Week 19 | Sections 29, 30

The First MiracleToday we read of Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding in the town of Cana. Its a beautiful example of how God is involved and cares about the the details of our daily lives. In our lesson today we learn about Jesus’ power, and the importance of community and our own transparency.


 

Scripture:

John 2:1-11 (Section 29)1
1 The third day,2 there was a marriage3 in Cana of Galilee.4 Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus also was invited, with his disciples,5 to the marriage.6 When the wine ran out,7 Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”8 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” Now there were six water pots of stone9set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.10 Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. He said to them,“Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the ruler11 of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:12 (Section 30)
12 After this, he went down to Capernaum,12 he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days.13


Group Dialog:

  1. What can we expect of God in the way of miracles?
  2. Why do you think there is a lack of miracles in America?
  3. What spiritual and social dangers are there in being self-sufficient?
  4. What blessings can we receive by receiving from God, an agency, friend, or family?
  5. How are the adverse affects of shame?
  6. How can transparency cultivate the miracle of community (communitas)?
  7. Share a few recent examples of the church helping others in need. What do you feel as you hear these stories?
  8. What is it that you need right now? Will you ask for it in prayer or from a friend?

Learning Objectives:

miracles, community that transforms, prosperity and poverty, helping others, humility, transparency.


Study Notes:

 

  1. 90% of John’s Gospel is original content. It was the last of the Gospels to be written. The passages that are in harmony with the other Gospel writers are few: the passage of the Bread of life, teaching on ceremonial uncleanliness, and then throughout several accounts of Holy Week.
  2. That is the after the Pharisees had questioned John the Baptist (John 1:19-28, section 26). This is perhaps 45-50 days after Jesus baptism.
  3. The Jewish wedding took days. Since the book of Genesis we see that there are three stages of the Jewish wedding festival (contract, consummation, and celebration). The party and mingling happened days before the wedding and then the wedding
  4. Cana is about 3.5 miles northeast of Nazareth, West of the Sea of Galilee, in the hills but lower in elevation than Nazareth.
  5. These disciples would have been: Phillip, Andrew, Simon Peter, Nathanael, and John.
  6. Being so close to Nazareth Mary, and Jesus may have been invited by friends, but one tradition says that this wedding may have been of the family of Alphaeus which gives reason for why the servants were listening to Mary
  7. In the Jewish culture this would have been bit of a disgrace. It may have been that the family was not well off, and unable to supply enough for the friends invited.
  8. This wedding took place soon after Jesus’ baptism – perhaps just 45 days after his baptism. Whether Mary understood that Jesus could perform a miracle or simply find another solution is unknown. Perhaps Jesus then began to recall the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and mother” (Ex 20:12, Eph 6:2). A little wine from water is not too difficult for the one who created the universe (John 11-3).
  9. Chalk Stone was used to fabricate household vessels and flatware by many in Galilee because according to Jewish Law it would not become “impure”. Read News report about this recent discovery (8/16/2016) and this News Post (Read other archaeological supplements).
  10. The conversion is equal to 20-30 gallons each/180 gallons/980 bottles of wine. These pots were used specifically for ceremonial washing, not for wine. We don’t know ho much wine they had at the beginning of the party.
  11. Whether this was a Governor or a wedding official is unknown
  12. This is about 20 miles northeast (but down in elevation) a journey that would take about 8 hours.
  13. They stayed just a few days before they went on to the carry on the mission.