Reading for Tuesday, January 3rd: John 2
v1 – “On the third day” — Our ears perk up when we hear this. We’re immediately reminded of another “third day” and the wondrous miracle of resurrection. Jesus’ turning water into wine is a sign, a forerunner of the transformative power that will pour through this Life. Now, on this side of the empty tomb, every day with Jesus is a “third day” — a day of glory and abundance and transformation. This promise is for all followers of Jesus.
Given that this is Jesus’ first “public” miracle, it’s interesting to note His reluctance at first. Can we understand this scene as a reluctant son being prodded into a leadership role by his mother? Maybe…maybe not. But in the Gospels, Mary’s love for her son is constant. She knows He’s special…which prompts the readers of this Gospel to make their own evaluation of Jesus. As we’ll see at the end of his Gospel, John writes so others will come to faith (John 20.31).
The transformation of water into wine is a miracle of abundance. Note the quantity involved here: verse 6 tells us that there could’ve been as many as 180 gallons of wine produced. But the quality is significant, too. “You have kept the good wine until now. (v10)” In the Kingdom of God, it gets better and better. I love to talk with saints who have been walking with the Lord for 30, 40, 50 years. They consistently talk about the sweetness of communion with God over such a long period of time. A long walk in the same direction is the best walk of all, it seems.
All of this leads to one important truth, a point John will make consistently throughout his Gospel: “And his disciples believed in him. (v11)”
With the Temple cleansing, we have an example of a teaching that didn’t make sense in the present. Jesus claims to have the power to rebuild the Temple in three days. But there’s our time stamp clue again; He’s referring to something else and John’s Gospel — more than any other — plays at multiple levels. John says in v22 that the disciples remembered this teaching after the resurrection…and THAT’S when they understood. We’re reminded that the way of faith doesn’t always add up, at least not from our present vantage point. But just as the wedding guests learned in the previous story, with Jesus it just keeps getting better and better. We move forward with the belief that John writes about in v22: “…and they beleived the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.”
What stands out to you as you read through chapter 2? How does our discussion from chapter 1 help your reading today? Let’s continue to pray for understanding as we journey through the text together.