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Bible Commentaries
John 2

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-12

  1. Intro:
    1. Rarest bottle of wine ever sold purchased by Christopher Forbes for $160,000.
    2. It was an unmarked green glass bottle w/the inscription of 1787 Lafitte Th. J. (thought to be owned by Thomas Jefferson), found behind a wall in Paris.
    3. Yet, the world’s finest wine was not made in the vineyard’s of France (nor Temecula) nor was it served in the finest international restaurants.
    4. It was made & served at an unpretentious wedding in Cana of Galilee, 2000 years ago. And that wine is valued to this day, not for its rarity, but for what it reveals about its maker...Jesus Christ!
      1. Last week, Jesus the Jeweler, able to see diamonds in the rough (5 disciples).
      2. This week, Jesus the Vintner/Winemaker, able to turn water into wine.
  2. ENOLOGY! (The Science of Wine)
    2. The beginning of signs - Gospel of John uses sign rather than miracle.
      1. Signs served as authentication for Jesus’ nature & mission.
      2. A sign is a miracle that points beyond itself to a major truth about God, made known through Jesus Christ.
    3. (11) Other sources outside the bible, say that Jesus performed miracles when He was a child. This refutes that..this was the beginning of signs/miracles.
    5. First miracle is in a home. Jesus brings joy to a home.
      1. Very dry wedding w/o Jesus! (Wine represents joy in OT)
    6. Change water(ordinary) into wine(life in the spirit). “Lord, less water & more wine in my life.”
    7. Weddings were a prolonged feast usually lasting 7 days.
    9. (3) Mary can’t solve the problem herself. She takes her problem to Jesus!
    10. I believe we should be followers of Mary! [Protestants, never put Mary down, she is Jesus mother!!! Instead, point our Catholic friends to follow what she says!]
      1. Mary doesn’t have a lot of words in Scripture...but here they are.
      2. Lk 1:34 “how can this be?”{didn't understand Gabriel, regarding her being pregnant}
      3. Lk1:34 38 “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word”{to Gods messenger Gabriel...submission}
      4. Lk1:46-55 Mary’s Magnificat “My soul magnifies the Lord, & my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior.”
      5. Lk.2:48 Jesus at 12 “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.”
    11. Here in Jn.2:5 mary says, Whatever He says to you, do it!
      1. These are the last words recorded by Mary - That’s why I said we should be followers of Mary. (Like when Paul said “be an imitator of me”)
      2. Weird: After 30 years, Jesus never vindicated His mom. (It was a virgin birth!)
    12. (5) Whatever He says to you, do it! - [J.Sidlow Baxter mom wrote fly-leaf of Bible, 16th b-day]
      1. Moms, what a great life-motto for your children.
      2. But it really is a great life-motto for ALL of us!
        1. Our obedience is to be Entire - Whatever He says, speaks of scope & range.
        2. Our obedience is to be Exclusive - Whatever He says, to the exclusion of all others, if they differ from Him.
        3. Our obedience is to be Specific - Whatever He says to you, do it. Not just something like it, or something part-way, or something supposedly equivalent… but IT! (Richard Baxter; Awake My Heart; pg.21)
      3. Let whatever He says to you, do it be our governing-motto for: your choice in your career; love; dating; marriage.
    14. (4) My hour has not yet come - Jesus, never early, never late:
      1. 7:20 Therefore they sought to take Him; but know one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
      2. 8:20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
    15. Then, the hour that mattered for eternity!
      1. 12:23 The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.
      2. 12:27,28 Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
      3. 17:1 Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
    16. Here, He opens up His hour! (6-8)
    17. Apparently a large wedding feast: As Jesus made approx 6 water pots; @ 20/30 gallons a piece = 150 gallons. At servings of 1 cup each, this would provide 2,400 servings (& the feast had been underway for some time)
    18. (7,8) 3 Aspects of obedience from the servants:
      1. They obeyed Immediately - and they filled them up.
      2. They obeyed Completely - They filled them, to the brim. (nothing added; changed!)
      3. They obeyed Successively each new instruction as it came: fill, draw, take it.
    20. (9,10) Master of the feast - Among the Greeks, at all formal feasts, there was a symposiarch who was one of the guests, and was selected to take charge of the feast. It was his duty to preserve order, to maintain liveliness among the guests, to assign each one his proper place, to decide which proportion of water should be mixed with the wine, how much each of the company was to drink...and the tasting of the wine before it was offered to the guests.
    21. (11) Signs - So if a sign is a miracle that points beyond itself to a major truth about God, made known through Jesus Christ. What is being represented here?
      1. It Represents How Israel Failed!
        1. Israel’s wine had run out, the people’s supply was emptied, yet their Messiah stood their to help them.
        2. The 6 waterpots were used for ceremonial cleansing but the Jewish ceremonies could not help the spiritually bankrupt nation. It was w/o Joy & w/o Hope.
        3. The people had external ceremonies, but they had nothing to satisfy them within.
      2. It Represents How a Sinner is Saved!
        1. Thirsty Crowd - a good picture of the world today. They’re tasting the worlds pleasures, but eventually their temporary fulfillment runs out. (Warren Wiersbe Outlines of the NT)
        2. Empty Waterpots - Representing the human heart, which is hard & empty. Paul calls us vessels. The sinners life may look good on the outside but God sees it empty & useless unless He is able to work a divine miracle.
        3. Filled w/Water - It’s not our job to save souls, but it is our job to give people the Word(water) & let Christ perform the miracle of salvation.
        4. Water to Wine - When the sinner’s heart has been filled w/the Word, then Christ can perform the miracle & bring joy.
          1. The Law came thru Moses; in OT water was turned into blood [Judgment]
          2. Grace & Truth came though Jesus; in NT water turned into wine. [Joy]
        5. The 3rd Day - Miracle was performed on 3rd day; Christ rose on the 3rd day; Also 3rd day is Tuesday, considered to be a day of blessing because 3rd day in creation account, only day it says, “It is Good!” Twice!
        6. The Beginning of Miracles - Salvation is the beginning of miracles.
      3. It Represents How to Serve Christ!
        1. ​​​​​​​As servants, they knew where the wine came from(9), but the “important people” didn’t. When you serve Christ you learn His secrets. You move beyond servant status, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” Jn.15:15
      4. It Represents How God saved sinners by sending His Son!
        1. ​​​​​​​God saved the best for last,...His Son! - Like the parable of the Vinedresser in Mark 12. Vinedresser wanted to receive fruit from His field; sent a servant (was rejected) sent another; & many more (beating some, killing some), finally it says, Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
      5. It Represents the Blood of Christ!
        1. ​​​​​​​The water, used for purification, is replaced with wine, which would come to symbolize the blood of Christ! {when He took the cup/wine, He said this is My blood}
        2. The real issue at the wedding was not the wine running out, but who replenished it
      6. It Represents How Jesus is the Creator!
        1. ​​​​​​​Water to Wine was a live demonstration that all things were made through Him(1:3a)
      7. It Represents How Jesus is the Lord over time!
        1. ​​​​​​​Since the wine, which normally needs time to age, was fermented in only a fraction of a second.
        2. Thus His Glory was revealed...His earthly veil raised ever so briefly, ever so slightly, to let shine the Shekinah that resided within.
    22. When Jesus is left out of a wedding, sooner or later, in a spiritual sense, the wine fails; but when He is the guest of honor, He turns the water into wine, raises our poor human love into a joy which is a very foretaste of heaven.
      1. With a touch, Jesus can take the murky water of our lives (so in need of purification) & transformation it into fine wine! [Better than 1787 Lafitte/La-FEET!]
      2. Be sure to invite Jesus! - And be sure to obey what He says!
    23. End Song: As this family invited Jesus to this wedding feast; our last song says, I invite You to be Free to reign in every part of me! {Let’s make that our prayer!}

Verses 13-25

  1. INTRO:
    1. At Passover time the Jews would for 1 month carefully repair roads, rebuild bridges, & white wash tombs. Another part was to have no leaven in the house(chametz), so they’d sweep their house clean (& in Jewish Quarter even streets).
      1. I watched this preparation a few trips back in Jerusalem: We were in the Jewish Quarter, standing out in front of a shop called Shorashim (Judaica Art Gallery, & Souvenirs). We stood watching a water truck & the man w/hose wash down side walk. The Jewish shop owner said watch this, & he threw a chunk of bread out in front of him. He quickly washed it away.
      2. This is where we got our term Spring Cleaning from this Passover event.
      3. They’d even make sure they were ceremonially clean.
        1. They just forgot to clean 1 thing…THE TEMPLE!!!
        2. That’s like having guests over, & cleaning every room,...except the living room!
      4. Q: This morning many of you showered, shaved, dressed up,…but what’s going on Inside? (In your Temple/body?)
    1. THE FATHER’S HOUSE! (13-17)
    2. TO FATHER’S HOUSE! (13)
    3. All 4 gospels tell this Temple Cleansing Story.
    4. There was 2 temple cleanings in Jesus ministry:
      1. The other 3 accounts tell of the one at the end of His ministry.
      2. This one at the beginning of Jesus ministry.
        1. Judgment begins in the house of God!
    5. Interesting this is a sign of the Messiah’s coming!
      1. Mal.3:1 says, Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, Says the LORD of hosts.
    7. 2 Problems:
      1. Selling of Animals!
        1. ​​​​​​​Problem: Everyone needed an animal for sacrifice to come & worship God. It was supposed to be w/o spot or blemish (no junk).
        2. Solution: To save them an 80 mile trip home for another animal they could purchase an unblemished, unspotted animal.
        3. Abuse: They ripped them off, this was highway robbery!
          1. ​​​​​​​This also made it easy for the people to just come to the market place & purchase one, instead of bring one all the way from home.
          2. Boy, the hassles of raising it yourself. What if it cuts itself under a fence?
          3. Nah, for a few shekels just drive through & we’ll sell you a shiny sheep, a beautiful bull, a dazzling dove, or an awesome oxen!
        4. This was “Worship made easy” at its finest!
          1. “Drive up, grab a sacrifice, do some worship, we’ll get you home before the game!” (oops, todays Super Bowl Sunday!)
        5. Q: Does Christianity have to be easy for you? Are you being carried along by your spouse, or friend? Do you take responsibility for your own relationship? What if serving the Lord becomes hard?
        6. Be careful of “drive through religion”, “worship made easy!”
      2. Money Exchanging!
        1. ​​​​​​​Not only was there the selling of animals, but the money exchanging.
        2. Problem: Only a Temple ½ Shekel was accepted at the Temple(tax).
          1. Roman & Greek coin was not accepted.
        3. Solution: Money was exchanged right there at the temple.
        4. Abuse: Exchange wasn’t the problem. The RATE was! {sometimes up to 50% above the face value of the coin being exchanged}
          1. Like the “foreign currency exchange” right in the airport. You exchange $ for a fee, & if you have any left over they...get you again!
          2. They were using God, religion, & worship as a means for personal gain!
          3. Thanks for not doing your business here…that’s not why assemble!
        5. Remember God, worship, & religion, are not a means to an end (no marketing Jesus; no using God for your advantage). God is the end…enjoy Him today!
    8. A CLEAN HOUSE! (15)
    9. The whip begins to fly! (can you picture Jesus rolling up His sleeves?)
      1. Guys like this passage (manicured Jesus vs. Masculine Jesus) Lamb-o!
      2. Is.52:10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.
      3. Lil Jesus Meek & Mild” turns into “Big Jesus tweaked & riled”!
        1. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. He was angry! (anger under control of course) {meek = power under control!}
        2. Those who only see Jesus as meek & mild, only see part.
          1. (Hughes) “The Jesus they preach is an idol drained of His deity, a good-natured god, whose great aim is to let us off the hook.”
        3. Q: Remember these events?
          1. Mrk 3:5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts.
          2. Mt.16:23 Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.
          3. Mt.23:27,33 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleannessSerpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
      4. When Jesus cracked the whip...He was as fully Godlike as when He stood on the Mnt of Transfiguration, or when He was hanging on the cross at Calvary.
    10. THE FATHER’S HOUSE! (16,17)
    11. Here, Jesus acknowledged this as His Fathers house. Toward the end of His ministry he addresses it as “your house”. [Mt.23:38 "See! Your house is left to you desolate;”]
    12. Here it was a “house of merchandise”, later it will be “den of thieves.”
      1. Outward reform w/o inward renewal is a temporary thing.
    13. Why was Jesus so mad?
      1. It was directed at the irreverence of the Jews toward the Father.
    14. What bugs you enough to “eat you up?”
      1. Look what consumes Jesus…a love for His Fathers house.
      2. What are you zealous for? Everybody is consumed by something?
        1. Some are consumed w/alcohol; They think they’re consuming it but it’s consuming them
        2. Others are consumed w/sex; It occupies their mind non-stop, it becomes slavery.
        3. Some are consumed w/ambition; or loneliness, or hurting, or relationships.
    15. Like Jesus, may zeal for Gods house consume you; & zeal for God’s Word; & zeal for​​​​​​​ God’s heart for the hurting:{to do rt & justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sac Prv12:3}
      1. Like human trafficking ($32 billion yr. business); Children exploited in sex trade every year (2 million); Children soldiers (300,000; 50 countries recruit children under 18; young as age 7).
    16. THE SON’S HOUSE! (18-22)
    17. (18) What sign - Their concern wasn’t the moral issue of it, but rather on what grounds Jesus took it upon Himself to rebuke them.
    18. (19) Ok, we know you’re a carpenter…but 3 days?
      1. He not only prophesies his resurrection, but He gives its timing (3 days), & says that He will do it. [J.W. Verse, how can a man raise Himself?]
        1. Father raised Jesus (Rom10:9); H.S. Raise Jesus (Rom.8:11); Proves trinity.
    19. Here you want a sign, I’ll give you one, in the Res!
      1. It gives me every right to clean this house…“this is My Fathers house”.
        1. The greater than the Temple is here! (Mt.12:6)
        2. Jesus the perfect prototype of a human Temple!
    20. (20) 46 years – Herod started in 20bc. Been working on for 46 yrs (26ad). It was going to take another 37 years to complete (63 ad). Then was destroyed 7 yrs later, in 70ad!
      1. So this is 26ad, & not 30ad? - The Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus[Ex-zig-U-is] (Dennis the Little/Short, meaning humble; was a sixth century monk born in Scythia Minor), who used it to compute the date of the Christian Easter festival. But Dionysius made a mistake in his calculations. In Matthew Jesus is said to have been born while Herod was still King (2:1). That would translate into 4 b.c.
    21. The Jews missed the symbolic for the literal.
      1. They will again with: the new birth; the living water; the eating of flesh & drinking of blood!
      2. The word is like a safe that the best thief cannot crack. But ask for the combo from the owner & even a child can turn the tumblers! {(rt)Repent (left)Believe (rt)Receive}
    22. Everyone’s body is a temple unto something!
      1. Some people like to use their body as a shrine unto themselves!
      2. Some are taverns & pubs serving the wrong spirits.
      3. Others are restaurants whose God is their bellies.
      4. Many, their shrine is a gymnasium or a sports arena.
      5. Some bodies are brothels where sex is god!
      6. Maybe yours is a bank, a playhouse, a recreational vehicle, or a library.
    23. We(bel.’s) are the Temple of God! There is a Divine occupant inside!
      1. As one of God’s temples, be a place of worship today!
    24. Upon coming to Christ, His sole purpose is to tear down whatever shrine & temple you’ve erected, & build His temple in you to this end…that you’d be God’s Holy dwelling place!
    25. Lord, thanks for Your correcting whip! Psalm 119:67,71.
      1. Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.
      2. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
    26. Lord, drive what needs to be driven out of my life; pour out what needs to be poured out of my life; overturn what needs to be overturn in my life; take away what needs to be take away from my life.
    27. OUR HOUSE! (23-25)
    28. The attribute of knowing a persons innermost heart, state, & character is an attribute of God!
      1. Jer.17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
    29. Note: His omniscience was universal “He knew all men”; & individual “He knew what was in men.”
      1. Pretty good for a man who never went out of a 100 mile x 30 mile perimeter!
    30. He did not commit Himself to them – Has He to you?
      1. He obviously doesn’t to everybody…And they are professing believers!!!
      2. We talk about knowing Him…BUT, does He know you?
        1. Mt.7:21-23 Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven...I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
          1. He doesn’t say, you never knew me (cuz they thought they did); He says, “I never knew you!”
          2. He can’t be fooled by insincere faith or insufficient faith!
    31. The lord is still into Temple Cleansin & Heart Discernin!
      1. Jesus is never into Self-improvement, but Christ-Replacement!
      2. Jesus entered the Temple; light in, darkness out.
      3. Same when you let Him enter you; light in, darkness out.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on John 2". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/john-2.html. 2017.
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