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1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
Ver. 1. There was a marriage ] Whether St John’s marriage, I have not to say. Some will have it so.
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
Ver. 2. Jesus was called ] That was the way to have all sanctified, 1 Timothy 4:3 , and disorders prevented. Cave, spectat Cato, Beware, Cato is wating, was the old watchword.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
Ver. 3. And when they wanted wine ] Wine then may be wanting, though Christ be at the wedding; yea, bread, though Christ be at the board. But the hidden manna is ever ready; and anon in our Father’s house will be bread enough, and wine, God’s plenty. a What though we beg our bread here, heaven will make up all; and it is but winking, and we are there presently, said that martyr.
The mother of Jesus saith unto him ] To show her authority belike over him. Howsoever, she was too hasty with him, and is taken up for halting. It is not for us to set the sun by our dial.
a Mendicato pane hic vivamus, annon hoc pulchre sarcitur, in eo quod pascimur pane cum angelis? &c. Luther.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Ver. 4. What have I to do with thee? &c. ] Is it fit to prescribe to the only wise God? to send for the king by a post? The Chinese whip their gods if they come not at a call.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it .
Ver. 5. His mother saith to the servants ] Not a word to her Son, though he had publicly reproved her. "Once I have spoken, but I will not answer," saith Job, Job 40:5 . Jonah, reprehended by God, shuts up his prophecy in silence, in token of his true repentance. David was dumb because it was God’s doing, Psalms 39:9 . Bring God into the heart, and all will be hushed.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
Ver. 6. After the manner of the purifying, &c. ] But who required these things at their hands? Men are apt to over do in externals. The devil strove to bring this superstition into the Christian Church by the heretic Ebion, and hath done it by the pseudo-Catholics, with their lustral water and sprinkling of sepulchres, for the rise whereof Baronius refers us, not to the Jews, but to Juvenal’s sixth satire.
Containing two or three firkius ] For ostentation’ sake. Superstition is pompous and ambitious.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
Ver. 7. Up to the brim ] God permits his people an honest affluence. Christ supplies them here with great store of wine, to the quantity of a thousand and eight hundred pounds, as Beza computes, a No small gifts fall from so great a hand, James 1:5 .
a Nimirum ad libras mille octingentas: quod pertinet ad miraculi magnitudinem.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it .
Ver. 8. The governor of the feast ] The Jews had a sort of officers at their feasts, called praefecti morum, οινοπται, οφθαλμοι , the eyes and overseers of the feast, that took care that none should drink too much. The Latins called them dictators; the Greeks, symposiarchs. Howbeit, among the Greeks, those officers’ power extended no further than to see that at feasts or banquets men drank small draughts only at first, which by degrees they increased till they came to their height of intemperance; at which point, when they were arrived, they kept no rule nor order: whereas, before, to drink out of one’s turn, or beyond his allowance, was counted incivility. a
a Hinc pergraecari: and as merry as a Greek.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
Ver. 9. The water that was made wine ] Doth not Christ daily turn water into wine, when of water falling upon the vine, and concocted by the heat of the sun, he produceth the grape, whence wine is expressed? His love (that is better than wine, Son 1:2 ) turned brown bread and water into manchet and wine, to the martyrs in prison.
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
Ver. 10. Every man at the beginning ] Ingenium hominum adumbrat, natura fallax et sophisticum. Sic Satan nos ad se allicere solet, Pantheris in morem: Christus contra. His work is worst at first; the best is behind; the sweetest of honey lies in the bottom.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Ver. 11. This beginning, &c. ] For as for his miraculous disputation with the doctors, and fasting forty days, these were rather miracles wrought upon Christ than by him. He works his first miracle for confirmation of God the Father’s first ordinance.
His disciples believed on him ] So they did before, but now more. So 1 John 5:13 . The apostle writes to "them that believed on the name of the Son of God, that they might believe on the name of the Son of God," i.e. that they might be confirmed, continued, and increased in it. Faith is not like Jonah’s gourd that grew up in a night; or like a bullet in a mould, that is made in a moment. But as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder; and as they went up to Solomon’s throne by steps and stairs; so men proceed from faith to faith, till they come to full assurance.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
Ver. 12. To Capernaum ] Where he had hired him a house; for the foxes had holes, &c., but the Son of man had not a house of his own to put his head in, Matthew 8:20 .
13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
Ver. 13. And Jesus went up to Jerusalem ] In obedience to the law, and to preach the gospel in the great congregation.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
Ver. 14. And found in the temple ] The Talmudists tell us that it was grown to a custom to set up tables in the temple, and money changers at them, that those who ought to offer half a shekel might have those at hand who might change their bigger money, or take to pledge what else they brought. Here also they might buy oxen, sheep, doves, for sacrifice, which the covetous priests often received, and then sold them again to others.
Sitting ] The Jews of this day being great usurers, and through much sitting and not stirring about, are thought to stink, so as they are said to do: sedentary lives are subject to diseases. Plerique omnes mensarii sunt, faeneratoriam exercentes, ideo foetent. (Beza, Armor.)
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
Ver. 15. And when he had made a scourge ] Here he put forth a beam of his Deity; while, as another Samson, he lays heaps upon heaps (yet without bloodshed) with the jaw bone of an ass. Zeal is attended by revenge, 2 Corinthians 7:11 .
The changers’ money ] Gr. small money, Κερμα παρα το κειρειν , in minuta frusta concidere.
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Ver. 16. And said to the dove sellers ] These (belike, as more tractable, and not so gross offenders) he deals more gently with, but bids them be packing. I expect not (saith Rev. Rolloc) a plenary and perfect reformation of the Church, after so horrible an apostasy under antichrist, till Christ come again to judgment. a And yet that Church of Scotland is said to have this rare privilege above many others; that since the Reformation there wrought, they have, without heresy, or so much as a schism, retained unity, with purity of doctrine. b
An house of merchandise ] So he calls it, for all their goodly pretexts of good intentions. So the churchwarden of Ipswich was much trounced and troubled in the High Commission, for writing over the place where the spiritual court was kept, "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves," Nov. 6, 1635.
a Non expecto plenam perfectamque reformalionem Ecclesieo, &c.
b Est Ecclesiae Scoticanae privilegium rarum, prae multis, quod sine schimsate, nedum haeresi, unitatem cum puritate doctrinae retinuerit. Sic in Elog. praefator, de Confess. in princip. Syntag. Confess. p. 6, edit. Geneva.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Ver. 17. The zeal of thine house ] Apostates, on the other side, eat up their zeal of God’s house. But as in falling forward is nothing so much danger as backward; so the zealot, though not so discreet, is better than the apostate: howbeit, zeal should eat us up (saith Mr Vines), but not eat up our wisdom, nor should pride eat up our zeal. Mr Greenham had this saying of David often in his mouth, and well he might. He also usually prayed that he might keep up his young zeal with his old discretion.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
Ver. 18. What sign ] They might have seen sign enough, in his so powerful ejecting of those money merchants. But Church reformations are commonly thus diversely entertained. The disciples call it zeal, the Jews rashness.
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Ver. 19. Destroy this temple ] This was the same in effect with that sign of the prophet Jonah, Matthew 12:39-40 . His resurrection was a plain demonstration of his Deity, Superas evadere ad auras, hic labor, hoc opus est, befitting a God, Romans 1:4 .
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
Ver. 20. Forty and six years ] All, save what lacks; for it was six years’ work only, but they reckon the interim of interruption, Ezra 3:1-13 ; Ezra 4:1-24 ; Ezra 5:1-17 ; Ezra 6:1-22 ; Ezra 7:1-28 , to aggravate the matter. So they are not only blinded, but hardened.
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
Ver. 21. The temple of his body ] Wherein the "Godhead dwelt bodily," Colossians 2:9 , that is, personally, as he dwelt in the material temple sacramentally, and doth dwell in the hearts of his people spiritually. This tabernacle of Christ’s body was not made with hands, nor built by the power of nature, Hebrews 9:2 .
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Ver. 22. His disciples remembered ] In the mean time they murmured not, much less opposed. "We can do nothing against the truth," when at worst, "but for the truth," 2 Corinthians 13:8 . They laid up what they understood not; and as the water casts up her dead, so did their memories that which seemed dead therein, by the help of the Holy Ghost.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day , many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
Ver. 23. Many believed ] Fides fair minime fida, quippe historica, ex miraculis nata. These thought they had laid hold on Christ, but they did but as children that think they catch the shadow on the wall. There is a great deal of this false faith abroad. The sorcerers seemed to do as much as Moses.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men ,
Ver. 24. Did not commit himself unto them ] Who yet would needs obtrude upon him. None are so impudent as hypocrites; they deceive themselves, they would do others; God, too. I read not (saith one) in Scripture of a hypocrite’s conversion; and what wonder? for whereas, after sin, conversion is left as a means to cure all other sinners; what means to recover him, who hath converted conversion itseff into sin?
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Ver. 25. For he knew what was in man ] Artificers know the nature and properties of their works, and shall not Christ of the heart? He searcheth men’s hearts, and trieth the reins, which of all their inwards are the most inward; a besides that they are the seats and springs of all our thoughts and lusts. Deus intimior nobis intimo nostro, saith one, God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and knows our thoughts long before, as a gardener knows what flowers he shall have at spring, because he knows the roots.
a Nihil eorde ae renibus magis intimum; adeo ut per multos meatus atque incurvos anfractus deferri elaborati cibi debeant, antequam eo possint perduci.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
Eve of Ascension