Bible Study 3 – John 2:1-22

Read John 2:1-12. Running out of wine was not just inconvenient, but a social disaster and disgrace. The family would have to live with the shame of it for a long time to come; bride and groom might regard it as bad luck on their married life. What is Jesus’ first response when his mother asks him to do something about this crisis (v.4)?

What might have motivated Jesus to act despite the fact that he believed his “time hadn’t come yet?

The Old Testament commonly compares God to a bridegroom and Israel to his bride. John’s readers would thus recognize a wedding as a foretaste of the great heavenly wedding feast in store for God’s people (Revelation 21:2). The water jars, used for Jewish purification rites, are a sign that God is doing a new thing from within the old Jewish system, bringing purification to Israel and the world in a whole new way

How does the image of a wedding help us understand what’s in store for God’s people?

The word John uses for “clue” is sign (v.11). He is setting up a series of signposts to take us through his story. They are moments when, to people who watch with a least a little faith, the angels are going up and coming down at the place where Jesus is. They are moments when heaven is opened, when the transforming power of God’s love bursts in to the present world.

How is this sign at the wedding an example of the transforming power of God’s love?

The transformation from water to wine is of course meant by John to signify the effect that Jesus can have on people’s lives. Where do we see Jesus’ transforming power at work in our world today?

Read John 2:13-25. The temple was the beating heart of Judaism. It was the center of worship and music, of politics and society, of national celebration and mourning. It was the place where Israel’s God, YHWH, had promised to live in the midst of his people. What do Jesus’ words and actions tell us about what the temple had become (vv. 15-16)?

When the Judeans ask Jesus what he thinks he’s up to and request some kind of sign to show them what it all means, how does he respond?

As so often John ends with a hint as to how people should respond If you see the signs that Jesus is doing, then trust him. Believe in him. Jesus, after all, is the one who knows us through and through.

At this point in your encounters with Jesus through John’s Gospel, what is your response to him and his signs?