Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
Joh 2:1-12. First Miracle, Water Made Wine—Brief Visit to Capernaum.
1. third day—He would take two days to reach Galilee, and this was the third.
mother there—it being probably some relative's marriage. John never names her [Bengel].
And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
3. no wine—evidently expecting some display of His glory, and hinting that now was His time.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
4, 5. Woman—no term of disrespect in the language of that day (Joh 19:26).
what … to do with thee—that is, "In my Father's business I have to do with Him only." It was a gentle rebuke for officious interference, entering a region from which all creatures were excluded (compare Ac 4:19, 20).
mine hour, &c.—hinting that He would do something, but at His own time; and so she understood it (Joh 2:5).
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
6. firkins—about seven and a half gallons in Jewish, or nine in Attic measure; each of these huge water jars, therefore, holding some twenty or more gallons, for washings at such feasts (Mr 7:4).
Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
7, 8. Fill … draw … bear—directing all, but Himself touching nothing, to prevent all appearance of collusion.
And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
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,
9, 10. well drunk—"drunk abundantly" (as So 5:1), speaking of the general practice.
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.
10. the good wine … until now—thus testifying, while ignorant of the source of supply, not only that it was real wine, but better than any at the feast.
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
11. manifested forth his glory—Nothing in the least like this is said of the miracles of prophet or apostle, nor could without manifest blasphemy be said of any mere creature. Observe, (1) At a marriage Christ made His first public appearance in any company, and at a marriage He wrought His first miracle—the noblest sanction that could be given to that God-given institution. (2) As the miracle did not make bad good, but good better, so Christianity only redeems, sanctifies, and ennobles the beneficent but abused institution of marriage; and Christ's whole work only turns the water of earth into the wine of heaven. Thus "this beginning of miracles" exhibited the character and "manifested forth the glory" of His entire Mission. (3) As Christ countenanced our seasons of festivity, so also that greater fulness which befits such; so far was He from encouraging that asceticism which has since been so often put for all religion. (4) The character and authority ascribed by Romanists to the Virgin is directly in the teeth of this and other scriptures.
After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
12. Capernaum—on the Sea of Galilee. (See on Mt 9:1).
his mother and his brethren—(See on Lu 2:51, and Mt 13:54-56).
And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
Joh 2:13-25. Christ's First Passover—First Cleansing of the Temple.
And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
14-17. in the temple—not the temple itself, as Joh 2:19-21, but the temple-court.
sold oxen, &c.—for the convenience of those who had to offer them in sacrifice.
changers of money—of Roman into Jewish money, in which the temple dues (see on Mt 17:24) had to be paid.
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;
15. small cords—likely some of the rushes spread for bedding, and when twisted used to tie up the cattle there collected. "Not by this slender whip but by divine majesty was the ejection accomplished, the whip being but a sign of the scourge of divine anger" [Grotius].
poured out … overthrew—thus expressing the mingled indignation and authority of the impulse.
And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
16. my Father's house—How close the resemblance of these remarkable words to Lu 2:49; the same consciousness of intrinsic relation to the temple—as the seat of His Father's most august worship, and so the symbol of all that is due to Him on earth—dictating both speeches. Only, when but a youth, with no authority, He was simply "a Son in His own house"; now He was "a Son over His own house" (Heb 3:6), the proper Representative, and in flesh "the Heir," of his Father's rights.
house of merchandise—There was nothing wrong in the merchandise; but to bring it, for their own and others' convenience, into that most sacred place, was a high-handed profanation which the eye of Jesus could not endure.
And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
17. eaten me up—a glorious feature in the predicted character of the suffering Messiah (Ps 69:9), and rising high even in some not worthy to loose the latchet of His shoes. (Ex 32:19, &c.).
Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
18-22. What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?—Though the act and the words of Christ, taken together, were sign enough, they were unconvinced: yet they were awed, and though at His very next appearance at Jerusalem they "sought to kill Him" for speaking of "His Father" just as He did now (Joh 5:18), they, at this early stage, only ask a sign.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
19. Destroy this temple, &c.—(See on Mr 14:58, 59).
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
20. Forty and six years—From the eighteenth year of Herod till then was just forty-six years [Josephus, Antiquities, 15.11.1].
But he spake of the temple of his body.
21. temple of his body—in which was enshrined the glory of the eternal Word. (See on Joh 1:14). By its resurrection the true Temple of God upon earth was reared up, of which the stone one was but a shadow; so that the allusion is not quite exclusively to Himself, but takes in that Temple of which He is the foundation, and all believers are the "lively stones." (1Pe 2:4, 5).
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.
22. believed the scripture—on this subject; that is, what was meant, which was hid from them till then. Mark (1) The act by which Christ signalized His first public appearance in the Temple. Taking "His fan in His hand, He purges His floor," not thoroughly indeed, but enough to foreshadow His last act towards that faithless people—to sweep them out of God's house. (2) The sign of His authority to do this is the announcement, at this first outset of His ministry, of that coming death by their hands, and resurrection by His own, which were to pave the way for their judicial ejection.
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.
23-25. in the feast day—the foregoing things occurring probably before the feast began.
many believed—superficially, struck merely by "the miracles He did." Of these we have no record.
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
24. did not commit—"entrust," or let Himself down familiarly to them, as to His genuine disciples.
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
25. knew what was in man—It is impossible for language more clearly to assert of Christ what in Jer 17:9, 10, and elsewhere, is denied of all mere creatures.