This includes the famous water-to-wine passage. It was a lot of wine – probably 150 gallons or so. Some people try to claim that it was just unfermented grape juice, but that is highly unlikely. I’m not a drinker, and I despise most of the marketing around alcohol and the problems it causes, but the Bible does not prohibit any alcohol consumption. It teaches that we shouldn’t get drunk, we should obey laws and we shouldn’t tempt others with our drinking.
Was Jesus rude to his mother in v. 4? I doubt it. I picture him saying that with a grin.
This is the first of eight miracles highlighted by John, showing Jesus’ control over nature, life, healing and more. We have heard this story so many times that it is easy to lose the majesty of it. Try to imagine being one of the disciples or servants who witnessed this miracle, and consider what they would have thought.
Jesus Changes Water to Wine
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
Jesus Clears the Temple
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
The Gospel of John was not necessarily written chronologically. This clearing of the temple may have come at the end of Jesus’ ministry as recorded in other Gospels, or He may have done it more than once.
Men had tried to control the Jewish religion and profit from the sacrificial system. This is not what God had in mind. Jesus had a righteous zeal and anger and it was demonstrated here. He was not the “Jesus meek and mild” as He is often portrayed. He was meek and mild in the good sense, but not in a wimpy way.
Jesus had authority over the temple because He is God.