2. Jerusalem

Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (2:1-12).

Two days later, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding in the Galilean town of Cana. Jesus had been invited to the wedding and we were there as well.

When the party ran out of wine, Jesus' mother said to him, "They don't have any more wine."

"I do not share your concern," said Jesus. "My time has not yet come."

So his mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Nearby were six stone water jars, each of which held some twenty to thirty gallons. The water was used for the Jewish custom of ceremonial cleansing. Jesus told the servants, "Fill up those six jars with water."

Ancient altar for worshiping other gods

So they filled them to the brim. "Now," said Jesus, "dip some out and take it to the master of the feast." And so they did.

The master of the feast did not know where the water that had turned into wine had come from (but of course the servants knew). He called the bridegroom aside and said to him, "People normally serve their best wine first. "Then when the guests have had a bit too much to drink, they bring out the less expensive wine. But you have saved the best until last."

This miracle, performed in Cana of Galilee, was the first of Jesus' miraculous signs. It revealed his divine nature and deepened our faith in him. After the wedding, Jesus went to the town of Capernaum for a few days with his mother and his brothers. We also went with them.

Jesus goes to the temple in Jerusalem and drives out the money-changers. He teaches that if they tear down the temple (by which he means his body) he will rebuild it in three days (a reference to his resurrection) (2:13-22).

Hills of Galilee

It was almost time for the Jewish Festival of Passover, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There in the courts of the temple he saw people selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifice. Others were sitting at their tables exchanging money. So Jesus made a whip out of some pieces of cord and used it to drive them all out of the temple, along with their sheep and cattle. He overturned the tables of the money-changers, scattering their coins in every direction.

To those who were selling doves he said, "Get them out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a marketplace!"

Then we remembered what was prophesied in Scripture, "Zeal for your house will consume me."

At this point the Jewish authorities demanded of Jesus, "Show us some miraculous sign that will prove you have the authority to do this."

"Tear down this temple," said Jesus," and in three days I will build it up again."

"What!" they exclaimed. "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years. What makes you think you could restore it in three days?"

Of course the temple to which Jesus referred was his own body. Later, when Jesus had risen from the dead, we remembered that he had said this. We believed the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

Modern Jew in ceremonial garb

Jesus knows human nature and will not entrust himself to the enthusiasm of the crowd (2:23-25).

When Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Festival of Passover, many people saw the miraculous signs he was performing and became convinced that he was in fact the promised Messiah. But Jesus did not entrust himself to them, because he knew what people were like. He did not need any one to tell him about human nature because he fully understood what was in a person's heart.

Model of temple