John 2:11 confirms that the event of the wedding at Cana 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.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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