The beginning of Jesus christ’s ministry is mentioned in the bible book of John written by Apostle John, who was a former disciple of John the Baptist. He was the first disciple of Jesus who became the beloved one of Jesus. He witnessed the beginning of Christ’s ministry. Also he is the one who wrote the book of Revelation too, end of all things.
Jesus began his ministry in the Bethabara beyond Jordan. He begins it post the Baptism in Jordan river by John the baptist and overcoming the temptation in wilderness. Now he has returned from the 40 days fast in the Power of the Holy Spirit and is anointed to work for the Kingdom of Heaven. He begins a closed ministry initially until John was put in prison, post that he starts speaking publicly or more openly as stated in the four gospels.
The beginning events are well detailed in the Gospel of John chapter 1-2. Initial days are well described where the testimony of John is described and the first encounter of the disciples with Jesus, including the first miracle of Jesus of turning water to wine.
- John the baptist testifies about Christ to the Priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem in John 1:19-28. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
- Next Day: Jesus comes to the place where John was baptizing and there John the baptist testifies publicly about Jesus Christ as the one who was to come and as the Son of God in John 1:29-34.
- Next Day: John the baptist testifies to two of his disciples pointing to Jesus and saying “Behold the Lamb of God”. At this they follow Jesus and have their first encounter with Jesus Christ. They are John, son of Zebedee and Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter – John 1:35-39
- Later Andrew brings his brother Peter to Jesus, whom he beheld and said “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” – John 1:40-42
- Day following: Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Philip and calls him to follow.
- Philip goes to Nathaniel and brings him to Jesus and Jesus beholding him testifies about him saying He was a true Israelite and there was no Guile(nature to cheat someone) in him. And finally because of his faith he shall see Angels.
- Third day: There was a marriage in cana of Galilee and Jesus would show his glory to his disciples by turning water to wine.
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Wedding at cana
- The Third day is believed to be Tuesday due to double blessing by God on that day in Genesis ch 1 during the six days of creation.
- Bridegroom and his father would prepare an year for the marriage after the espousal to bring the bride to home (espousal as refereed by Matthew of Joseph to Mary, parents of Jesus).
- Wedding during that time would last for weeks where the whole town’s would generally be invited and it was necessary that they provide food and wine for all of them.
- It would be social disgrace if the guests are not provided well and they would hear that disgrace for entire lives by neighbours.
- Governor of the feast does not necessarily means the one who is working to arrange things, but means an elderly person from the families or an elder from the town who is well honored by everyone. And any good words from him means the wedding went well and the groom’s family receives favor of all the attendees. This is how generally social groups or tribes practically conduct daily lives.
- Mary is believed to be a from internal group of groom’s side and therefore she gets involved in the matter. This can be further validated as it is written that both Jesus and his disciples too were called/invited to the marriage.
There are few things to ponder when understanding this event to deeper levels. It is believed that Joseph, the husband of Mary was not alive by this time. Therefore Mary as caretaker of home was working everyday with Jesus, the eldest son to provide for family needs. Daily working of them together must had brotforth great understanding between each other on what they meant and what they want from each other. So it was normal for Mary to take all things to Jesus and Jesus taking care of his mother(ofcourse in between we see that he let her in the hands of his brother but in the end of his life he again lets her to be taken cared of by his disciple John). Also by this time Mary knew that he was baptized, had fasted and also has received his calling of life. She being very devoted, great in faith and having kept all the things related to Jesus to her heart, she wants Jesus to go on in the mission.
Jesus turns water to wine
The first miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at cana is written by Apostle John in John 2:1-11. The wine was finished in the midst of wedding and Mary brought forth this to Jesus’s notice. Jesus then commanded the servants in the wedding to fill six pots of stone with water, each of 20-30 gallons capacity. He then asked to draw the water and present it to governor of the feast. When the servants drew the water, it then turned to wine and Jesus shewed forth his glory. At this his disciples believed on him. Now this miracle is recorded only in the Gospel of John and therefore as we know from the perspectives of each of four gospels, this should be looked from spiritual perspective too. Let’s now take a deep dive into this event.
Jesus addressing Mary as Woman
In John 2:4 Jesus calls Mary as Woman. In the initial read it looks like offensive, especially after reading what those words “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”. So was Jesus disrespecting Mary? No. In the gospels he addresses many women with those words, so which seems a normal word during the culture. Noticeable mentions are:
- Seed of the Woman: Galatians 3:16 and Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
- Handing over Mary to John at the cross: John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
- Calling Mary as Woman at the resurrection: John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
- A search of word Jesus and Woman in the gospels gives 13 verses which makes it clear that the word Woman is normal and not disrespectful.
- The original greek can be interpreted as “Woman, what is that to Me and to you? The hour of mine is not yet come”. Ref John 2:4
- “My hour is not yet come”: Even usage of this phrase by Jesus is common. Most of the time it meant about the time of cross, judging of the ruler of this world and his glory. It is a bit uncertain as to what it meant here exactly though. But one most fitting is: the hour of his public ministry to do miracles openly has not yet come.
- John 2:11 “This beginning of miracles” clearly states that this was his first miracle.
Significance of Jesus turning water to wine
Firstly it manifested his glory and his disciples believed on him. By far we know clearly that he had at least these disciples: John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael. Now coming to the very miracle that Jesus did and what was the value in it. As the miracle is only in the Book of the Gospel of John, it should be inferred more as Spiritual work. And also the first references of any thing generally depict the overall destiny of those things. So the interpretation of this would would represent the destiny of Jesus christ and need to be looked from Spiritual perspective. Feel free to share with me if you have any other perspectives.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God at the request of Holy Spirit would fill people with his word and turn it to fruitfulness wine that the Almighty God would be Joyful at them. Now in detail: When the world was not fruitful (they have no wine), Jesus Christ at the request of the Holy Spirit (represented by Mary) would fill the Man who has the heart of stone (six pots of stone), with his Cleansing Word (water used for cleansing) by using the Servants (ministers of the Word), as directed by the Holy Ghost (do whatever he tells you)., And then would purify them and make them fruitful that out of them shall flow rivers of living water and would bring forth Joy (wine) for the Lord God (the Governor of the feast). And the Lord God would raise toast for Jesus Christ saying “You have kept the best wine until now”.
Now some missing pieces explained: Jesus as human did not knew every time in advance what is the will of God at that moment, and he flows according to the guidance in that moment. Therefore he resists initially as human(remember the same when he was 12 years old). As for Governor not knowing how it came to be, it means he was not involved in that process, it was taken care by the servants at the command of Jesus.
Bible Study until now
- In Gospels so far we have covered Matthew 1:1 to 4:11, Mark 1:1-12, Luke 1:1 to 4:13 and John 1:1 to 2:11.
- We have encountered these disciples & their initial interaction with Jesus: John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael.
- From places standpoint: Bethabara beyond Jordan where Jesus was baptized (20 miles from Jerusalem) in Judean country. Nazareth – hometown of Jesus, Cana of Galilee, Capernaum of Galilee.
- Various titles of Jesus: Emmanuel – God with us, Word of God who was in the beginning, True Light that lights every Man, Lamb of God and Son of God.
- In the beginning encounters most people get to know the call of their life.
- In the beginning times of his ministry we see the personal calling of Jesus and what he would do in his relationship to his lord god.
Jesus cleanses the temple
Jesus cleanses the temple in two occasions: one at the beginning of his ministry and one in the end when he enters into Jerusalem sitting on the donkey. In the first passover he does because of his Zeal and signifies his work of clearing those people from the outer court of the upcoming kingdom.
This exchange of money and selling of ships was required as during those times many countries has different currencies and Jews coming to the passover needed them to be converted. Also for sacrifice they needed to buy sheeps too as it was not practically possible to carry them from home and imagine some business man not having animals (which is also possible)., so they were necessary to be present there. The problem was with them being in the temple, much specifically in the outer court., They were supposed to be outside the temple.
From Jesus perspective doing this in the beginning describes his role before the Lord God as the one who would get rid of these worldly things. Why? because his Lord God no more desired the sacrifices of animals and neither the offerings of corrupt hearts. Now Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice, there is no more need of those. Neither of currency or any other things as Jesus would fulfill roles of every item in the temple and he also being high priest would bring forth praises and sweet fragrance coming from the new hearts and new spirits of Man.
John 2:12–25 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Matthew 21:12–17 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.