Wednesday 21 June 2017

Bible Book:

“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” (v. 11)

John 2:1-12 Wednesday 21 June 2017

Psalm: Psalm 22:1-21


Mention of "the third day" (v. 1) is a cheerful place to startbecause it places us in resurrection territory. On the third day,Jesus defied the humiliation of crucifixion by rising again. Here,at a wedding, Jesus spares the host's shame by becoming the saviourof the feast. Culturally it would have been an absolute disgrace torun out of wine. Friends of the host family may well have donatedsome in advance to ensure things went with a swing. Too little winemight suggest too few friends.

Jesus restores honour to the family through the water into winemiracle; the first of this Gospel's special 'signs'. That term'sign' or 'signs' appears 17 times and is hugely important. A signpoints away from itself to something or somebody else. To gawp at amiracle is one thing. How did he do it, the water into wine trick?To grasp the significance it points to is quite another. And John'sGospel is very interested in the latter.

The role of Jesus's mother is well worth noting. John nevercalls her 'Mary' and Jesus addresses her as 'Woman' (v. 4), thoughthat sounds ruder in the English than it would have been: see alsoJohn 4:21, Matthew 15:28 and Luke13:12. Mother Mary only features in John's Gospel at the Canawedding and the Cross (John 19:25-27), appearing to anticipate thatlatter, fateful yet glorious hour far too early. At the wedding sheassumes her son can already save and redeem. "My hour has not yetcome", says Jesus (v. 4), introducing us to another term John'sGospel loves. There are references to his 'hour' elsewhere (John8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 16:2, 25, 32; 17:1). Jesus complies withhis mother's request. She therefore becomes instrumental, early inthe Gospel account, for the Father's glory being revealed throughthe Son to the world. The maternal elbowing of her son into actionenables his disciples to believe. But how interesting that it's theservants (verse 9), who may have had responsibilities forfootwashing - cue John 13:12-15 - who are the first ones actuallyto see the sign and be in the know.

To Ponder

  • What might cultural humiliation look like in your context andhow might it be relieved?
  • John's account of the Cana wedding assumes the guests will getdrunk. At weddings today is that generally the assumption too? Whatviews do you have about that?
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