John’s gospel is both previewed and summarized in chapter one by the message that Jesus is the Son of God. reference to Jesus as “the Word” has meaning throughout the Old Testament. Two of many examples are seen as God brings things into existence by His very Word (Genesis 1:3), or accomplishes whatever His purpose may be by His Word, which He sends out (Isaiah 55:10-11). The Greek word “logos” is what is translated as “word,” and it had a special meaning to the Greeks of the day. It signified the bridge between the transcendent, or spiritual, to the physical. john’s use of it here is quite appropriate in light of the aforementioned passages.
John moves later in the chapter to the testimony of John the Baptist. In verses 29-34, this John identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God” – which they would not yet fully understand – and gives evidence of his own special revelation from God, concerning His son. In verses 19-23, John the Baptist,appearing before the priests and then the Pharisees, denied that he himself was the Christ, or Elijah. “The Prophet” that they ask him about could be a misunderstanding by them of the promise of a “new prophet like me” to lead them, which Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15-16. He leaves no doubt in verse 23 though, that his baptism is to prepare the way for the Messiah, as he clearly states that he is the one referred to in Isaiah 40:3. The chapter ends with Jesus calling the first of His disciples, some of which He undoubtedly already had a relationship with.
The event of the wedding at Cana in chapter 2 is where Jesus performed His first miracle. Some make reference to this as an argument for social drinking, but it would be safe to say that the Lord would not be providing a means for people to become drunk with wine. For Jesus to have done so would have been a sin (Habakkuk 2:15); and the point of this scripture is found in examining the miracle (or sign, as John refers to it) itself. There were six stone jars, each holding 20-30 gallons. Note that verse 7 says that He had the servants fill the jars to the brim with water – nothing could have been poured into them afterward, and Jesus never touched them. Running out of wine at a wedding feast would be particularly awkward.
Addressing His mother as “Woman” in verse 4 would seem disrespectful to people today, but such was not the case in the language of the day. It was a term of respectful distance. Note that the anger is righteous anger, as Jesus drives out the merchants and money changers. The temple area spoken of here would be the surrounding area of the temple itself that would be used for worship as well by worshiping Gentiles. So these traders would be disrupting that worship. In verse 18, the Jews present questioned Jesus as to what His authority for doing this was. He answered “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Of course, they did not understand that He was talking about His own body – not the temple He had just cleansed. But verse 22 confirms that His disciples would remember after the crucifixion.
Bible Reading Schedule for this month
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.