Today’s reading describes the third of Jesus’ signs (the first two are found in Day 5), raising the question of disease and suffering and Jesus’ thoughts about it. It leads on to a long discourse in which Jesus talks about himself and His unity with the Father (vv. 16-30)
About David Cook
David Cook was Principal of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College for 26 years. He is an accomplished writer and has authored Bible commentaries, books on the Minor Prophets, and several Bible study guides.
Entries by David Cook
Jesus leaves Samaria and heads north to Galilee. He is welcomed on the same basis as He was in John 2:23. These people had seen His signs in Jerusalem (v. 45). He comes again to Cana and is visited by a ″royal official″-either a man of royal blood or a high official of Herod’s court (v. 46).
In the first century, Jews looked down on Samaritans. Centuries ago, the Assyrians had taken the ten tribes of the northern kingdom (Israel) into exile, replacing them with foreigners (2 Kings 17:24-31).
We live in days of sensitivity regarding sexist attitudes and misogynistic behaviour. One of the surprising and striking things in today’s reading is Jesus’ comfortable relationship with this woman in Samaria. He knows who she is and all about her background.
We met John the Baptist in John 1:6-8 and in John 1:19-36. On each occasion, John is testifying about Jesus. This is his last appearance in the gospel and he authenticates and testifies to the ministry of Jesus.
Today’s verses answer Nicodemus’ question of verse 9, ″How can this be?″ The focus now shifts from the new birth, God’s part in our salvation, to belief, the immediate fruit of the new birth in our experience.
Many were coming to believe in Jesus on the basis of the signs He was performing (see John 20:29). However, though they believed in Him, Jesus did not believe in them (vv. 23-24). The reason for Jesus’ lack of trust in them is repeated in verses 24-25. Jesus knows all things; whereas we may be a mystery to ourselves and not understand why we do the things we do.
With the coming of Jesus, the new has come to replace the old. The old jars of water for ceremonial cleansing (John 2:6) are no longer needed. Water is to be replaced by top quality new wine; the old order will be replaced by a new joyful order.
The original text of Scripture was without chapter and verse divisions-chapters were added in the thirteenth century and verses in the sixteenth-so the writer had to indicate divisions in other ways. The way John marks this section is by the bookends: the first (John 2:1-11) and second (4:43-54) signs that Jesus performs in Cana.
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