International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday January 24, 2016
Purpose: To cultivate the expectation of God’s abundance in situations of need or lack
Bible Lesson: John 2:1-12
Key Verse: “Everyone serves the good wine first. They bring out the second-rate wine only when the guests are drinking freely. You kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10)
John 2:1-12 (CEB)
(1) On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and (2) Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. (3) When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.” (4) Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.” (5) His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (6) Nearby were six stone water jars used for the Jewish cleansing ritual, each able to hold about twenty or thirty gallons. (7) Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. (8) Then he told them, “Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,” and they did. (9) The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. The headwaiter called the groom (10) and said, “Everyone serves the good wine first. They bring out the second-rate wine only when the guests are drinking freely. You kept the good wine until now.” (11) This was the first miraculous sign that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (12) After this, Jesus and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed there for a few days.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
The Gospel of John includes seven miraculous signs revealing the nature and work of Jesus. All of the signs in John point back to accounts in the Old Testament from the prophets and the Psalms and point forward to Jesus as the one whom God is sending into the world to remake the world. These are signs of abundance; healing; restoration; renewed strength and sight; and, of course, the overcoming of death itself.
The village of Cana is located about 5 miles from Jesus’ boyhood home in Nazareth. This wedding may have been a big event for both communities. Because of Mary’s concern for the wedding feast, the wedding could have involved a close relative. That Jesus and his disciples were all invited would most likely mean it was a close relative, or a family member that was involved either as the bride or the groom.
Mary’s assertiveness for Jesus to do something would lead one to believe that there had been glimpses of miraculous ability by Jesus. Jesus rather curt response seems typical of a mother and son exchange. Maybe to deflect the inevitable, that was about to happen. Note the Mary did not tell him what to do or how to solve the problem, she only made him aware of the need. This is a good lesson for us when we pray, we often, not only tell God about the problem, we tell him how to fix it.
The solution is left up to Jesus, as it should be. He could have gone and bought more wine, He could have made the water taste like wine. Or he could have made just enough wine as to not embarrass the groom. Or he could have caused the people to think they were drinking wine.
Mary’s command to the servants to obey or do whatever he said, implies great faith in her son. I am convinced she was aware of Jesus’ power. The stone vessels were large and held a lot of wine, by the bottle it would be a lot of bottles.
It was a normal practice to use old purification jars for the new wine. The miracle seems to be only witnessed by Jesus’ disciples and the servants, the rest of the crowd had no idea.
In the Gospel of John, there is no mention of bread and wine at the last supper. For John the wine is from the wedding feast miracle and the bread is from the feeding of the 5,000. Miracles that prove Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.
I guess my hymn for this week would be “Fill My Cup Lord.”