13th December 2018

John: Week 5 (Thursday, December 13 2018)

(from www.insightforliving.org.uk)


Chapter 2: 1-25



Do you recall the reason John wrote his gospel? If not, review for a moment John 20:30–31. Remember? He clearly desired to show in those few words that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son. John’s method for accomplishing that simple plan involved his recording of selected miracles (called “signs”) performed by Jesus during His ministry. John explains that the miracle at Cana “was the first time Jesus revealed his glory” (John 2:11). In other words, we’re only getting started with the miracles!



As we turn to this passage, we’ll use the Searching the Scriptures method of Bible study to observe, interpret, correlate, and apply the text. Chuck Swindoll’s book, Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs, explains these methods in more detail, and you can purchase a copy at Insight for Living Ministries ’online store. Also, you may wish to check out Chuck’s commentary on John’s gospel.


Observation: Looking All Around

One approach to the observation process in Bible study is to observe major chronological, geographical, and organizational themes that help you understand the flow of a passage. Time segments, geography, and even weather are used by the biblical writers to communicate their message. It can be an exciting aspect of your observation stage of searching the Scriptures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the chronology, geography, and other aspects of John 2 as we begin this second chapter.


Searching the Scriptures Tool

Observation is a critical beginning technique to put together the pieces of a passage of Scripture. Read the passage carefully, noticing features such as contrasts, comparisons, repeated words, cause-and-effect, and emphasized words. Particularly notice imperatives (commands) and verbs (action words), which are like tree limbs. All the ideas in the paragraph, like branches and leaves, connect to these words.

Chronology—Observing Aspects of Time and Sequence (John 2:1–12)

Read John 2:1–12. What words or phrases indicate time parameters? Write down as many as you observe. How does this scene, for instance, relate to the last story covered at the end of John 1?

What did Jesus do after the wedding day in Cana? What chronological clues help you answer that?

By the way, this is a good occasion to use your imagination! Take a few moments to think through how you and perhaps Jesus and His family might feel after a long wedding weekend. What emotions might Jesus have felt? How do you think He may have felt physically? In what way does the chronological clue in John 2:12 indicate His desire for rest? Remember: Jesus is human!


Geography—Observing Aspects of Places and Spaces (John 1–2)

If you were to map out the first two chapters of John’s gospel, you’d determine that Jesus’ early ministry took Him to multiple towns and areas within a geographic region.

Take a few moments to survey both John 1 and 2. Write down in the spaces below the names of towns, areas, and regions that you observe. For each, be sure to note any details that John includes.

John 1—Towns, Places, and Regions


John 2—Towns, Places, and Regions


Now, take a few moments to locate either in the maps section of your study Bible or in a Bible atlas a map titled “Ministry of Jesus” or something similar. Locate on the map each of the locations you identified above. What observations can you make about where they are located? In what general geographic location are they found?

Take a few moments to consult a Bible dictionary (preferably one that covers the New Testament) and look for an entry on Jewish weddings. Read through the information provided. What do you learn about those early customs? How does what you discover relate to what John describes about the wedding in Cana in John2?

The second story in John 2 covers Jesus cleansing the temple in Jerusalem—quite a different scene than the wedding at Cana. Read through this account in John 2:13–22. Make some observations like the ones you made from the passage describing the wedding at Cana. Use both chronological clues and geographical indicators to organize your thoughts.


Chronology—Observing Aspects of Time and Sequence (John 2:13–22)

What chronological clues do you observe in John 2:13–22? What is the relationship in time between this story and the wedding at Cana?

What did Jesus do in between these two events? What significance is there to this in-between period?


Geography—Observing Aspects of Places and Spaces (John 2:13–22)

Read again John 2:13–22, and make some notes about the geography of this story. Where does this take place? What clues do you observe? Where in relationship to the wedding does this story take place? What are some obvious differences between the two settings? How might you imagine the surroundings impacted Jesus’ actions?


Interpretation and Correlation: Finding John’s Original Intent

Interpretation answers the question, What does this passage mean? To clarify the meaning of a text, first view it through the eyes of the original audience. How did John intend his readers to understand these two stories? Why would he include them back to back in the same section, for instance? Correlation—the Searching the Scriptures process that shows how one passage relates in meaning to another—also helps to bring clarity to our own interpretation. Let’s use both interpretation and correlation to come to some important conclusions on why John selected these two encounters with Jesus in his gospel.


Turning Water into Wine—Understanding Cana (John 2:1–12)

John describes a compelling scene where Jesus’ presence and actions turned an otherwise natural experience into something supernatural! What was the occasion that prompted Jesus to respond? Who approached Jesus? How would you explain His initial response (John 2:3–4)? What do you think Jesus means by “My time has not yet come” (2:4)? What finally moved Jesus to perform the miracle of changing the water into wine (2:6–10)? What was the result? According to John 2:11, what does John reveal about the meaning of this miracle? In other words, why did Jesus perform it?

Let’s correlate John 2:11 with some additional New Testament passages. Write down how each passage relates to the miracle at Cana. How does Matthew 5:14–16 relate to John 2:11? What is the primary issue?

How does 2 Corinthians 4:5–7 relate to John 2:11? What is the primary issue?


Coins in the Temple—Understanding the Temple Scene (John 2:13–22)

Though a very different scene than the wedding at Cana, Jesus proves Himself to be both authoritative and powerful in effecting real change in the lives of those who encounter Him. Let’s take a closer look and see what this passage means.

Read again John 2:13–22. How would you describe the setting? What potential conflicts are present? John mentions the Jewish Passover celebration. What is the significance of that celebration to this story? What caused Jesus to act so forcefully? What clues does John offer as to why Jesus did what He did? How do Jesus’ words in verse 16 help you understand the meaning of this passage? In other words, for Jesus, what is at stake? Who is Jesus in direct conflict with in this scene? Why are they up in arms over His actions? Compare John 2:18–19 with John 2:21. How do these verses relate? What is John declaring in verse 22

about the significance of what just occurred?

Now let’s do some correlation. Read the following verses and write down how they relate to John’s story of Jesus cleansing the temple in John 2.

Psalm 69:9

John 4:23

1 Corinthians 1:22–23


Application: Bringing Home the Lessons

As we step back from these compelling stories, we find that Jesus is the focal point of them all. In the changing of water into wine, Jesus’ glory is in view (John 2:11). In the cleansing of the temple, we see His holiness (2:16). In His words about raising the temple after three days, we witness the wonder of His divine power (2:19). We, too, need to focus on Jesus in our lives. Complete the following sentences by way of personal application.

Because of Jesus’ glory, I want to _____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________ .  

Because of Jesus’ holiness, I need to ___________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________ .  

Because of Jesus’ resurrection power, I can ______________________________________________________  

______________________________________________________________________________________ .



Father, thank You for showing me how much I need Jesus in my life. Please help me live in a way that brings glory to Him, walk in holiness before Him, and experience His power each day. I ask these things in His name, amen.

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