Today’s Scripture Focus: John 2:1-11
Weddings are special times. They often involve extensive preparation and expense. This was even more true in John’s world, when a marriage wasn’t simply a joining of a man and woman, but a covenant between two family groups. Marriages involved extensive negotiations between the friends and family of the groom and bride. The wedding feast lasted seven days. This feast would take place in the home of the groom. Normally a private place, the home was now opened for public scrutiny. To run out of food or wine at a wedding was unthinkable—it showed a lack of resources, and more importantly, a lack of gift-bearing friends.
In today’s scripture focus, Jesus and the first disciples are guests at a wedding in Cana. We don’t know whose wedding this was, but we know Jesus’ mother was probably closely connected with the groom’s family, for she has inside knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes. Jesus arrived at the wedding on “the third day” – another echo of Genesis 1. Jesus’ mother approached Him and informed Him that the wine had already run out. Jesus’ reply seems cold— “Woman, why is this my problem? It’s not my time.” In John’s world, there was no closer relationship than that of a mother and son. They could speak to each other honestly.
Anytime Jesus speaks in John about “my time” or “my hour”, He is speaking about His death. Jesus had just promised His disciples that they would witness “greater things”, but once it was revealed who Jesus really was, it would set the events in motion that would lead to His mission’s fulfillment. Ignoring Jesus’ reluctance, His mother simply informed the attendants to do what He said. Every Israelite home had a large stone vessel, about waist high, used for ceremonial hand washing. The presence of six of these jars meant this was a large party indeed, and Jesus was not ready to “stun the crowds” just yet.
However, Jesus discreetly complied with His beloved mother’s request. This is the first of seven “signs” that appear in John. These signs weren’t meant to be miracles for their own sake or even for the benefit of their recipients, but were always displayed so that Jesus’ followers would see God, and understand God’s plan. This is the point of John’s Gospel—Jesus is the Revealer of God’s plan. The first of the signs took place at a wedding. The last one will take place at a funeral (Lazarus). Most of them take place at special times, such as Passover or the Fall Festivals. The signs of who Jesus was always took place at just the right time. Jesus has a special time to reveal God’s plan to you—is it today?
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
In today’s scripture, Jesus begins to reveal who He really is. Have two, three, or as many as would like in the group share their story of how Jesus became “real” to them, and how they gave their lives to Christ.
Is there anything in today’s scripture that especially speaks to you?
What questions would you like to ask about today’s scripture?