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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 On the third day there was a wedding 2
in Cana 3 in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus
said to him, "They have no wine."
4 (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does
your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servers, "Do
whatever he tells you."
5 Now there were six stone water jars there for
Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with
water." So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Draw some out now and
take it to the headwaiter." 6 So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that
had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who
had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom
and said to him, "Everyone serves good
wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you
have kept the good wine until now."
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs 7
in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to
believe in him.
8 9 After this, he and his
mother, (his) brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed
there only a few days.
10 11 Since the Passover of
the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
12 He found in the temple area those who sold
oxen, sheep, and doves, 13 as well as the money-changers
He made a whip out of cords and drove them all
out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the
money-changers and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said, "Take
these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
14 His disciples recalled the words of scripture,
"Zeal for your house will consume me."
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
"What sign can you show us for doing this?"
Jesus answered and said to them, 15
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
The Jews said, "This temple has been under
construction for forty-six years, 16 and you will raise it
up in three days?"
But he was speaking about the temple of his
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the
scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.
While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of
Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was
But Jesus would not trust himself to them
because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human
nature. He himself understood it well.
[⇒ 2:1-⇒ 6:71] Signs
revealing Jesus as the Messiah to all Israel. "Sign" (semeion) is
John's symbolic term for Jesus' wondrous deeds (see Introduction). The Old
Testament background lies in the Exodus story (cf ⇒ Deut
11:3; ⇒ 29:2). John is interested
primarily in what the semeia signify: God's intervention in human history in a
new way through Jesus.
2 [1-11] The first sign. This story
of replacement of Jewish ceremonial washings (⇒ John
2:6) presents the initial revelation about Jesus at the outset of his
ministry. He manifests his glory; the disciples believe. There is no synoptic
3  Cana: unknown from the Old
Testament. The mother of Jesus: she is never named in John.
4  This verse may seek to show
that Jesus did not work miracles to help his family and friends, as in the
apocryphal gospels. Woman: a normal, polite form of address, but unattested in
reference to one's mother. Cf also ⇒ John 19:26.
How does your concern affect me?: literally, "What is this to me and to
you?" - a Hebrew expression of either hostility
(⇒ Judges 11:12; ⇒ 2 Chron
35:21; ⇒ 1 Kings 17:18) or denial of
common interest (⇒ Hosea 14:9; ⇒ 2
Kings 3:13). Cf ⇒ Mark 1:24;
⇒ 5:7 used by demons to Jesus. My hour has not yet
come: the translation as a question ("Has not my hour now come?"), while
preferable grammatically and supported by Greek Fathers, seems unlikely from a
comparison with ⇒ John 7:6,
⇒ 30. The "hour" is that of Jesus'
passion, death, resurrection, and ascension (⇒ John
5  Twenty to thirty gallons:
literally, "two or three measures"; the Attic liquid measure
contained 39.39 liters. The vast quantity recalls prophecies of abundance in
the last days; cf ⇒ Amos 9:13-14;
⇒ Hosea 14:7; ⇒ Jeremiah
6  Headwaiter: used of the
official who managed a banquet, but there is no evidence of such a functionary
in Palestine. Perhaps here a friend of the family acted as master of
ceremonies; cf ⇒ Sirach 32:1.
7  The beginning of his signs:
the first of seven (see Introduction).
[⇒ 2:12-⇒ 3:21] The next
three episodes take place in Jerusalem. Only the first is paralleled in the
9  This transitional verse may be
a harmonization with the synoptic tradition in ⇒ Luke
4:31 and ⇒ Matthew 4:13. There are many
textual variants. John depicts no extended ministry in Capernaum as do the
10 [13-22] This episode indicates the
post-resurrectional replacement of the temple by the person of Jesus.
11  Passover: this is the first
Passover mentioned in John; a second is mentioned in ⇒ John
6:4 a third in ⇒ John 13:1. Taken
literally, they point to a ministry of at least two years.
12 [14-22] The other gospels place the
cleansing of the temple in the last days of Jesus' life (Matthew, on the day
Jesus entered Jerusalem; Mark, on the next day). The order of events in the
gospel narratives is often determined by theological motives rather than by chronological
13  Oxen, sheep, and doves:
intended for sacrifice. The doves were the offerings of the poor
(⇒ Lev 5:7). Money-changers: for a temple tax paid by
every male Jew more than nineteen years of age, with a half-shekel coin
(⇒ Exodus 30:11-16), in Syrian currency. See the
note on ⇒ Matthew 17:24.
14  ⇒ Psalm
69:10, changed to future tense to apply to Jesus.
15  This saying about the
destruction of the temple occurs in various forms (⇒ Matthew
24:2; ⇒ 27:40; ⇒ Mark
13:2; ⇒ 15:29; ⇒ Luke
21:6; cf ⇒ Acts 6:14).
⇒ Matthew 26:61 has: "I can destroy the temple
of God. . ."; see the note there. In ⇒ Mark
14:58, there is a metaphorical contrast with a new temple: "I
will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build
another not made with hands." Here it is symbolic of Jesus' resurrection
and the resulting community (see ⇒ John 2:21 and ⇒ Rev
21:2). In three days: an Old Testament expression for a short,
indefinite period of time; cf ⇒ Hosea 6:2.
16  Forty-six years: based on
references in Josephus (Jewish Wars 1,21,1 #401; Antiquities 15,11,1 #380),
possibly the spring of A.D. 28. Cf the note on ⇒ Luke
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