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Wedding at Cana

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I Background
II John’s Audience:
A. Scholars agree it was written to both Jew and Gentile. In the first chapter of the Gospel, John writes that the "word became flesh and made a dwelling among us" (Jn 1:14).
B. Beasey-Murray suggests that John was also writing to the Samaritans.[1]
C. Dr. Hugenberger thinks the audience is primarily for Christians.[2]
III A Typical Jewish Wedding: A Giant Footnote with Extra Foot Notes
A. A Jewish wedding would range from 3 days to two weeks (cf. Tobit 8:20).[3]

B. The poor did not have to bring wedding gifts for financial reason, and the guest who were of high prestige did not have bring gifts because it was an honor in having the guest come and attend the wedding, usually it was the family and friends who gave wedding gifts.

C. The marriage feast was usually held in the house of the groom where family and friends would gather. A person who did not attend the wedding during the first century would be considered an insult.

D. The wedding was sacred convent between man and woman. "The pious fasted before it, confessing their sins. It was regarded almost as a Sacrament. The entrance into the married state was thought to carry forgiveness of sins."[4]

E. The Jewish custom for choosing the spouse was usually done in the process of a betrothal, which means "a fine," or "pay the price" and gives the illustrations that the woman is the man's possession. The woman could have been chosen by the parents or by the young man himself. [5]

F. It was rare for the son to marry a woman against their parent's wishes. Mary and Joseph were in a betrothal before their wedding (Matthew 1:18, 20, 24-25).

G. The wedding was a special occasion where "the wedding special attire was worn (Song of Songs; Isaiah 61:10; Ezekiel 16), and the bridal pari were bedecked with ornaments, including garlands and jewelry. A veil was evidently worn by the bride."[6] In Ezekiel 16:10 an "embroidered dress" was a variegated material which was good enough for a queen.[7]

IV John’s Purpose: He Wanted to Show that Jesus Christ Is the Savior
A. That the word of God became flesh. John 1
B. The author also states Jesus saying (I, I am) in John 15:1;14:6;10:7; 6:35; 8:12; 11:25; 10:11, reassuring Christ is God. [8]
C. Even in this passage, John is showing that Jesus came to bring salvation when Christ says "my hour has not yet arrived.”The phrase "my hour" is mentioned 13 times [9] and states whether Christ is claiming or denying the time of his death. Most Christian scholars agree that it is referring to the time of his death on the cross.



Today’s Focus
Even at the wedding of Cana, John is showing that Jesus came to bring salvation.
Going Deeper: The Devotional Thought: Jesus’ Ultimate Purpose
This passage is often misinterpreted by American Christians because they tend to focus on how much alcohol is in the wine. However, this is not the importance of the passage. Instead, Jesus is declaring his purpose for coming into this world, as he told his mother, "My hour has not yet come." I can only wonder how my mother would react if I told her the same thing. I can see it; my mother is asking me to help out at a party, and I tell her, "my hour has not yet come." She would most likely look at me bemused. So I'm sure that Jesus' mother would have a similar response.

Nobody is expecting a miracle from Jesus for this will be his first. Nevertheless, Jesus tells his mother before the miracle is performed that his "hour has not yet come." Why? I think it is because Jesus is alluding to his true purpose in coming to this world, which is to provide salvation for those who believe that he is the Son of God.

For when Jesus does say, "my hour has come," it is at Gethsemane the night before he is arrested and ultimately sentenced to death, in order to make himself the sacrificial atonement between God and man. Jesus knew he was going to die from the very beginning. As a result, I speculate that the reason Jesus gives this obscure statement to his mother is so that she is fully aware that he didn't come here to be a magician or miracle worker. Instead, Jesus is declaring to his mother that he came to provide salvation to all those who believe, including hers.

Group Activity


1. Why did God send Jesus to this world?

There are two reasons God sent Jesus to this world. First, God sent Jesus to save man from their sins. Second,sent Jesus so He could show man how to live out God’s law, for Jesus came in full “grace and truth” (John 1.14). The incarnation of Jesus, I believe, has helped Christians have a better grasp in how to live according to God’s will.

Furthermore I find it interesting that John doesn’t say Jesus came in the fullness of law and wrath, for I speculate those attributes of God will come in their fullness during Jesus’ second coming.

2. How is a miracle defined?

See New Advent and Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

3. Why do people pray for miracles? Should people pray for miracles? Why?

I can’t say if people should or should not pray for miracles. However, I can say this, God’s miracles are designed to show His glory and to help bring His creation closer to Him, for I believe God is doing everything He can to bring non-Christians to salvation and Christians closer to His will.


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Topic:Bible:NT: , and God:
Footnotes:
[1] Beasley-Murray, George R. John: Word Biblical Commentaries, page 1xv.
[2] It is from a sermon Dr. Hugenberger gave at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts on October 2, 2005. The sermon title is “The Word.” Internet link: http://www.parkstreet.org/sermons/
[3] Cf. Derrett, J. Duncan M. Law in the New Testament, page 230.
[4] Henderson, Marion Life of Christ I, page 19-21, unpublished.
[5] "[It] was not common for the family to arrange the parties in person. The prospective bridegroom's parents employed a man to act as their agent in effecting the betrothal of their son. The interest of the bridegroom were represented by this independent 'go between', and the selected bride's family saw to it that hey too were represented by what may not improperly be described as an agent." Derrett, J. Duncan M. Law in the New Testament, page 229.
[6] Buttrick, George Arthur ed. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, page 285.
[7] NIV Study Bible page 1238, Ezekial 16:10
[8] Smalley, Stephen S. John Evangelist and Interpreter page 129, chart of verses page 135.
[9] John 2:4; 4:21; 5:25; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 16:4,21,29,32; 17:1, I believe, has helped Christians have a better grasp in how to live according to God’s will.

Furthermore I find it interesting that John doesn’t say Jesus came in the fullness of law and wrath, for I speculate those attributes of God will come in their fullness during Jesus’ second coming.

2. How is a miracle defined?

See New Advent and Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

3. Why do people pray for miracles? Should people pray for miracles? Why?

I can’t say if people should or should not pray for miracles. However, I can say this, God’s miracles are designed to show His glory and to help bring His creation closer to Him, for I believe God is doing everything He can to bring non-Christians to salvation and Christians closer to His will.

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