Morning Devotion: John 2 – 3 Signs
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is Day 2 of lockdown and Day 2 morning devotions. This morning, we're going to be looking at John 2. Yesterday we looked at John 1. In case you're worried that I'm wearing the same clothing, I was wearing yesterday, don't worry. It's not a hygiene problem. In reality, I'm shooting this quite late at night in order to make sure that it's ready for tomorrow.
What I'm going to do is read the passage of Scripture. I'm going to make some observations from the passage, make some applications and then close in a word of prayer.
John 2 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
2 On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and 2 Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding as well. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.”4 “What does that have to do with you and me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”5 “Do whatever he tells you,” his mother told the servants.6 Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons. 7 “Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” And they did.9 When the headwaiter tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom 10 and told him, “Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people are drunk, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.”11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. 12 After this, he went down to Capernaum, together with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, and they stayed there only a few days. 13 The Jewish Passover was near, and so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and he also found the money changers sitting there. 15 After making a whip out of cords, he drove everyone out of the temple with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16 He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 And his disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for your house will consume me. 18 So the Jews replied to him, “What sign will you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days.” 20 Therefore the Jews said, “This temple took forty-six years to build,[g] and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 So when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made. 23 While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. 24 Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all 25 and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man.
If we're going to look at the chapter as a whole, I think the easiest way to put it in our mind’s eyes is to look at the 3 Signs that are spoken about in the chapter. The word Sign is a very important word to John. It's a repeated word throughout his gospel account.
The first Sign is obviously in John 2:1; 11. It's the first sign which Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. It was the first of the signs that John recorded in order to verify who Jesus is; the Son of God. He has a number of signs through his book that we will see as we go from chapter to chapter. The second time the word sign is used is in John 2:18. We read that the “Jews replied to him, “What sign will you show us for doing these things?”” And then the third time that we see the word signs, is toward the end of the chapter. “While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing.” So those 3 Signs are the 3 kind of components that we can look at as we look at Chapter 2.
The First Sign
Now, this first Sign is about something very special. You might think it's about the wedding because this wedding is happening in Cana of Galilee in verse 1, but it's not about the wedding. I've heard sermons about the wine in the text, as to whether we can we drink it, or can't drink it. But in reality, this text isn't about wine either. I’ve also heard sermons about Mary and the woman: about who she was and who she was not in relation to Jesus, and whether Jesus was being rude or was just using polite colloquialism of the day. But in reality, this text this isn't about the woman! It's not about the wedding and it's not about the wine! It's also not about the water! You know, there's six large jars of water set aside for purification and for rituals that then get turned into wine. It's not about the water either! And it's also not about the witnesses; those servants who knew what Jesus had done and that head waiter who knew what would Jesus have done. We're running out of W's, but there's still one more. Towards the end of the text, we see what this text is actually about. It's about Wonder.
In verse 11 we read that “Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.” Signs are miracles, which ultimately point us to God and cause a Wonder in our hearts. That's what it did with the disciples. They had a certain Wonder as they beheld the glory of Jesus Christ.
The Second Sign
The Second Sign which is all about the temple. Jesus drives out the money changers and then He gets challenged by the Pharisees, and they asked for a Sign. The Second Sign which He gives them, is one which will be fulfilled in the future. In fact many of those Pharisees that were there would probably have been involved in finding Jesus Christ guilty and ultimately bringing Him before Pilate and then Him being crucified and by their hand and by Pilate’s Hand. But the Sign is this; that Jesus Christ himself would die be buried and on the third day, rise from the grave.
The Third Sign
Then the Third Sign towards the end of the book reminds us of the end of the book. At the end of the book, we read that Jesus performed in John 20:30, Jesus performed many other Signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this in this book.
The Third Sign in chapter 2, these collections of Signs that People begin to believe in Jesus because they’re seeing all of these Miracles and wonders. These Third Signs would fall into that category; “…many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book.” So as we look at the signs, we start to find some application particularly in the way that people are responding to the signs.
If you're an unbeliever and you’re hearing chapter 2 of The Gospel of John, you need to understand that according to the end of the book, John 20:31, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” These things are written to give you some insight into who Jesus was, what Jesus said about Himself, what Jesus said about God, how Jesus died as a Lamb sacrificed for the sins of many of many, how he rose from the grave and how the call on your life is to believe upon Him.
If you're seeking for God, even as you read this text, and in John 2:11, the disciples wonder and are amazed at the glory of Jesus Christ been revealed should be a key for you to know that Jesus is the fullness of deity in human form. He is the glory of God revealed to man. If you're looking for God, you need to find Him in the person of Jesus Christ.
If you reading this and you're a backslider; someone who has professed Christianity with your mouth, but in reality you live in a carnal lifestyle in whatever way, I don't know your sins. But whatever way you are sinning, you are sinning flagrantly, there's a massive warning in this text to you this morning. As you read, towards the end of the chapter from verse 23 to 25, you read the response of false believers; false disciples. It says that many believed in Him because of the signs that He was doing, but He didn't entrust Himself to them because He knew their hearts. Jesus Christ knows your heart and one day, soon, He's coming again to judge the living and the dead. On that day, you will stand before Him and you will stand without excuse. The call your life is to repent. Repent urgently! Don't just profess Christ with your mouth, but believe upon Him with your heart. The Believer’s life is one which is characterized by fruitful change and obedient lifestyle. Works follow Salvation, as sure as a cart follows or horse or caboose follows a train. Faith without works is dead!
If you're a new convert and you’re reading chapter 2, I want you to peer into this Narrative of the disciples and see that the disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The bottom line is the Disciples of Jesus Christ, as they as they are being exposed to Jesus Christ, as they are growing in belief and as He is revealing Himself to them, they are testing everything against Scripture. They are remembering Old Testament prophecies and applying it to Christ. Later, when they acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and their God, it will be because they see Him as the fulfilment, the Messianic fulfilment of all the prophetic witness of the Old Testament.
If you believe in you’re reading chapter 2, I want to remind you from chapter 2 verse 22. It says that “he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made.” As the Book of John unfolds, the hero of the tale is not the disciples. The hero of the tale is Jesus Christ! But what you will see in the disciples is a growing faith, which has been nurtured and strengthened and ultimately will be realized and then a faith which then goes off into the book of Acts as they grow in understanding as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit. A faith that is revealed in the Epistles as a maturing Faith. The bottom line is, we brothers and sisters need to be maturing in these things as we grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ as we read His Word and see Him there and then apply what we are seeing into our lives, to His praise and to His glory. I trust that God's Word speaks to your heart.
I’d like to close us in the word of Prayer. And this morning we are going to be praying particularly for other churches in our city. In the city of Benoni. Let’s bow in a word of prayer.
Father God, we do pray for Your church, Your bride that You purchased with Your own blood through Jesus Christ. We pray for churches in our city and even on the Saturday as pastors prepare for the pulpit. Even as members prepare their hearts and their minds in order to receive God's Word. I do ask Father God that Your hand of blessing would be on me. Churches in our city, may they rise up at this time as the world is struggling to find answers. Might they give answers from Your Word. I pray particular Lord God for some Churches which are coming to mind now Rocky Stevenson at Benoni Bible Church, along with Andre Broodryk at Benoni Baptist Church and Andrew Butterworth at God First. I pray for them and other faithful brothers that will be delivering the unadulterated truth God's Word, from pulpits all over our city tomorrow. May You be glorified as Your servants Proclaim Your Word. This I pray in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen! God bless.