Now to start the study of John 2. For this chapter, I am using two translations, the New King James Version (NKJV) as well as the New International Version (NIV). If you do not have reference to look on with, you can visit BibleGateway.com for any translation you would like.
This chapter is a bit shorter, at least in comparison to chapter one, and can be separated into two parts, verses 1-11 and verses 12-25. The overall idea of the chapter, I feel, is to start a person’s faith in Jesus. Today, our world constantly questions the qualifications of people…how they are able to do the job…what makes them special…why they are gifted in certain areas. I think we all can admit that we have been skeptical of people who claim absolute truths and I believe that it was no different in Jesus’ day. The first chapter in the book of John sets up the coming of Jesus and the announcement that He is the Messiah, but now that this is placed, it causes questions and doubt for new Christians. Essentially, it raises questions:
Why is Jesus the Messiah and not someone else?
What makes people think He is ‘our lord and savior?’
If He is so powerful, why doesn’t He prove it?
This is where chapter two of John comes in; it begins to combat with these doubts by explaining the occurrences in Jesus’ life.
Verses 1-11 take on the first part of the future miracles Jesus shows during his lifetime, at a wedding, He turns water into wine. Of all the miracles that Jesus could have first done in order to show who He is, such as raising the dead or healing the sick or the blind, Jesus starts small. He starts with turning ordinary water into incredible wine. When I first heard this story, it made me question the relevance of it. I didn’t see what was so great about turning water into wine. I mean, yeah it is a miracle, but what symbolism was behind it? In all honesty, it seemed kind of ridiculous to me.
But then I started to think about it. In other places of the Bible (such as the story where Jesus meets the lady at the well), He offers people the water of life, or living water, that will quench their thirst. During the last supper, Jesus offers up the wine and brings forth the tradition of communion, where the wine becomes the blood of Jesus. I feel that this miracle of turning water into wine was not only for Jesus to show His abilities as the son of God, but also to create a metaphor for offering water to quench our thirsts, which turns into His blood that He gave on the cross for our sins. When the bridegroom states in verse 10, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (2:10, NIV) it furthers this idea that Jesus has so much more to offer…He has what we thirst for.
Verses 12-25 also deal with later parts of Jesus life and shows Jesus as knowing about His final death. He states, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (2:19, NKJV) and only a few verses later, “But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (2:21, NKJV). Jesus predicts His resurrection, for He knows His purpose in everything that He was doing and people followed Him for it. Jesus made people believe by talking and showing miracles. It makes me wonder, how was He able to do that?
It is mind boggling to me that someone could cause people to follow them with only speaking a few words to a person, or showing them a miracle that they do not understand. If you are still feeling skeptical about the miracles and words of Jesus, I would like to ask you to do two things:
First, re-read the post where we discussed chapter one and remember the insights you gained through that. Think about how those words made you feel and how do you feel now? What is making you feel that way? Is it the skepticism of water being turned into wine? If that is holding you up, try moving past that and working with the deeper meaning of it all.
Second, pray about your frustration. I think there are a lot of things in the Bible that we have trouble understanding and comprehending, so ask God to help you figure out the pertinence behind His word.
From what I have discovered though, it takes faith to help us understand the deeper meanings in the actions of Jesus. We can’t simply get caught up in the physics of a situation, for God doesn’t appeal to any physical bounds (after all, He caused a virgin to have a baby…I don’t think changing water into wine is much more of a challenge).
From the book I am using a resource for this study; I would like you to think about the following: “Ask God to change the stagnant water of your life into vibrant wine” (P. 14).
What stagnant water is in your life right now?