Wine and the Temple

John 2 

 

Pouring a glass of red wine is almost as exciting as drinking it. I watch the colors swirl around the base of the glass as it fills up while the aroma activates my smeller and even my taste buds.  A sip here and there, along with a nice steak, mm-mmm-mmmmmmm.

When I read through chapter 2 of John’s gospel I can easily picture the crowd at the wedding of Cana.  Weddings are usually great times where family and friends meet up, eat, drink and celebrate the uniting of the couple in marriage as they look forward to their life still to come.

Interestingly, John starts off saying, “On the third day…”  Don’t think that is a coincidence for in John’s gospel, there are what I like to call, “gospel nuances” that not only tell of something with an earthly meaning, but one that also gives a taste of heaven, a foretaste of the feast to come.  We know that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, and so how fitting, as subtle it may be, that the first miracle, changing water into wine, was “on the third day”.

We soon encounter the mother of our Lord as Mary informs Him, “They have no more wine.”  I believe she exhibited great faith as she tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”  She didn’t know what Jesus would do; however, she knew He’d do something.  Seeing the miracle of Jesus changing the water into wine brings about faith in the disciples (v. 11).  Those men put their faith in Him.  They trusted Him for Jesus revealed His glory to them.

Chapter 2 ends with a clearing of the temple.  One might recall a similar clearing of the temple in the other three gospels which happen at the last week of Jesus’ life.  Here in John 2, is it another clearing of the temple?  Did Jesus do this twice in His ministry? Because John’s gospel is not structured in a chronological way, but more of a thematic, theological way for the Greek thinkers of the day, it’s safe to say there was just one clearing of the temple.  The Holy Spirit inspired John to place this event early in his gospel because it sets the stage of what Jesus would be about…zeal for His Father’s House while disrupting the people and the Jewish structure that didn’t recognize Him as their Savior in order to make room for the Gentiles who believed in Him.  As the chapter ends, we see more and more people believing in Jesus through His miraculous signs in their daily lives.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, continue to strengthen my faith in You.  Help me see the miraculous work You have, are, and will do in my life as well as in the lives of those around me.  Amen.

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