Jesus, His mother, and His disciples were at a wedding celebration. The host of the party ran out of wine for the guests. Jesus’ mother told him to do something about it. Jesus then turned some water into wine.
Starting in verse 6 we read: “Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.”
These water jars were used by religious people to perform a ritual, to do a tradition: before the religious leaders would eat, they would wash their hands to show that they were clean people. It was an act, but of course, it would not make them clean before God.
Each jug could hold up to 100 litres of water, but now they were filled with wine. That means the religious leaders could not wash their hands in those jars anymore. This shows that Jesus appeared on earth to change the religious customs and traditions of the Jews. It also shows you cannot be made clean by your religious acts. You can only be made clean by the blood of Jesus.
Jesus was 30 years old when He performed this miracle. We read in verse 11: “This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And his disciples believed in Him.”
In verse 13 we read: “It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.” The Passover celebration started in Egypt when God told the Israelites to paint the blood of a lamb around their doors. Now Jesus, the new Lamb of God, was going to die so that by believing in Him He could put His blood on our hearts and free us from the power of sin.
Jesus went to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. He saw that the religious leaders had made a business out of religion. They were selling things in the Temple. They were exchanging money and making money on the transactions. This upset Jesus very much and He said in verse 16: “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
John chapter 3
In chapter 3 we are introduced to a Jewish religious man named Nicodemus. He was called a Pharisee. A Pharisee was like an imam. Pharisees believed in the teachings of Moses, in the Law, and that people would be resurrected from the dead on the day of Judgement. We read about Nicodemus in verse 2: “After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus.” Nicodemus came to Jesus at night when no one could see him. This shows us that it is ok to learn about Jesus in secret.
Jesus said to Nicodemus in verse 3: “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus then explained to Nicodemus that he had to be born again. This shows us that everyone is alive physically, but unless God gives us His Spirit, we are spiritually dead. We can say we believe in God, we can read the Bible, we can pray, but unless our human spirit comes alive to God by the power of His Spirit, we remain dead to God. When we ask Jesus to enter into our hearts, we are born again. His Spirit makes our spirit alive to Him.
John is telling us that the Spirit of God is God. We learned earlier that Christ is the eternal Son, and the Son is the Word, and the Word is God. Jesus is God. Jesus tells Nicodemus in verse 19: “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
Anyone who wants to live for God will believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Jesus is saying that we will not have to force people to accept Him as Lord. People who want to know God and live a good life will want to know more about Jesus. They will want to read the Bible. They will have a desire to do what is right and they will find Jesus, and Jesus will appear to them. We cannot force anyone to believe in Jesus. We can get them to pray, and read the Bible, but the person has to open their hearts to the Lord, and this we cannot do. They have to open their own hearts to Him.
John continues to talk about the deity of Christ. He continues to teach us that Jesus is God. We read starting in verse 31: “He (Jesus) has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
This ends the teaching on John chapters 2 and 3.