The Wedding - John 2:1-25

Expositions by H. A. Wilson

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1923


For convenience in study the second chapter of John may be divided into four sections, each of which contains a clear testimony to the Deity of Jesus, and each of which contains a helpful message for the individual soul.


John 2:1-11

1. In performing this miracle Jesus gave evidence of His Deity. Only God has such power over nature that He can do in a moment that which requires weeks when done through natural processes. He called the vine into being, and established the laws which govern its existence. He ordained that water must be drawn up in the form of sap, and then, within the vine, transmuted into the blood of the grape through processes of which we are ignorant. Surely no hand but His Who ordained the production of the wine by the miracle of life could hasten that process and cause the water to change into wine instantly, at His mere word. Jesus did this, and in doing it proved that He is God.

2. Jesus' purpose in performing this miracle was to "manifest forth His glory." (vs. 11) More lies hidden beneath the surface meaning of these words than many have ever dreamed of. The miracle was literally performed, but in its accomplishment God brings together a number of things whose symbolical significance in Scripture teaches wonderful truths about His Son. We may merely glance at this rich symbolism. In Scripture vessels stand for the human body; the material stone speaks of Christ; water stands as a symbol of the Holy Spirit; and wine represents teaching. This wine was doubtless unfermented, for it is called "good wine," so it stands peculiarly for teaching about Jesus. Numbers also have a spiritual significance in Scripture. The number six is the number of man, — it is the human number. The number two is the redemption number, and is peculiarly connected with Jesus, for it is in Him that our redemption is wrought. The number three stands for the tri-unity of God, — it is the number of the God-head. Putting together the meaning of the symbols which God has brought together in this miracle we find this message. "In the body of this man, Jesus, dwells the fullness of the God-head for the purpose of accomplishing redemption. He is full of the Holy Spirit, and this is manifested in His teaching. Through this teaching joy and satisfaction come to men." Someone has well said "Every miracle of Jesus was a parable," so this miracle is a parable teaching us of Jesus' Deity and grace. II Cor. 4:7; II Tim. 2:21; Acts 4:10-11; Jno. 7:37-39; Matt. 26:27-29; Rev. 13:18; Heb. 10:8-10.

3. The faith of Jesus' mother shows how implicitly He may be trusted. She made a practical request in her suggestion that there was a want of wine. Jesus apparently refused her request, saying literally, "What is that to you and to me?" But the mother's heart was steadied in faith. She had asked and she believed that He would do what she had asked, so she said to the servants "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." She expected Him to answer her request. What a lesson for us. In Mary's faith, and in Jesus' performance of her request we may learn that God is faithful and does answer prayer. He is worthy, and we may trust Him. Psa. 50:15; Jer. 33:3; I Jno. 5:14-15.


John 2:12-17

1. In the cleansing of the Temple Jesus demonstrated His Deity. The temple was the house of God. It had been built for the purpose of worship. God Himself had laid down the laws regulating the temple worship, and He alone had authority in such matters. When Jesus drove from the temple those who were buying and selling therein He was assuming authority which belonged to God alone. In this He was establishing His claim to Deity. The Jews surely recognized the power of this testimony for they asked for a sign whereby He should accredit Himself. This showed that they realized that He was claiming Divine authority in his action. The same testimony is seen in Hi? claim to Sonship in the words, "Make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." Here is the Son acting in the authority of the Father. Jesus' action and words thus combine to testify that He is God.

2. Jesus' attitude toward the temple merchants should teach us that God is displeased with anything which commercializes things set aside for His worship. The Scriptures teach that God's people should worship Him with their gifts. Giving of our means is one of the most acceptable forms of worship. This being true it follows that bazaars, oyster-suppers, bake-sales, theatricals, and all such commercial means of raising money to support the Church surely must be displeasing to Him. God's house should be supported by the loving gifts of God's people, and not by the nickels and dimes wrung from the hands of the unwilling or unwary purchasers of wares peddled at church fairs and entertainments. So also the many pleas for charity in the name of the Church or "religion " must be offensive to God. Such expedients as these rob Him of the heart worship He yearns for, and robs His people of the joy and privilege of worshipping Him through giving of their means as the Scriptures teach they should. Ex. 35:21; Ex. 35:29; Ex. 36:3-5; II Cor. 9:7; II Cor. 8:9.


John 2:18-22

1. In answer to the Jews' request for a "sign" Jesus prophesied His resurrection, thus manifesting His Deity. Verses 21-22 definitely apply His reference to raising the temple to His resurrection. Such is the inspired interpretation of His words. And in this prophecy Jesus gave evidence of foreknowledge which belongs to God alone. Men may consider circumstances and the apparent trend of events, and then guess at what may happen in the future, but such guesses are necessarily ' limited to a very brief space of time and are very uncertain. God alone can look with assurance into the future and tell with certain knowledge what must come to pass. Jesus did this, therefore He was God. Then, too. His power over life and death shown in His statement, "In three days I will raise it up," is the power of God. Only He could face the prospect of a violent death at the hands of infuriated men and calmly speak of that death, and announce with positive assurance "I will raise it (the body you have slain)." In His knowledge of the future and in His consciousness of unlimited power over life and death Jesus proves that He is God.

2. The disciples' experience in connection with this prophecy shows the possibility of the believer being delivered from worry. The disciples did not understand Jesus' prophecy, nor did they understand the things which befell later. It was not until after He had risen from the dead that they remembered, and understood, and believed what He had said on this day. How different might have been the experience of those dark days between the crucifixion and the resurrection had they understood and believed. Instead of despair, radiant hope and joy might have been theirs in the expectation of the resurrection. So God's Word says "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. * * " How useless it is for His children to worry and fret when things seem to go wrong. We may, believing His Word, look by faith through the darkness of the hour of testing and see the radiance of the hour of blessing; which must follow. We may look up and thank God for the testing, rejoicing in full confidence that He will finally manifest the blessing for which He permitted the testing to come. Phil. 4:6-7; Rom. 8:28.


John 2:23-25

1. Because Jesus is God He could read the thoughts of men's hearts. "He knew all men," and He "knew what was in man." The Word tells us that "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do," and He says "I the Lord search the heart, — " He has plainly told us what He sees there, for He says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Because He discerned the wickedness of the human heart Jesus was not willing to trust Himself to men. Heb. 4:13.; Jer. 17:9-10.

2. The heart being so wicked and deceitful it is folly for men to place their dependence in it. If Jesus, the Son of God thought the human heart so undependable and wicked that He was unwilling to trust Himself to it, how much more we should distrust it. The word "trust" in this chapter is a ,significant word in this connection. It is from a word which literally means to "believe." This shows us at once the fallacy of worldly philosophy which exhorts us to "have faith in ourselves." Never! Only One is worthy of faith, and that One is Jesus. God constantly seeks to lead us to trust in Him, because He alone is worthy. We may believe in ourselves implicitly but such faith never can bring salvation to the soul, either from the penalty or power of sin. Jesus only can do this, and oh, how we need to believe in Him I Trust Him, man! Trust Him for salvation from the penalty and for deliverance from the power of sin! Acts 4:12; Jno. 3:18; Psa. 118:8-9; I Jno. 5:4-5.