When Jesus authority is challenged, He proclaims His resurrection. Uh, yeah. Bottom line, Jesus has power over the one thing that we all have no power over – life and death. Sin can result in life, (pregnancy),sin can result in death (disease), but that is not the same as the creation power of life after death! We have already seen His creative power in the first “sign” John shares in his gospel (water to wine). Keep it in mind today. This is the Jesus we turn to when we pray and ask in need. He is the face and arms and feet of the Father. This is who I can turn to in need and this is who sends me the help I cry out to Him for.
John tells us that Jesus was doing signs and that many were believing in His name during the feast of Passover. At the end of the book John says that there would not be enough books to be able to write everything that Jesus did. So I can only imagine the impact and the stir that was happening with that much going on. I expect that when Jesus saw every needy person who desired healing, and had faith, they were healed. I expect as the word got out, hopes rose and more and more would be coming to Him for help. As we would think today, the movement was kicked off well. Great roll out. But Jesus was not looking for high commercial ratings, nor an academy award, nor was he looking for an earthly crown. These are the natural things a nation wants, to live peacefully and be free to live and worship. So they came. So they received. So they then expected more.
Jesus did not entrust himself to these other people. He knew their hearts. He knew that their vision was not big enough. My vision is not big enough. So my expectations can be off. I must release my expectations, since they limit my ability to see the truth, and trust Gods provision. Trust God’s plan to unfold His way, in his timing. Jesus knows my feeble heart. Will I trust Him with it? Do I know His heart, really know Him and His character enough to trust Him every time? This is a decision that is made over and over again until it is a pattern in my life. Each time I make the choice to trust Him over the circumstance or situation. It gets easier and easier and more natural of a response to make. Other people are not to be trusted OVER Jesus. THROUGH Jesus, yes, but not over.
There is something similar to the way John unfolds the experience of following Jesus to the way we experience Jesus as new believers. Filled with excitement and anticipation of what will happen next, how will Jesus reveal himself next? What is different about my life now that it is Jesus I follow? John and the others, which include His mom, are reminded of prophecy as they see it unfold before their eyes. As a new believer, there was great excitement as each situation was new and different, and anything could happen.
At the temple, Jesus cleared out the corruption that had overtaken His home, His dwelling place, not that the world recognized it as such. When faced with this evil, it was not enough to just say go away. Jesus took time to craft the whip he was to use to scatter the corrupt ones. How did He face this evil? He did not take from them their belongings but he forcefully drove them away from where they did not belong. He poured the money out. Rejecting it, not taking it. He turned the tables. We see controlled force in His response. We see Jesus also using words of explanation to some. Which ones? Those who sold the doves. The smallest offering possible, the least expensive. The local dollar store. To them He explains and tells them to remove their things, the merchandise and why. He does not destroy anyone’s livelihood in the process. Sheep and cattle will not run free but will be contained elsewhere. The doves would have but their cages are not destroyed, just told to relocate. The business was in the wrong place and dishonored God.
All this response spoke a revealing truth to His followers. This temple was Jesus’s true home. It was out of step and needed forceful correction. Not destruction, correction.
- What in my life has gotten out of step with the truth?
- Where do I need to clean my body temple of those things that do not belong?
- What has taken up residence in my heart that is distracting me from true worship? Forcefully cast out the big things and gently remove the tender things. But let my heart be swept clean of corruption that I may worship in Spirit and in Truth!
There are three events shared in this chapter. John makes it clear that the water to wine is the first of many signs. Noteworthy to me is how Jesus goes about meeting a need. He does it because his mother asked him to fix it, not because it was his “hour”. What does that mean? His time for the spotlight? To draw attention to himself and his mission? He could have. It’s a great opportunity with many folk gathered. But Jesus does His work quietly and efficiently without attracting attention to Himself and without taking it away from the newly married couple. So who knew? His mom , the servants who drew the water, the party planner (steward or head waiter in charge). The groom gets the compliment and we don’t know if he gets the full story. And his several new followers who were with Him.
The relationships, Jesus with his mom, she know what He can do, She knows who He is in a way others do not, for she know His origins. She may not understand, but she has unique faith in him. Jesus calls her “woman” not mother. Her place is as other women, yet is that because she knows He can, she know His heart and His character? She is bold to ask for His intervention in what would be humiliating for a bridegroom.
- Am I bold enough to ask Jesus to intervene for another person’s sake?
- Do I trust Him enough to ask?
- Am I convinced He can and would? Do I grasp what is happening?
- Did Mary believe He would create for them?
Jesus takes water and instantly it becomes something of great value, something that should take years to mature. He shows Himself to those few people the basic truth about who He is. Creator God. It’s a good thing for the new followers that they were seated at tables, or reclined there. It would knock me over otherwise. Take it in. Creator of age and great quality, that’s who I follow, that is who I learn from. That is who I live for. Yes, I can do this day and the next when this is the one who is leading me.