Week 3: John 2 The Best For Last

Monday: On the third day…

Read John 2:1, Genesis 1:9-13, Exodus 19:9-11, Hosea 6:1-3, Luke 2:46, Matthew 12:40, Matthew 27:62-28:1

Have you ever realized the significance of the third day in the bible? The third day in Genesis is when God created the first life in our world. It continued to be a day symbolic with God bringing new life throughout the bible.

Darkness, hardship, even death itself only lasts a little while. There’s always a third day on the horizon and God’s heart is to unite us with him forever. In John 2, this third day comes out of nowhere (it’s not the third day if you are keeping count in John 1). Could this be John’s way of jolting his readers into thinking about third day things? Resurrection! The marriage of God to his people! Life everlasting! Even as Jesus begins his ministry, John gives us a preview of just how significant his life, death, and resurrection is going to be.

Are you experiencing darkness, hardship, or some form of death? What third day things might God be creating in your life?

Tuesday: They have no wine

Read John 2:1-5, Joel 3:18, Amos 9:13-15, Isaiah 25:6-9

When Jesus is present, there will always be wine! Maybe this was Mary’s way of testing or showing trust in her son? Imagine hearing rumors that your child is the long awaited savior of the world. She would have known the scriptures about his coming like the ones above. The ancients were clear: the wine would flow when the messiah arrived. Surely, this was meant to be a metaphorical allusion to the joy of having the savior but here it becomes a literal starting point for Jesus’ public ministry.

Life with Jesus should never be short on wine. Maybe not actual wine, but the joy, freedom, revelry and sweetness that wine symbolizes should be characteristics of our walk with God. It seems that many Christians are more apt to whine (complain, grumble) than to have a walk with God that reflects the joy of a wedding banquet. And, we must remember that this isn’t just wine – it’s the finest wine – the best saved for last!

How can you shift your mindset about walking with Jesus from whine to wine?

Wednesday: The servants knew

Read John 2:6-11, 2 Kings 5:9-14, Psalm 2

In John 2:9 there is a parenthetical remark that we should pause to consider. The master of this worldly wedding banquet – the ruler of the party – did not know the source of this wonderful new wine. But the servants knew. Similarly, in 2 Kings, the commander, Naaman, doesn’t consider the cure for his leprosy and rages about it, but his servants knew that Elisha’s prescription would cure him. Psalm 2 sings of the rage and plotting of worldly leaders who can’t recognize the Son.

Jesus came to turn the world upside down and one way he does that is by giving his servants more wisdom than leaders who do not know him. Unfortunately, many servants of Christ end up putting too much faith in worldly leadership and ideas that will never cure the world of its ills. We, the servants, know where the good wine comes from. Let’s not forget it!

Have you, like Naaman or the rulers of Psalm 2 begun to put your hope in worldly leaders like politicians, influencers or academia over Christ?

How can you use your special knowledge of Jesus’ power to help cure the ills of the world?

Thursday: Making a whip

Read John 2:13-15, Mark 11:11-19

Jesus cleanses the temple in all four gospels. But only John tells us that Jesus made a whip. And in John, the cleansing of the temple seems to happen very early in his ministry. It could be that Jesus did this more than once. It probably did not take long for the sellers to set up shop again. It could be that John’s account is not as strictly chronological but organized differently. If we combine the accounts of Mark and John then Jesus went into the temple area in the evening, went back to where he was staying and fashioned a whip for his return the next day. His passion was premeditated. I love to think about the disciples watching him in the lantern light making a whip late into the evening!

What are we to learn from this account? Obviously, we can’t make a whip and head for the nearest mega-church. But I think sometimes we do need to make a whip. We need to think about the ways our worship has been corrupted and respond with zeal.

Take an inventory of your worship. What tables need flipped? What corruption needs whipped? Are you following Christ from a pure heart?

Friday: Zeal for your house and a den of robbers

Read John 2:13-17, Psalm 69, Matthew 21:12-13, Isaiah 56:1-8

John tells us that the disciples (himself included) looked back on the temple incident and remembered Psalm 69. This is a very messianic Psalm. It mentions the sour wine (Psalm 69:21) Jesus was given to drink (as opposed to the sweet wine he produced earlier in John 2). The tone of the Psalm is zeal and righteous indignation. Reading it may give us insight into what Jesus was feeling as he whipped and yelled that day.

The synoptic gospels tell us that Jesus had another messianic passage on his lips as he overthrew the sellers’ stands: Isaiah 56. Isaiah 56 sits among the prophecies of Isaiah 40-66 that are called Servant Songs. They have a distinct messianic flavor. This chapter/song tells us God’s heart for all people to be able to worship him, not just Israel. The sellers and money changers at the temple were one of the ways that Israel created barriers for worship instead of being a light for all people.

Take a moment to pray and consider your life. Are you a welcoming light that attracts people to God or does something in your life or character put up barriers that keep people from getting closer to God? This is a tough question but it must be answered with zeal!

Saturday: And in three days I will raise it up

Read John 2:18-22, 2 Chronicles 2:1, 2 Chronicles 36:17-23

The Hebrew bible is ordered differently than our Old Testament. The last book is 2 Chronicles, not Malachi. This last book tells the story of the kings of Israel beginning with the construction of the temple and ending with the destruction of the temple. It’s a devastating end and helps to explain Israel’s longing for the messiah. There is a glimmer of hope in the last verses that speak of king Cyrus allowing a new temple to be built. This temple is built but has much less glory and splendor than the first temple built by Solomon (Ezra 3:12-13). Hundreds of years later, king Herod begins to remodel the temple and much like a husband who decides to remodel a basement, the project stretches on and on. In John 2, the leaders proclaim that it took 46 years to build the temple. They are referring to the remodeling of Herod which was in its 46th year. It is said that even when the 2nd temple was destroyed in 70 AD, some 40 years later, it was still being remodeled.

Jesus’ proclamation is different: 3 days. Jesus isn’t interested in a never-ending remodeling project. He is interested in death and new life. “The old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

What does your life look more like? A constant remodel or death and resurrection? We’re always going to be working on things – but it shouldn’t be the same things over and over. The messiah has come to bring third day resurrection to all who hope in him. Let his power create lasting change in your life!


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