John 2:1-25

Jesus’ first miracle. God’s house as marketplace? Jesus’ body as God’s temple. Man’s testimony.

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"1Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” 6Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus told the servants, “Fill the water jars with water.” So they filled them up to the very top. 8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward,” and they did. 9When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:1-11)

Jesus never acts without purpose, especially when it aligns with his role as the Savior of humanity. His coming was foretold by prophets thousands of years ago. He chose John the Baptist to announce his arrival through baptism in the Jordan River. And now, he is revealing his presence through his first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding banquet.


12After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13Now the Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14He found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting at tables. 15So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.”” (John 2:12-17)

A marketplace is a location where individuals engage in buying or selling goods or services to generate income or profits. In this context, the assumption is that one can somehow purchase or trade for the forgiveness of sins or gain favor with God. However, it is essential to explore what the Bible has to say about this matter.

1Hey, all who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come! Buy and eat! Come! Buy wine and milk without money and without cost! 2Why pay money for something that will not nourish you? Why spend your hard-earned money on something that will not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is nourishing! Enjoy fine food! (Isaiah 55:1-2)

37On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and 38let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

Jesus’ purpose in coming was to sacrifice himself on the cross, allowing the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to be freely bestowed upon those who have faith. When individuals seek alternative ways to attain salvation apart from believing in Christ’s completed work on the cross, they are committing the following sin:

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29)

The passage in Hebrews begins by drawing a comparison between the inferior blood of animal sacrifices and the blood of the Lamb of God. It’s not surprising that Jesus was filled with righteous anger.


18So then the Jewish leaders responded, “What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?” 19Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?” 21But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body. 22So after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the saying that Jesus had spoken.” (John 2:18-22)

In John 4:1-42, we encounter the story of a Samaritan woman who had an encounter with Jesus at Jacob’s well. During this encounter, Jesus dispelled the prevailing notion that people require a physical temple to worship God:

Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” (John 4:21)

Just as the Samaritan woman struggled to believe Jesus when he spoke about worship not requiring a physical temple, his disciples also faced challenges in accepting his statement about his body being God’s temple. It was only after his crucifixion and resurrection that they gained a deeper understanding of his words. Similarly, many of Jesus’ teachings during his earthly life only became fully understandable through Paul’s writings after the resurrection. Hindsight brought clarity and comprehension to these profound teachings.


23Now while Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover, many people believed in his name because they saw the miraculous signs he was doing. 24But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for he knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25)

Testimonies hold significant importance to us, and in this passage, it appears that these testimonies might revolve around Jesus’ remarkable miracles. However, we discover that Jesus doesn’t rely solely on these accounts as the foundation for his ministry. Despite performing numerous miracles openly, he was still crucified. Being an omniscient God, he knew what lay within the hearts of people, as confirmed by the Bible.

The inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on. (Genesis 8:21)

The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

20He said, “What comes out of a person defiles him. 21For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. 23All these evils come from within and defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)

The most reliable source of testimony is the Bible itself.

(Next study: John 3:1-8)

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

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