Monday, November 4, 2013

John 2:1-11 Part II, Cleansing

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Last week we studied this passage and discussed how Jesus showed us His glory by being an obedient son -- to His Father in heaven. 
He will reveal more of His glory to us as we look at this passage again today. Let's dive in!

In verse six, we see that the jars chosen for His miracle were those for "ceremonial washing" or in some translations, "purification." These were not jars used for drinking; these were specifically for the rituals of cleansing, of purification. The commentaries that I studied seemed to say that Jesus meant to point to His own death as the ultimate purification for sins: one that would replace the Jewish cleansing rituals.
Jesus says to His mother at the end of verse four, "My hour has not yet come." What hour is He speaking of? His hour could be the hour of His death, when He will die for sinners and make it possible for them to be cleansed of their sins.
Let's look at some verses to help us:
“So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” John 7:30
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” John 12:27
Jesus’ hour was the hour of his death, when the Lamb of God would take away the sin of the world. This would be the ultimate purification, and would replace the rituals of so many years.
The next clue that we are on the right track is that even though Jesus was abrupt when His mother requested His help, He went ahead and with the miraculous change of water into wine -- it's as if this is one of His parables, showing that even though His "hour" was not at hand, He would demonstrate His death and what it would mean.

It seems as if Jesus is telling them (and us) that this is what His "hour" will be like: He will take the purification rituals of Israel and replace them with a new way of cleansing -- His own precious blood. So He acted out the parable of His own death, His own blood, His hour, showing it to be the final, ultimate purification for our sin. There would be no ritual any more for cleansing - only one way to be clean before a holy God. John tells us in Revelation:
 "They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:14
This is the second glorious truth in our passage -- He alone, once and for all, made us pure from our sins.  We don't need rituals. We need Jesus.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

It is a bit easier to follow ritual, than it is to really LIVE Jesus. But then nothing we can do saves us. It is the gift of God. So even though the rituals of attending church, daily Bible reading, etc are important, they are not what saves us. And we don't have to fear because we didn't follow a ritual religiously. What a relief!!