SEEKING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
FROM THE BIBLE TEACHINGS OF
TED A. ROBERTS
With my own thoughts [in brackets] inserted into original scriptures.
John 2:1-4 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: [2:2] And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. [2:3] And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. [2:4] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
First of all, calling His mother “woman” was no term of disrespect. It was just how men addressed the lady-folks in the olden times. Compare to John 20:15; John 19:26; Matthew 15:28; John 4:21; and, even, 1st Corinthians 7:16 . . . “What have I to do with thee?” The words may sound harsh to us; but were, perhaps, just a gentle reminder to His mother of what was most important. Perhaps He meant: “Be not anxious, this really is not our business. My affairs must only be about the Father’s business.” . . . “Mine hour is not yet come.” His time for doing public miracles just wasn’t yet. He may have even had a feeling of when they were supposed to occur – but surely, not turning water into wine! That is, something that had nothing to do with His Father’s business. But, too, He respected His mother, and did as she bid nevertheless; because, surely, it was important to her.
John 2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Almost in a comical way, she seems to have ignored His statements! Thus, was her confidence in her son.
John 2:6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
“After the manner of the purifying of the Jews…” Quite possibly, a tradition of washing hands before one eats a meal. See, for instance:
Matthew 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Though, these pots may have been empty at the time, as we’ll see in the next verse; but, the set-up of those stone pots may also have been in the order for washing. “Containing two or three firkins apiece…” Most scholars are not sure how much of a measurement this was, and many of them take guesses at it. The actual measurements may not be of much importance (though, some may see some “types and shadows” in the measurements), but it’s a measurement of some sort, for sure . . . Also, on another note, a “type and shadow” is a biblical example, told in the Bible with naturally understood stories, which hold deeper and more spiritual meanings for us today. Sometimes, these types and shadows can be compared to Allegories; similes; figures; metaphors; etc.
John 2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
As I already mentioned, the pots may or may not have been empty before Jesus said to fill them up; but, giving the sense that they actually had measurements, of two or three firkins apiece, we can either gather that that’s how much water was already in them before Jesus told them to fill the pots to the brim, or that’s how much they can actually hold when full . . . I’m not really seeing anything of value in this – such as, as I’ve already mentioned, any types and shadows to be gained. But, that’s not saying that somebody cannot find some; it’s just that I personally don’t see any.
John 2:8-13a And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. [2:9] When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, [2:10] And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. [2:11] This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. [2:12] After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. [13a] And the Jews' passover was at hand…
That feast which was kept on the fourteenth day of Nisan, in commemoration of the Lord's passing over the houses of the Israelites when God slew the firstborn in Egypt, as is seen in Exodus 12:6-14.
John 2:13b-14a …and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, [14a] And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves…
The sacrifices of animals, as was set-up during the Old Testament, in the Wilderness wandering, during Moses’ and Aaron’s day, was made into a money-making business by the Temple priests. Why bring your own animals to be sacrificed when you can simply buy them on your way to the altar? By this action, the Jewish folks of the 1st century truly missed the correct meaning of sacrificing. Sacrificing wasn’t supposed to mean the killing of animals – though that was the form it took in those olden days; but, it was supposed to mean something of value to you that you’re willing to give-up for God’s sake, to show that God is more important to you than anything else in this world. The killing of animals was only to be a symbolism of true sacrifice. David shows us this even during the Old Testament days:
Psalms 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
And, why did God not desire animal sacrifices anymore when He was the one who had set them up to begin with? Again, it’s because the majority of folks didn’t understand what it was supposed to mean, and they took the act to an ungodly level – such as making a money-making business out of it . . . Let’s see God Himself get angry at the people’s actions:
Isaiah 1:10-21 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah [No, He’s not speaking to the actual people of those terrible cities, but He’s comparing Israel to them because of how wicked they became]. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. How is the faithful city [Jerusalem] become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
John 2:14b …and the changers of money sitting:
Exchanging other currency to what was acceptable in the Temple. People came from miles and miles away to participate in Temple activities.
John 2:15-16 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; [2:16] And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
Mark adds this:
Mark 11:17 And he [Jesus] taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Psalms 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
John 2:18-19 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Meaning, of course, when He would be forced onto the cross and be killed; then, He would rise from the tomb on the third day.
John 2:20-22 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
It seems that the Jews of the 1st century were continually seeking a sign of some sort, for proofs.
Matthew 12:38-41 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
This is similar to how Jesus answered in John 2:19, as we’ve just seen: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” This was to be the only sign that those men would ever see. That is, Jesus arising from the dead. But, even then, many would still not repent. Therefore, Nineveh would take up judgment against that present evil nation. Not that this would literally happen, nor that the actual folks from their past would arise to do this (because, as I’ve shown, sometimes we must see and understand metaphors in scripture), but for the fact that they had repented when Jonah spoke against them, and these present-day Jews of the 1st century would not, it showed them for what they truly were in their evil hearts.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,  And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Our Lord had extreme discernment about mankind, and knew the wickedness of their hearts, and didn’t need anybody to tell Him what He already knew about them. People can be kind one day, then a devil the next!
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
So, Jesus never turned a blind-eye to them – as so instructs the Old Testament when speaking about those who pay attention to their surroundings:
Judges 7:4-5 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
Why was this a good way for God to choose an army? Because, just like dog’s do, we must always watch our surroundings when we drink water – metaphorically speaking, of course! When dogs drink water, they are always on the look-out for anything that may try and sneak-up upon them that could harm them; so, they watch, and are sober to what’s happening around themselves. We, too, need to be ever on the watch for things that may harm us, or harm others around us. If this isn’t so, then why are we instructed to try the spirits of mankind to see if they are truly of God?
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Is that just a good idea? Or, something that we all should do? . . . And, not only, but we should employ “serpent wisdom.” That is, knowing the wiles of serpents without becoming one ourselves.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore WISE AS SERPENTS, and harmless as doves.
That means understanding them and how they operate; but, again, without becoming one ourselves . . . And, finally, we need not verbally judge anybody (our correct lifestyles alone should do that! Becoming, that is, a living epistle of Jesus that’s read of everyone), but we need to become “fruit testers.” Again, those fruits (or, works) which we’ve already read about in Galatians 5:19-23.
Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Again, not to judge people thereby – to have an opportunity of condemning folks! That’s not my meaning here; but, we need to live a correct lifestyle, that others can observe and follow – being a Godly example; but, if people are getting evil, we need to be aware of what’s happening, else we can be blindsided.
QUIZ ON JOHN CHAPTER 2 (Should be taken after Lesson is read)
1. Considering the water pots at the wedding, how much of a measurement is a single “firkin?”
10 sheepskins full
Nobody actually knows
Can’t say because Scholars are divided on the issue
2. Was turning water into wine Jesus’ first recorded miracle?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
3. Once Jesus turned the water into wine, did it taste better or worse than the normal wine they drank before it?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
4. What feast was kept by the Jews on the fourteenth day of Nisan?
The wedding day feast at Cana of Galilee
An Egyptian holiday feast
Pharaoh’s day (much like our President’s Day)
5. Why did God have people kill animals in the Old Testament?
For cruelty to animals
To give priests something to do
Ritualistic sacrificing representing spiritual understandings
6. In your opinion, did the majority of the Jews, during Old Testament and Jesus’ day, fully understand what animal sacrifices really meant?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
7. Why did Jesus whip folks in the Temple?
He didn’t really do it
They sold the wrong kind of animals
They put too high a price on animals
He didn’t like them
They made a money-making business out of something sacred
8. What did Jesus mean when He said that if they tore down the Temple, He’d build it back-up in 3 days?
The actual, literal Temple would be rebuilt
His disciples were also carpenters
He meant nothing by it
His own body would rise from the tomb if they killed Him
9. What did king David consider “true” sacrifices?
The killing of animals
A broken spirit and a contrite heart
Animal killings if only priests did it
Animal sacrifices only count in the Temple
10. Through the words of Isaiah the prophet, in chapter 1, what was Jerusalem compared to when they worshipped God in a wrong, evil way?
11. In Hebrews chapter 5, which we’ve covered when going over John chapter 2, what did Paul mean by strong meat belongs to people who are of full age?
Little children under the age of 12 aren’t supposed to eat meat
Kids are supposed to be on a salad diet
The young-minded can truly handle deep doctrine
Strong doctrine cannot be handled by childish-minded adults
12. According to Judges chapter 7, why does God want to choose people for His army who drinks water like a dog?
Dogs are God’s favorite animal
God doesn’t like cats
While watching intently, it’s a good way to spot food for lunch
God wants people who constantly watch their surroundings
13. What can it mean to have “serpent wisdom?”
For you to be a devil
Being a politician
Being as harmless as a dove
Studying one without becoming one, understand how they think
14. What can it mean to be a “fruit tester?”
To be an employee at Tropicana
Loving fruits more than veggies
Seeing what fruits people display, whether of the Spirit or of flesh
15. What’s the proper way to judge people?
Verbally rebuking them
Talking about people behind their backs
Spreading unconfirmed rumors
By living a correct life-style ourselves, observed by others
16. Is trying people’s spirits (in a kindly manner, that is), to see if they are of God or not, wrong for us to do as Christians?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
17. Is it important to read and study our Bible?
I don’t know
Listening to a teacher only is good enough
18. Is it important to be Godly (kind to others, displaying the fruits of the Spirit) outside the church building, during our regular week at work, school, the grocery store, etc.?
Only if others are kind to us
It’s eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth!
Not important for those who are going to hell!
We only have to be good to those who claim to be Christians
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