forty‐six years, this was the Temple begun by Herod the Great in 20 BCE (it was finished by Herod Agrippa II in 64 CE).

21 :

A double entendre; Jesus simultaneously critiqued the Temple and predicted his own death (see v. 19 ).

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