This is draft number three for John 2. I have so far written about the history of what happened using a most excellent Bill and Ted reference. I have also written about how we need to go through our own lives and flip over tables. The tables representing the sin and other things in our life that we allow in our lives. But alas you will never read these because they have been deleted and I could not form a single cohesive thought out of them.
I really want to say something profound and deep, and I think that is the problem. I want to be thoughtful but lately I cannot seem to put a thought together and I am not sure why. So instead of trying to do anything I am going to just throw something out there. It might be a mess and less than I want but it will be honest.
John 2 Summary:
We are going to do an overview of Chapter 2. Why an overview? Just because…..
The Wedding (verses 1-12).
So a couple of things here, first of course is the wedding. The wedding was held on the third day. This is interesting to take notice of because the third day (Tuesday) is the day of double blessing. It is called this because during creation God says it is good twice on Tuesday. This was the day he created land and seas which is called good, and then He created vegetation which He also called good. This is the only day He calls good twice, so this is the day of double blessings and in ancient times (and to some extent still) Jewish people prefered to married on this day. Just a little background for you there.
Next is the wine…..OK before my ultra conservative friends go absolutely nuts I am not telling people to start drinking, but I am going to let everyone in on a little secret. When the Bible calls a drink wine it actually means wine like you think. It’s not grape juice. Show of hands who has heard of Thomas Bramwell Welch? You are correct he is the Welch’s grape juice guy. He became famous for pasteurizing grape juice so it did not ferment and become wine. Grape juice was not invented until the 19th century. Some reports mention a possibility of others doing this before Dr Welch but nothing out of the 19th century. So lets do math…..Jesus somewhere about AD 30-50, grape juice somewhere about AD 1849-1869. That gives us about 1819 years between Jesus turning water into wine and Welch making juice. Sorry but it was wine.
Now do not think I am saying everyone should start drinking wine or other drink. The Bible speaks on this topic many times and no one should be a drunkard. Some are called to completely abstain and that is great my only point is let the Bible be. Don’t start saying it says something it doesn’t say. Jesus made wine and that’s OK He is God He is allowed to do that if He wants.
OK next on our trip we find ourselves traveling from Galilee to Capernaum (probably to stop at Peters house) to Jerusalem (does everyone still have their traveling buddy). It is so exciting this time of year. Everyone coming in for the required Passover festival. Oh look pony rides…. OK lets focus we need to hurry or we will never pass our history test (see a Bill and Ted’s reference).
As we make our way to the temple we stop in the outer courtyard, and we have to stop because we are Gentiles (I assume we do not have any Messianic Jews in the group if we do you are free to wonder). This is where verses 13 and on take place. This one area.
The money changers were converting foreign money like the Roman Denarius to the proper currency for Temple Tax the Shekel. This was a good thing because the Temple Tax had to be paid in Shekel or third or half at times. The money changers were the equivalent of the teller at the bank changing currency from US Dollar to Canadian. Only they were charging a fee and using dishonest scales. That is always a bad idea. God HATES dishonest scales. He never approves of that.
Here is the deal with the selling of animals. It was not so much like the outside of a Tractor Supply in the spring. You had to have sacrifice and offering at the temple, and it could be BYOS but the priest had to approve of your offering. Don’t get me wrong I very much approve of the practice that there be an approval process however like so many other things it became corrupt. You could typically count on someone finding something wrong with your offering. They would also point out that they had animals for sale, quality merchandise too. For a small handling fee, convenience fee, fair market value charge, and so on you could purchase one of these fine animals.
Jesus was not happy to say the least. He got table flippin mad. He let them have it, flipping tables, running animals out of the courts, and whippin folks. He never lost His cool though. He was angry but always in control (read verse 16 and take notice to what he did). We can learn from Him here to be angry at things that deserve anger do not become rageful. I get this one to a point because false teaching really makes me mad. I hate it and a fire starts to burn in me that causes me to spend a lot a time in prayer to react Christ like.
Moving on now to 18-21. Jesus upset a lot of people and they demanded a sign. He tells them to destroy this Temple and He will raise it up in three days. He was referring to His death and resurrection but they did not get it. Before you get all “well that just shows how blind they were, and I tell you what” you wouldn’t have gotten it either. You and I have already read the end of the book and probably watched the movie. There are so many times when Jesus is telling us something and woosh we miss it until later (verse 22).
Lastly verses 22-25. Mostly all I want to point out here is verse 24. Jesus did not commit himself to them because He knew all men. This idea comes up a few times in John (at least once more) so be looking out for it. Remember Jesus knows you and what you desire/want.
So my friends we just blew through John chapter 2. Next week I am leading chapel at the prison so we will be out of John for a week and either be in 1 Cor 15 or Rom 8. Please do me a favor and throw out a prayer for me as I have no idea which or what to speak on. Also be excellent to each other.
Just a thought,