The First Miracle.
SUMMARY.--The Marriage at Cana.
The Water Made Wine.
Jesus at Jerusalem.
The Temple Cleansed.
The Resurrection Foretold.
1. And the third day. After the conversation with Nathanael.
Immediately after it he departed into Galilee
A marriage in Cana. The site of Cana is not certainly known. Dr.
Robinson, Giekie and other authorities place it at a ruin now called
Kana, twelve miles north of Nazareth.
The mother of Jesus was there. Reasons are suggested from the
narrative that follows for believing that Mary was related to the
family. As Joseph is never mentioned as living after Jesus entered upon
his ministry, he is supposed to have died before this time.
2. Both Jesus and disciples were called. He now had disciples,
those called in the few days before; John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and
3. And when they wanted wine. The Revision says, "When the wine
failed." For some cause, perhaps from a larger number of guests than
was expected, the wine gave out. In the East, where
hospitality is so lavish, this would cause great mortification.
The mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. The
solicitude of Mary could hardly be expected from one not a relative,
but why she appeal to Jesus? In part, because it was natural speak to
him in her perplexity, and in part, likewise, because she hoped he
would meet the difficulty.
4. Woman, what have I do to with thee? These words in our
language sound harsh and almost rude, but the
rendered woman was respectful and gentle
This language, partly a rebuke, to Mary, shows very plainly that the
Catholic fiction of Mary being immaculate, the "Queen of Heaven," and
"the Mother of God," is all nonsensical.
Mine hour is not yet come. The hour of his full manifestation,
as the divine King of Israel.
5. Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. She evidently understood
from the manner, if not the words, of his reply that he would relieve
6. There were set there six water-pots of stone. These water-pots
were to supply water for the washings usual at feasts (see
The Jews were regarded ceremonially unclean if they did not wash
both before and after eating. See notes on
The pots each held about twenty gallons.
8. He saith, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the
feast. "He that had made wine that day in those six water-pots does
the same every year in the vines. For as what the servants put in the
water-pots was changed into wine by the operation of the Lord, just so
what the clouds pour forth is changed into wine by the operation of the
9. When the ruler of the feast had tasted. The ruler of the
feast, and the governor of
are the same. It was customary to choose, sometimes by lot, a president
who regulated the whole order of festivities.
10. Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine. The
language of the ruler is sportive, but still he states a custom. The
best wine was offered when the appetite of the guests was sharpest and
Have well drunk. Not intoxicated, but have drunk considerable.
Satan gives his good wine first; so the drunkard finds it; so did the
prodigal son. Afterwards he gives the bitter; red eyes, pain, hunger,
Thou hast kept the good wine until now. What meaneth Christ
making wine? In Palestine there were three kinds of wine: 1. Fermented
wines, which, however, were very unlike our fiery liquors, and
contained only a small per cent of alcohol. These were mixed with two
or three parts of water. The fermented, at first mild, and then diluted
with water, was only intoxicating when used in enormous quantities. 2.
The unfermented juice of the grape. 3. An intoxicating drink called
"new wine" in
Whedon says: "We see no reason for supposing that the wine of the
present occasion was that upon which Scripture places its strongest
(Prov. 20:1; 23:31; Isa. 22:13),
rather than that eulogized as a blessing
(Psa. 104:15; Isa. 55:1).
Even adopting the view that it was fermented wine, it was totally
unlike the fiery and undiluted drinks sold as wines in saloons, used in
many families, offered at hotels and wine parties, and even poured out
at communion tables. In the use of the usual wine of Palestine there is
not the slightest apology for drinking as a beverage the alcoholic
drinks which are the curse of our times. With regard to them the only
safe rule is "to touch not, taste not, handle not."
11. Manifested forth his glory. This was the first supernatural
manifestation of his divine power; that he by whom all things were made
controlled the powers of nature.
His disciples believed on him. They already believed, but their
faith was made firmer.
12. After this he went down to Capernaum. From the hilly region
of Cana to the low-lying shore of the Sea of Galilee.
His mother and his brethren. Catholics and some Protestants
have held that these "brethren" were not brothers in the flesh, but
kinsmen. The phrase, "his brethren," occurs nine times in the Gospels,
and once in Acts. The natural interpretation is always that they were
his brothers, sons of Mary. Two places
(Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3)
mention his sisters. Had it not been for the dogma that Mary remained a
virgin, a dogma that has no foundation in the Scriptures, it would
never have been doubted that these "brethren" and "sisters" were her
13. The Jews' passover was at hand. See
Exodus, chapter 12,
for institution of the passover. It was celebrated yearly at Jerusalem.
This is the first that the Lord attended after he began his ministry,
and of this attendance there is no mention in the other Gospels.
14. Found in the temple. In the Court of the Gentiles, which was
within the temple walls.
Those that sold oxen and sheep and doves. These were for the
sacrifices. The great crowds who came to Jerusalem at this time could
not bring victims, and the traffic in oxen, sheep, kids and doves
became enormous. It would have been proper enough if it had been
conducted at stockyards, but the priests made a monopoly of it and
installed it right in the temple. The Court of the Gentiles, "a house
of prayer for all nations"
was filled with cattle, ordure, and the din of traffic.
The changers of money. Every Jew paid a half-shekel annually to
the support of the temple
but Gentile money was the coin in usual circulation, and this was
refused at the temple. These money brokers, agents of the priests,
furnished Jewish coin at a heavy charge. Edersheim says that this
traffic alone cleared the priests what would be equivalent to about
$300,000 a year.
15. Made a scourge of small cords. Rather as a symbol than for
Drove them all out. He had the right to cleanse his Father's
house and here first asserts his authority. The traffickers fled before
his glance, awed by a superhuman majesty.
16. Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise. How often
still the Father's house is so desecrated! This cleansing was a
different one from that which occurred three years later at the close
of his ministry
17. The zeal of thine house. Quoted from
18. What sign? The Jewish officials demand some sign that would
demonstrate that he had authority over the temple.
19-22. Destroy this temple. His own body. The sign that he would
give the Jewish nation was his Resurrection. The Jews did not
understand him, nor his own disciples, until after he rose from the
Forty and six years. It had been forty-six years since Herod
the Great began the reconstruction of the temple, and it was not yet
entirely completed. When Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrim, these
words were brought up as blasphemy.
23. Many believed. The miracles wrought that they saw at this
time are not recorded. They are alluded to again in
These believed that he was a man sent from God, but did not trust in
him as the Christ. The nature of their belief is stated in