The Passion Translation
Jesus Comes to a Wedding
2 Now on the third day[a] there was a wedding feast in the Galilean village of Cana,[b] and the mother of Jesus was there. 2–3 Jesus and his disciples were all invited to the banquet,[c] but with so many guests in attendance, they ran out of wine.[d] And when Mary realized it, she came to him and asked, “They have no wine, can’t you do something about it?”[e]
4 Jesus replied, “My dear one, don’t you understand that if I do this, it won’t change anything for you, but it will change everything for me![f] My hour of unveiling my power has not yet come.”
5 Mary then went to the servers and told them, “Whatever Jesus tells you, make sure that you do it!”
6 Now there were six stone water pots[g] standing nearby. They were meant to be used for the Jewish washing rituals.[h] Each one held about 20 gallons or more. 7 Jesus came to the servers and told them, “Fill the pots with water, right up to the very brim.” 8 Then he said, “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the master of ceremonies.”
9 And when they poured out their pitcher for the master of ceremonies to sample, the water became wine! When he tasted the water that became wine, the master of ceremonies was impressed. (Although he didn’t know where the wine had come from, but the servers knew.) 10 He called the bridegroom over and said to him, “Every host serves his best wine first until everyone has had a cup or two, then he serves the wine of poor quality. But you, my friend, you’ve reserved the most exquisite wine until now!”[i]
11 This miracle in Cana was the first of the many extraordinary miracles Jesus performed in Galilee. This was a sign revealing his glory, and his disciples believed in him.[j]
Jesus at the Temple
12 After this, Jesus, his mother and brothers and his disciples went to Capernaum[k] and stayed there for a few days. 13 But the time was close for the Jewish Passover to begin, so Jesus walked to Jerusalem.[l] 14 As he went into the temple courtyard, he noticed it was filled with merchants selling oxen, lambs, and doves for exorbitant prices, while others were overcharging as they exchanged currency[m] behind their counters. 15 So Jesus found some rope and made it into a whip. Then he drove out every one of them and their animals from the courtyard of the temple, and he kicked over their tables filled with money, scattering it everywhere![n] 16 And he shouted at the merchants,[o] “Get these things out of here! Don’t you dare make my Father’s house into a center for merchandise!” 17 That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture: “I am consumed with a fiery passion to keep your house pure!”[p]
18 But the Jewish religious leaders challenged Jesus, “What authorization do you have to do this sort of thing? If God gave you this kind of authority, what supernatural sign will you show us to prove it?”
19 Jesus answered, “After you’ve destroyed this temple,[q] I will raise it up again in three days.”
20 Then the Jewish leaders sneered, “This temple took forty-six years[r] to build, and you mean to tell us that you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But they didn’t understand that Jesus was speaking of the “temple” of his body.[s] 22 But the disciples remembered his prophecy after Jesus rose from the dead, and believed both the Scripture and what Jesus had said.
23 While Jesus was at the Passover Feast , the number of his followers began to grow, and many gave their allegiance to him because of all the miraculous signs they had seen him doing! 24 But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. 25 He didn’t need anyone to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing.
- John 2:1 This was a Tuesday as counted by the Hebrew week beginning on Sunday. The “third day” was chosen as the wedding day in ancient Judaism because it is only on the third day of creation that God says “It was good” twice (see Gen. 1:10, 12). The day was considered twice blessed. Tuesdays were ideal for Jewish weddings, for that gave the guests time to get there after the Sabbath and remain for the multiple days of the wedding feast. The third day is also a picture of the day of resurrection glory, the day Jesus rose from the dead. This miracle is a revelation of going from death to resurrection life, water to wine.
- John 2:1 Cana means “land of reeds,” which points to the weak and fragile nature of man. See Isa. 42:3; Matt. 11:7; 12:20.
- John 2:2 There is speculation that this wedding involved someone of Jesus’ family since Mary and all his disciples were also in attendance. A Near Eastern wedding would often last between three and seven days.
- John 2:2 Interpreting Mary’s words for today we could say, “Religion has failed, it has run out of wine.” The traditions of religion cannot gladden the heart, but Jesus can. Moses (the law) turned water into blood, but Jesus (grace) turned water into wine.
- John 2:2 This is a dilemma that Mary is hoping Jesus will solve by performing a miracle. Mary has no doubt about the power and anointing of her Son. Running out of wine is a picture of how the joy of this world runs out and fades away.
- John 2:4 Or literally “Woman, what is that for you and for me?” This is an Aramaic idiom meaning, “What do we have in common if I do this?” For Mary, it will change her very little, but for Jesus, this will be his first public miracle and will dramatically change his ministry from this moment on as the crowds see the power that he possesses. Jesus knows his miracle ministry will “come out of hiding” by performing a miracle. Yet with Mary’s encouragement, Jesus proceeds to do just that.
- John 2:6 Six is the number for man, for man was made on the sixth day. These six stone jars could represent man’s method of helping others. It is nothing but water. But Jesus changes the water of the Word of God into the wine of the Spirit. True spiritual life can fill our vessel as we bring joy to the world. The fruit of the Spirit includes joy, and there is no limit to the joy available for the child of God. See Gal. 5:22-23.
- John 2:6 This was an outward purification (baptism) for worshipers coming into a synagogue.
- John 2:10 Jesus delights in your joy more than you know. He does not withhold joy from his people. He created between 120 and 150 gallons of the very best wine for a wedding feast! This was one of five miracles that are unique to John’s Gospel. The other four are: healing the rich man’s son (John 4), healing the crippled man at Bethesda (John 5), healing the blind man (John 9), and raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11).
- John 2:11 Or “The disciples made known his glory and believed in him.”
- John 2:12 The village of Capernaum means “the village of Nahum” which means “the village of the comforted.” Jesus did many miracles and made his Galilean base of ministry in “the village of the comforted.”
- John 2:13 This was a journey of nearly eighty miles.
- John 2:14 These money changers would exchange Roman currency into Jewish currency to pay the temple tax.
- John 2:15 Jesus came to end animal sacrifices and to end the financial tyranny of religion.
- John 2:16 Or “the dove dealers.”
- John 2:17 See Ps. 69:9.
- John 2:19 Or “sanctuary.”
- John 2:20 Our bodies (temples) have forty-six chromosomes in every cell.
- John 2:21 Resurrection power would be the sign of his supreme authority. Jesus’ death and resurrection effectively dismantled the need for the temple, for now his powerful gospel of the kingdom realm builds us into a holy temple not made with hands. See 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19. This symbolic form of speaking was so different than the teachings of the Pharisees, as it is to the understanding of many Christians today. The God who was once worshiped by animal sacrifices is now to be worshiped in spirit and truth with every believer as a priest.