Day 2

Glory on Display

from the John reading plan


John 2:1-25, Psalm 104:14-15, 1 Peter 4:11

I’m thankful for many things about my mother. One of those things is that, despite myriad opportunities, she has resisted the urge to put me on the spot in public and embarrass me. Jesus didn’t have such a luxury. Mary put Him in quite a spot—and at a wedding, no less.

Weddings in that culture were multiple-day celebrations with much feasting and drinking. For the wine to run out early was a real downer. It would shame the hosts and be terribly embarrassing, so when it happened at this wedding in Cana, Mary declared that her son could fix it. She knew something of His capabilities and that He was no mere man. Jesus gently reprimanded her because His time for this sort of thing had not yet come, the time in which He wanted to reveal His power and glory to people. But He helped nonetheless.

By turning water into wine, Jesus did more than save a host from embarrassment or add to the enjoyment of the guests. He revealed, ever so slightly, His power over the natural world. He wasn’t a magician. He was a creator. The Creator. The laws of nature did not apply to Him because He had written them.

The chapter takes an interesting turn here. It shifts from joy and celebration and partying and a miracle, to a more serious, intense, even angry tone. Jesus reveals another side of His glory and identity. At the wedding He revealed His generosity, His creative ability, His power over nature, and His desire for people’s joy and happiness. But in the temple He reveals His zeal for holiness and the perfect glory of His Father.

Upon arriving at the temple during the Passover, a time when Jerusalem was overflowing with pilgrims who had come to worship as the law required, Jesus saw that this holy day of remembrance had been turned into an opportunity for commerce. Merchants lined the temple courtyard, selling animals for sacrifice (likely at a huge markup, as you would find in any tourist trap) and changing currency at a profit. This place was meant to be devoted to God during this celebration of how the Lord rescued His people. But now it was a mercenary’s heaven.

Jesus would have none of it. He drove the sellers out. He declared the temple to be His Father’s house. And, when challenged as to His authority, He prophesied His own death and resurrection by metaphorically calling Himself the temple, the gateway to God’s presence. Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of God, the sacrifice, and the means by which any who believed could enter God’s glory.

With subtlety, generosity, and flare, Jesus showed Himself to be Creator of the universe. With passion, fierceness, and strong (though veiled) language, Jesus declared Himself the Son of God. In both cases people were intrigued, though most found an explanation other than the truth.

Yet those with eyes to see and ears to hear believed and followed.  

Written By Barnabas Piper

Post Comments (20)

20 thoughts on "Glory on Display"

  1. Forrest says:

    Jesus WAS the Temple – his body would be rebuilt in 3 days. He was trying to tell people who he was.

  2. Phil says:

    How often is it that we find ourselves doing the same thing that Mary did at the wedding… We often pray in a manner where as we aren’t praying desiring God’s best but rather for our own interests and when it is convenient for us. I find myself many times praying for something I want or for something to go my way, instead of praying with a heart that desires for whatever God wants for me in my life. Whether it be in my work, in personal life, in my relationship with my wife, etc. we should pray for God’s best and for His direction for us at all times, even when seemingly “inconvenient”; if we pray in this manner God WILL be faithful, and He will give us exactly what we need.

    I also really drew into the verse where Jesus flipped the tables in the temple and told the people not to desecrate the house of the Lord. How often is it that the “church” desecrates His house? So many times, the “church” thinks they are doing what God would want, but it is so far from the truth. God gave us the most intimate love letter filled with His guidance and direction and so often we steer from it and go off our own interpretation and interests. We MUST follow God’s word as He has already laid out what He wants for us in His word; in not only the church, but also our everyday lives. Through prayer will always come answers and discernment to whatever it is we are looking for in life, be it guidance, favor, or anything in between.

  3. Justin Rigdon says:

    This reading reminded me that while I should keep a compassionate heart and remember to be kind to all people, it is ok to stand up for yourself and your faith, even if it is at the expense of some offended feelings.

  4. Jason says:

    What sign does he choose to show through his passion and power to his disciples then and now? John 2:19 – that he is the real and lasting gateway to the Father. This gateway comes to us to help us see the way through. Surely a grace replacing grace already given. (1:16)

  5. Ryan D says:

    Though He had the power to create wine from water, Jesus Himself is our “wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” He is our sustenance, washing us clean and freeing us from the burdens of sin and sadness.

    I am so moved by the POWER of Jesus as a man. His masculinity is DANGEROUS (Aslan, C.S. Lewis). He is not predictable or tolerating of sin. His righteous, godly ANGER in defending His Father’s Holy Temple is so awesome. It is because of this example of HOLINESS in response to sin that we are called to FEAR (as the beginning of wisdom). Not because we are His enemies, but because He is so great, so good, so powerful in comparison to our total weakness and helplessness.

  6. Marco says:

    In this study of John I see Jesus both caring/loving/desire for joy for others and I also see His desire for His people to be obedient to God and with that comes discipline. This passage is a reminder that with God’s joy or desire for joy in my own life, will come discipline as well. Sometimes it doesn’t feel good to be initially disciplined however God’s overall picture is joyous. I think I need to be more obedient in His discipline for my own life and trust that there is something greater to come.

  7. Michael Garrison says:

    Jesus manifested his glory at Cana in one way, and at the temple in another. In both, he declared his authority over the earth. Now I move my thoughts to application. How does this apply to my life? As a believer, I am the mirror image of Christ in the earth. To those who do not know God, I am his ambassador. I am to exemplify Christ in every way, so those who do not know or believe, can know what Christ looks like, by observing me. So, again, the question I am asking myself, how do these passages of Jesus manifesting his glory apply to me as a reflection of him? My answer, is another question. How can I manifest God’s glory today? If it is Christ who lives in me, as Paul writes, then through Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, who Christ sent, who lives in me, I should also be manifesting God’s glory in my life; with my words, and with my actions, and with my very thoughts. How can I manifest his glory so that others may know him? What can I do to bring him glory? What can I say to bring him glory? Is what I am currently doing and saying bringing him glory? Do people see the glory of God through me? Does my life reflect one who is full of God’s glory and his presence? Jesus manifested his glory at the request of his mother, and again because of his zeal for his father. I ask Holy Spirit, that you would fill me with your power to manifest God’s glory so that others may know him. I pray that zeal for my Father will consume me to a lifestyle of holiness and glory so that I may glorify his holy name and make him known.

  8. Ryan Brooksbank says:

    Jesus came to bring us to Him. In order for him to be able to do this He had to purify us. In these verses I see two stories of Jesus focused (in one case directly, in another indirectly) on purification. But he isn’t doing this out of anger toward those who want to draw near to Him. In the temple He is angry b/c the people who came to worship are being obstructed and blocked and disrupted and even scammed by those who only wanted to make a profit. Like when Jesus wanted “these little ones” to come to him without obstruction, he also wants all people to be able to come to him. If I remember correctly, the ‘market’ was actually where those who were Gentiles, or unclean, or ostracized were supposed to worship but bc the market was set up, they could not.
    I say this all to say that Jesus wants us to come to him. He wants us to worship him. He wants everyone to be with him and he gladly purifies us out of love.

  9. Brandon says:

    At the wrong time for Him, He made time for her

  10. Joshua says:

    The notion of Jesus being on earth is depicted so well here. I sometimes overlook how Jesus was a King born into poverty, and yet he was a King for the people.

    He speaks words in the moment which only make sense to the disciples after his death.

  11. Luke Blackburn says:

    The character of God is constant yet dynamic. Our God is a holy being worthy of worship and praise. He expects reverence and devotion when entering His presence. He requires that we separate our worship from the mundane of routine. This separation communicates the sovereignty of the Father in our actions. However, our Father is also rich in grace, mercy, and most of all love. He desires for His creation to find joy in the Light of His Presence. He extends grace and mercy through the life and message of Jesus. The words and ministry of Jesus echo the character of God. Jesus was zealous and rigid in His devotion to the Father. Distractions and selfish ploys were not tolerated. The place of worship was meant to be always consecrated. However, we also see that Christ enjoys the fellowship of joy found in humanity. He revealed this at the Canaan wedding while also illustrating His divine control over things of this world. He is the Son of God. God incarnate in human form. He came to provide an example through His teachings and ministry of how to live a life pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

  12. Kevin says:

    We’ve got a bold God! Declaring himself as the temple in front of those who would persecute him? Bold guy. Also, God is working miracles each and every day and sometimes I feel that we don’t see them. Not because we don’t want to but we’ve seen it before. Finding God in the little things can make the day so much more exciting as we see God and his power do little things like start the car, or see a child smile at you. God is there. There’s no secular and sacred separation on earth because God is here!!

  13. Jack Bushell says:

    Jesus cares for things that aren’t matter of life and death, and cares about things like social pressures and scenarios. He also didn’t hold back when sacrilegious goings on were happening in the house of the Lord. It’s often easy to let these things happen and just reflect negatively on them later. I pray for clarity in knowing what does and doesn’t transgress his will and the courage to stand up when there are money lenders in the temple

  14. Nate widow says:

    A great passage of how Jesus was always fair and generous; even when he didn’t want to display his glory, he still did a lot for others. Yet, he could display strength and power when needed like he did when he drove out the merchants outside of the temple. I believe Jesus is more then a fair and powerful man. He is life and all that it entails, he is The Creator.

  15. Shelby Beckworth says:

    I love how Jesus had the hard filled to the brim and made it the best wine. It speaks much about His heart towards us. In that simple act He has shown me how He wants to bless me.

    In the other hand, I see how serious He is about revering God and living a holy life.

    Jesus come, let Your will be done! Create in me a pure heart!

  16. John-Adam Bevels says:

    I love that Jesus is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the second part of this passage. When I think of Jesus, I usually think of love and acceptance. However, here, Jesus drives those doing wrong out of the temple. To me, it shows His power, and that he can be a loving, but stern Lord.

  17. Ben says:

    In this passage, Jesus reveals himself to be The Creator and the giver of all. We can draw a couple parallels here – that God through Jesus is responsible for giving us life and is the eternal provider, and that Jesus holds the temple above all else. It is his father’s house and none should devalue that.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Two parts here- Water to wine at the wedding in Cana; rushing the money changers out of the temple.

    This second chapter seems to be one of the revealing of the Christ. The book of John wastes no time jumping straight in to Jesus’ adulthood, and in this second chapter already the case for his divinity is being made.

    First, Mary, his mother goes to him recognizing he can fix a situation at the wedding. Did she recognize Jesus could supernaturally change things for he better? Or was she simply insinuating that Jesus should go find more wine the party?

    Second, Jesus takes the house of God seriously, and the disciples remember that, “Zeal for my house will consume me.” Already, John is making the case for the divinity of Jesus, which this book of John, is the real issue.

    Written to the Greeks and those searching for “wisdom,” John presents to the them the ultimate “logos,” as he begins his case that Jesus is divine, he is the son of God, and he is the true wisdom.

  19. Patrick says:

    Our Lord shows perfectly how we should act in life, humility and generosity to those around us and passion and intolerance for those who go against our God’s ideals. Jesus does all this in sinless perfection, all the while aware of his existence and reason for being upon this earth. Our Lord is an amazing person to show such generosity and compassion for those who sin against him. We are lucky to have such a savior.

  20. Nick Crawford says:

    Jesus had every right to not turn water into wine for the wedding feast, to withhold showing His glory and power for a time that He chose, but He chose to do it for the joy of the people and for the glory of the Father. Jesus is so good.
    Jesus, help me to see your wonder and love in all things. You seek for us to live in joy and peace in you, and to know that our Father is holy and good. Help me to know more of Your sweet character.

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