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The Water Turned into Wine
In this Scripture the first miracle which Christ wrought is recorded, and it is a miracle full of marvelous significance. Our opening verse reads, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee."
1. We wish you to consider with us the first marriage which took place in the Garden of Eden. It was there that God put Adam to sleep, and opened his side from which He took a rib. The rib God made a woman. When Adam beheld the woman, he called her "woman" because she was taken out of the man, and he said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The whole story of the first marriage is typical and prophetical. Adam's side opened is suggestive of Christ's sword-thrust side. The woman taken out of the man is suggestion of the fact that we are taken out of Christ. We are flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone. When the Holy Spirit wanted to speak of Christ and His Church He referred back to the Garden scene, and quoting from the words which Adam used, He said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."
2. All through the Bible marriage is used as an emblem of Christ and His people. In the Old Testament, of course, it is Christ and Israel; in the New Testament it is Christ and the Church. Our Lord was not ashamed to speak of the marriage bond as a bond endeared and indissoluble between Him and His own. We are married unto Christ. In the opening verse of our study we read, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there."
3. The marriage in the skies will take place on the third day. The third day in the Bible stands for resurrection. In Genesis 1:1-31 we see that on the third day the waters were gathered, together, and the dry land appeared. It was on that day that the earth brought forth its grass, and its herbs, and its fruit trees. Thus the third day stood for new life and light.
In Hosea 6:2 we read, "After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight." With God, a thousand years is as a day. Two thousand years have almost passed since the days of Christ. The third day will be the Millennial Day. It is on the third day, therefore, that the marriage in the skies will take place.
4. The marriage in the skies will take place on the seventh day. The third day in John 2:1 was the third day after the fourth day. What we mean is this. In John 1:1-51 we have four days, set forth with marvelous exactment. In John 1:19-28 is one day in which John is proclaiming Christ at Bethabara beyond Jordan. In John 1:29 we read, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him." John 1:29 is the second day. In John 1:35 we read, "Again the next day after John stood, and two of His disciples." John 1:35 therefore is the third day. In John 1:43 we read, "The day following." This is the fourth day thus specified.
Now, in John 2:1 comes the expression, "And the third day." This was the third day after the fourth day, or it was the seventh day after six days.
There have been six thousand years, the number of man, since Adam was created, and the seven thousandth year will be the year of Jubilee when the second Man and the last Adam is married, and takes His throne.
I. JESUS CALLED TO THE MARRIAGE (John 2:2 )
Our key verse says, "And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage."
1. Christ rejected of men. The 1st chapter of John gives us the sad story of Him coming unto His own and His own receiving Him not. He was in the world, and the world knew Him not. The story of Christ rejected is the story of the four Gospels His coming to be hated, despised, set aside not only by the Gentiles, but also by the Jews. Over the city of Jerusalem Jesus wept, saying, "If thou hadst known, * * in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace." Matthew puts it this way: "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
2. The marriage prophesied. It was at midnight the cry was made, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; Go ye out to meet him." It is at this very moment that the call is going forth from many of the pulpits of our land. Orthodox Christendom has its face turned toward the sunrising. We believe that the marriage of the Lamb is at hand, and will soon be consummated. It was after two days, and on the third day that Jesus was called, and it certainly seems that the day of the marriage was about to dawn.
3. Christ received. Christ and His disciples were called to the marriage. When Christ comes again, He will be thrice welcome. Even now we hear the voice of the Spirit as He bears testimony: "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Then comes the remarkable word. "And he saith unto me, Write, blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."
II. JESUS AND HIS MOTHER (John 2:3-4 )
"And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come."
1. The longings of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It does not seem difficult to us to discover why Mary turned to Christ. Her heart was longing for Him to manifest Himself unto Israel. She had, perhaps, more or less of the spirit of pride in this matter. She felt that whatever happened to Him would certainly accrue to her honor, and to her glory. Therefore, in more or less of a commanding spirit she seemed to say to Jesus, "This is your opportunity." She knew that Christ could work miracles, and she desired one to be wrought.
In confirmation of her ambitions in this, let me quote for you from John 7:1-53 , the words spoken to Christ by His brethren, the sons of Mary. They said: "Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest." They continued with, "For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, shew Thyself to the world. For neither did His brethren believe in Him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready."
Almost the very same words Christ used to His mother. He used to His brethren. To His brethren He said, "My time is not yet come." To His mother He said, "Mine hour is not yet come." Mary had not yet learned the fact that Jesus had come to die, and to be rejected instead of to reign and to be accepted.
2. The rebuke of Christ to His mother. "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?" In Luke 2:51 we read how Christ went down to Nazareth and was subject to His parents. Christ now, with patience, makes it known to Mary that He is no longer subject to her. He does not speak to her as "mother," placing Himself under her as son; but as "woman," because He is the Son of God.
III. JESUS, THE SUPREME LORD (John 2:5 )
When Jesus had rebuked His mother, she did not resent His statements, but quickly acquiesced, and acknowledged the supreme authority of Christ, as the Son of God. She did this when she turned to the servants and said, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it."
There are many wonderful lessons in this verse.
1. Christ holds supreme authority over all. His word is final. His commands are to be obeyed. When He speaks, it must be the end of all argument and cavil.
2. We should be obedient in all things. The word, "whatsoever," is a big word. It means obedient in everything. It not only means obedience, but it means an unquestioned obedience. Would that all of us would take this attitude toward the Son of God.
IV. THE EMPTY WATERPOTS (John 2:6 )
"And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews."
1. The waterpots. These waterpots were used in religious ceremonies. In our Scripture they stand for Judaistic religious life. Waterpots, of course, were cold, dead thing's, and represented formalism.
2. The waterpots were empty. That was the exact condition of the Judaism of Christ's day; it possessed a form, but no power. At the feast there was no wine. In the waterpots there was no water. It does not take long for the wine of human religion to run out, and to fail.
3. The waterpots numbered six. Six is the number of man. Six hundred and sixty-six is the number of the beast. The number, six, stands for everything that is of the flesh, and the flesh is altogether weak. In Romans 8:1-39 we read, "What the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh." How cold, how formal, how lifeless is a religion which knows nothing of the Holy Ghost.
Oh, God, grant unto us that we may receive power with the Holy Ghost coming upon us, and that our message may be one that grips! May the pews be filled with people who pray, who walk with God, and who have hearts opened; people whose vision is keyed to spiritual things.
V. THE POTS FILLED WITH WATER (John 2:7 )
"Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim."
1. Water in the Bible stands for the Word of God. We read, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." Again, "He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
2. The water was turned to wine. There is a double significance to the word "wine." First of all it stands for joy. In Psalms 104:15 is this expression: "Wine that maketh glad the heart of man." In Ephesians we read, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." In this verse the analogy between the wine which makes drunk, and the Holy Ghost which makes drunk is described. The passage continues, "But be filled with the Spirit;. * * singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." When the wine of the Spirit fills the life, there are psalms and spiritual songs. Wine also stands in the Bible for the Blood of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1-34 we read of the Lord's Supper and of the wine. Of the cup Christ said, "This cup is the New Testament in My blood." The Apostle added in the Spirit, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come." The water turned to wine is thus suggestive of the Word of God implanted in the heart. It carries us to the Cross, and from the Cross to the joy of salvation.
Let us sum up what we have sought to set forth: the water is the Word. The wine is the Blood of Christ, the Blood which leads to the joy of the Holy Ghost. Putting it in other words: we are saved through the washing of the water: this is our regeneration, and is wrought by the Holy Ghost by virtue of the Blood of Christ. Our regeneration through His Blood turns our lives from sorrow to song, from weeping to rejoicing.
VI. A REVERSAL IN THE ORDER OF EVENTS (John 2:9-10 )
"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, 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." Here are several lessons for us.
1. The part played by the servants. As we think of this miracle Jesus Christ seems to have nothing to do with it, with the exception of His command, when He said, "Fill the waterpots * * Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast." Everything was done by the servants. How precious is this lesson.
Salvation itself is remarkable because the Lord seemingly has so little to do with it. To the human eye the servants of Christ do all. We tell the story; we preach the Word; we accept the confession of the believer; we baptize the converts. What the Lord does is unseen. Somewhere as the water was poured forth, it suddenly became wine. Somewhere as we preach the Gospel, the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost takes place. There is no sounding of trumpets. Here is the mystery of redemption.
2. The governor knew it not, but the servants knew it. God hath not revealed His deep things unto the wise and the prudent, but He has told them unto babes. The world may not know the depths of the glories of grace, or the power of a regenerated life, but the servants know it.
3. The reversal of order. When the governor of the feast tasted the water made wine, he immediately approached the bridegroom saying, "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, * * but thou hast kept the good wine until now." What are the methods of manys? Even this: to give the best first, and the worst last. What is the method of Christ? To give the sorrow, pain and suffering first, and to give the glory, and the joy, and the hallelujahs last. Let us explain by reading from Luke 6:20-25 . Thank God that the Lord saves the best until the last! When the things of this life are all gone the joys of Heaven, which never fail, will be ours.
VII. CHRIST MANIFESTING HIS GLORY (John 2:11 )
"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him."
1. The beginning of miracles. What is the first great miracle? Typically, it is the miracle of regeneration. That miracle stands unique among all the miracles of Christ. It is the saving of a soul from sin. With God the day of miracles is not past, because the day of regeneration is not passed.
2. What this miracle meant to Christ. We remember how Jesus turned to His mother and said in Luke 6:4 , "Mine hour is not yet come." This expression, "Mine hour," anticipated His Calvary sufferings. In John 7:30 , we read, "They sought to take Him: but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour had not yet come." John 8:20 : "No man laid hands on Him; for His hour was not yet come." John 12:23 . "The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified." These last words were spoken as Christ approached the Cross. In John 12:27 Christ added, "For this cause came I unto this hour." In John 16:32 , Christ said, "The hour * * is now come." In John 17:1 , He said, "The hour is come."
3. What the first miracle meant to His disciples. The last statement is that His disciples believed on Him. We see the mighty workings of the Lord in salvation, and we, who love the Lord, love Him the more. We, who believe, believe the stronger. The world may mock and cry, "Away with Him," but we open our hearts to receive Him.
Wine stands in the Bible for the Spirit-filled life, with its joys and songs. The men of the world, who live "under the sun," know nothing of the sunlight of God's Presence.
Dr. W. G. Moorehead said:
Let me repeat to you a little fable that was written by a naturalist in this country, of which I am very fond. Do not forget that it is simply a fable, but it illustrates exactly the book of Ecclesiastes. This naturalist writes as follows: One beautiful spring morning there came a songster, and perched himself on the branch of a tree, and swung himself backward and forward, and poured out his heart in a glad song.
There was a mole working under the sod just below, and he heard the song of this bird, and, pushing his nose up through the turf, he called out, "O bird, why are you making such a noise?"
And the bird made answer, "O Mr. Mole, the sunlight is so beautiful, and the air is so refreshing, and the world is so lovely, that my heart is filled with gladness, and I cannot but sing."
"The world full of beauty!" said the mole. "There is no beauty in it at all. Everything in the earth is absolutely worthless. I have lived under its sod all my life; I have dug holes in it every direction, and I know the earth thoroughly, and know there are only two things in the entire earth, grass-roots and fishworms; nothing more."
Said the bird, "Come up, Mr. Mole, out from under the sod into the light, into the presence of the sun, and you will find that you must sing; you cannot do otherwise."
That is Ecclesiastes live under the sun, with the face always towards the earth; live beneath the sod, like that mole, and there is nothing in it. It is vanity and vexation of spirit. Come up above the sun into the light and the presence of God, and all will be well, and your mouth will be filled with a song.
The Father's House
1. The connecting link. The connecting verse between the last study and this one, is John 2:12 . In that verse we read that Jesus went to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples: and "they continued there not many days."
Capernaum stands for illumination, light, blessing. It was there that Christ wrought many of His great miracles. It was there that He dwelt, and taught. We remember how it is said of that city, "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto Heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."
Light brings responsibility, and responsibility brings accountability. When God has done great things for us, He expects great things of us. If they had not known His will they would not have had sin; but when they knew, they sinned willfully, and their sin was augmented.
Let those of us who have been raised in a land of churches and of the open Bible fear lest we abuse our privileges and sin against our opportunities.
Remember, our Lord will judge everyone according to his responsibility and knowledge.
2. The Jews' passover. John 2:13 tells us, "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."
(1) Why the Jewish passover? It almost startles us when we observe the new name given to the passover. It had always been called "the Lord's passover." It was a memorial feast unto Jehovah. Its backward look was to the day of Israel's deliverance from Egypt through the shed blood of the passover lamb. Its forward look was the day of Israel's future and final deliverance, when Christ, the Passover Lamb, was to be slain. Paul, in speaking of the Passover, said, "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." Accordingly, the lamb slain under God's order through Moses, as the people were about to leave Egypt, anticipated the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God.
We read of the Lamb slain, of the Lamb worshiped, of the wrath of the Lamb, of the marriage of the Lamb, etc.
(2) Why not the Lamb's passover? The reason that the name was changed from the Lord's passover, to the Jews' passover, was because the feast had lost its meaning to Israel. They were following the ritual of the feast, but they knew nothing of the deeper meaning of the feast. They would kill the lamb, but they knew nothing of the significance of the lamb. The Lord plainly said in Isaiah 1:1-31 , "I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats."
These sacrifices were definitely commanded, and yet now definitely repudiated. The shedding of the blood of a lamb meant nothing to God, in itself. Its only value lay in its prophetical significance. It anticipated the death of Christ, therefore God was altogether displeased with their sacrifices.
It is even so in the ordinances of the church. Baptism and the Lord's Supper, when they are considered no more than church ordinances, and when their vital significance and message concerning Christ is lost, become no more than a hollow mockery. God does not delight in seeing His people buried beneath the water unless that burial prefigures the death and resurrection of Christ, and our oneness with Him in that death and resurrection. The Lord's Supper means nothing in the church unless we discern the Lord's body and recognize His shed Blood.
I. THE FATHER'S HOUSE A DEN OF THIEVES (John 2:14-15 )
In the sermon on the marriage of Cana of Galilee we discovered that Israel's joy was gone. The wine had run out, and the wine stood for joy, the joy which we have in Christ by virtue of His shed Blood.
We have before us, today, the apostasy of Israel in departing from God's method of procedure. This is set forth in this study.
Let us examine for a moment the needs of the passover. They had to have sheep, oxen, and doves for sacrifices. They had to have their money changed, for their offerings. Many of the people had come from afar hoping to secure their sacrifices by purchase. Others had come with Roman money in their hands desiring to exchange that money for Jewish coin, because it was an abomination for the Jews to offer the money of the country under which they were vassals.
The Jewish vendors, and, perhaps Roman vendors arguing that it was far easier, and much more convenient, for the people to have the cattle, and doves and money in the temple enclosure, thereby entered the courts of God with their traffic, using it for unholy and forbidden purposes.
2. When the Lord Jesus came to the passover and found such conditions prevailed, He drove out the cattle and the sheep. He ordered the men to take out the doves, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers. He knew that the feast of the passover should have no sign of leaven anywhere about it. In 1 Corinthians 5:7 are the words, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Then the Holy Ghost goes on in John 2:10 , and speaks of the covetous and idolaters. In Colossians 3:5 covetousness is called idolatry. When Christ saw the money-changers and the cattle within the temple enclosure, He saw covetousness and its willful disobedience to the sanctity of God's courts, and He drove them out.
II. PRESENT WORLD CONDITIONS (John 2:14-15 )
In the twentieth century, the day in which we live, we are facing very much the same conditions that existed in the days of Christ. We wish to show you a very significant thing.
1. The Jews returning homeward. The Jews, in large numbers, are turning their faces Zionward. The fig-tree is a type of Israel, and it is bringing forth its leaves. All of this signifies that Christ's Coming is near at hand.
2. The abomination of desolation will be shortly set up. What is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet? That abomination, of which Christ also emphatically prophesied, is the antichrist entering into the Jewish temple. The antichrist will permit no man to buy or sell, without the mark of the beast, doubtless, therefore our study conditions will again thrive in his day.
3. The Lord suddenly coming into the temple. This study describes Christ entering into His Father's house, rebuking them for making His temple a den of thieves. Then He drove out the money-changers. Malachi tells us that once more the Lord will suddenly come to His temple. He will come when the antichrist sets up the abomination of desolation. With the brightness of His coming, and with the breath of His lips, He will destroy the antichrist.
As Christ, therefore, purged the temple, at His first coming, He will likewise purge it at His Second Coming. Then, the Branch spoken of in Zechariah will arise and build the temple, in even more than its Solomon glory. "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; * * and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."
III. CLOSING THE TEMPLE (John 2:15-16 )
We have spoken of Christ purging the temple in the days of His Second Coming. Now let us make a more personal application and describe our lesson, in its relationship to present-day church conditions. Has the Church, also, turned the Father's House into a house of merchandise? Have we made the "temple," a place for the selling of oxen, sheep, and doves, and for the changing of money at our money tables? Let us see.
1. The church is turning from soul-winning to social service. Take the Y.M.C.A. which was founded with the one thought of winning men to Christ. What do we have today? Soul-winning is not even a feature in either the Y.M.C.A. or, in the Y.W.C.A. In our own city, we never hear of such a thing as a soul won to Christ through the ministrations of these organizations. Their whole attention is given to serving the youth of one community socially, ethically, intellectually, and physically.
Take the general run of the churches. They are given over in a very large way to social service. They are becoming a civic center, and some are political centers. They are seeking to foster ethical relationships. They are turning themselves toward solving the social unrest, toward equalizing wealth and wages, and things far distant from the Cross of Christ and the salvation of sinners.
2. The church is turning from prayer to the pantry. The place of prayer and the house of prayer are neglected. The pantry and the church kitchen are popularized. Many churches have become centers in providing entertainment to those who need salvation, purity, and the power of the Holy Ghost.
Our young people have plenty of time to turn from their school studies and their home duties to attend a social, but they are always too busy and too much occupied to attend the prayer meeting.
3. The church is turning from tithing to tables. Are there any money-changers' tables in the house of God? Instead of bringing in our tithes and offerings, how many churches are selling doves, so to speak, and cattle; that is, they are selling them well cooked with fancy gravies, seeking to make money by dealing to the public well prepared victuals. Our Lord is grieved at all of this.
IV. CHRIST'S ZEAL FOR HIS FATHER'S HOUSE (John 2:17 )
1. Let us observe Christ's relationship to the Father. He said, "Make not My Father's house an house of merchandise." Let us emphasize the pronoun "MY." No other Prophet or priest who ever lived dared to utter such a statement as this, calling God His Father as Christ called Him.
2. Let us consider Christ's zeal for His Father's House. With a whip in His hand, He drove them out. Once more the Deity of Christ shines forth. Who would have dared, singlehanded and alone, to enter the Temple and do what Christ did? Christ Jesus had all judgment committed unto Him. He was not afraid. He knew that men loved their money. He knew that cattle traders and sheep sellers were a tough lot. He knew that money-changers were covetous, and yet, courageously He entered in and everyone of them stood by in fear. They made no effort to justify their deeds. They stood whipped and condemned and acknowledged their iniquity.
3. Let us observe the other side of Christ's character. We think of Christ, usually, as the meek and lowly Jesus. We think of Him with hands extended, saying, "How often would I * * and ye would not." We think of Him as weeping over Jerusalem, as calling, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Christ is so continually set forth in the beauty of His love and long-suffering, that sometimes we forget that He is just and that judgment is in His hands. However, mark how prudently He acts in His judgments. He drove out the cattle knowing that their owners could recover them. He turned over the tables of the money-changers knowing they could pick up their money. He did not turn loose the doves, because they would have flown away. He did but command their owners to carry them hence. The judgments of Christ are just and right, and according to truth.
V. THE JEWS SEEKING A SIGN (John 2:18 )
"Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?"
1. The request for a sign demonstrated that the Jews knew not the Lord. They asked for a sign because they were blinded, first, to the Prophets, and now to the fulfillment of the words of the Prophets. In the Book of Acts we read of how they that dwelt in Jerusalem and their rulers did not know Him, nor yet the prophecies. Thus it was that He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him when He came.
2. The request for a sign grieved the heart of the Lord. He must have drawn back in sadness. He realized that the Jews had no conception whatsoever of His miracles and His messages. Neither did they know the Word of God which they themselves were at that very moment fulfilling.
In Matthew 16:1-28 we read that they came unto Christ desiring Him to show them a sign from Heaven. He said unto them, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" Then He added, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it."
We must confess that the Jews were altogether blinded. Having eyes, they saw not; having ears, they heard not, neither did they understand how, in them, were fulfilled the words, "Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed" (Isaiah 6:9-10 ).
VI. THE SIGN OF THE RESURRECTION (John 2:19-22 )
Although Christ was grieved at the people, He gave them the supreme sign of His Deity. It was a sign, however, which would not be realized until after He had been finally rejected, crucified, and slain. This is what He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
1. The Jews knew not His meaning. John 2:20 tells us how the Jews turned to the Lord and said, "Forty and six years was this Temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?"
2. His disciples knew not what He spake. They did not question Him, but it was not until Christ was risen from the dead, that they remembered what He said unto them, and they believed His Word.
3. How wonderful His announcement. John 2:21 says, "But He spake of the temple of His body." In Matthew 12:1-50 , the same sign was given unto the scribes and Pharisees. However, in Matthew it was clothed under the story of Jonah and the whale. To them Christ said, "There shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Thus it was that upon His resurrection Jesus Christ placed every proof of His authority and power, every proof of His claims that He was God, the Son, and Son of God. When Christ arose from the dead, the Father gave full vindication to the Son. He was not only raised from the dead, but He was exalted and made to sit down at the right hand of the Father. There He was clothed with all authority and with all power.
VII. CHRIST KNEW WHAT WAS IN MEN (John 2:23-25 )
It was during this time, while He was in Jerusalem at the passover, that many did believe on His Name when they saw the miracles which He did. We read, however, that Christ "did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and He needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man."
1. Christ knew the true from the false. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. When the people rallied to Him, and desired to come and acclaim Him, He knew that their faith was a faith born through admiration of His miracles. They followed Him, not because He was the Son of God, but because they ate of His loaves and fishes, because they saw in Him the mighty Miracle Worker.
2. Christ knew the meaning of the passover. The very feast itself anticipated His being rejected and crucified of men. No one at the feast anticipated so tragic a death for the One who wrought such miracles, who drove out moneychangers, and sellers of cattle. Jesus Christ, with His foreknowledge and omnipotence, saw those very people who now sought to acclaim Him, surging around the Cross and wagging their heads against Him. He could hear them cry, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him." Therefore, He did not commit Himself unto them. Even Judas who betrayed Him never deceived the Lord. The disciples knew Him not, but Jesus knew them, and knew what was in them.
3. He knows what is in us. There is not a word on our tongue, a thought in our hearts, which He does not see, nor is there anything that we will ever do, or be, that He does not foresee. Known unto Christ are all of His works from the beginning.
Speaking of the Father's House, we are reminded of an old pilot who died in Boston, thinking as he died of going to his Heavenly-Home.
He had held the pilot's commission for nearly seventy-five years, and for almost all that time he was a follower of Jesus Christ, As he was passing away, his face brightened, and he started up with this expression, "I see a light."
His friends thought his mind was wandering and that he was in imagination on the sea, and they said, "Is it the Highland light?"
He said, "No."
A moment more, and he repeated the sentence, "I see a light."
They asked him again, "Is it the Boston light?"
And he answered, "No."
For the third time he said, "I see a light."
They said again, "Is it the Minot light?"
"Ah, no," he said; "It is the light of glory! Let the anchor go!"
And they slipped the anchor, and the old pilot stood before Him who had taken him in His arms and presented him without spot or blemish before His Father, saying, "My Father, every weakness, every failure, every blemish, every sin in all this life, put on Mine account."
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Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on John 2". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany