John Lesson #3
Good Questions Have Groups Talking
Group life is not only about getting to know the Bible better; it is about getting to know each other
better. Why not email your group and ask them to email each other pictures from your wedding. Fun
John 2.1 - 12
What three fellowships do we have scheduled for the next three months? Who will invite every
member? Who will help invite every prospect? Who will help plan the party?
Nothing predicts happiness like gratitude. What are three things you are grateful for?
1. Verse 1. Third day from what?
Many commentaries invest endless pages in an exploration of the chronology at the beginning of
John 2. The third day from when? Possibly three days after Philip and Nathanael had become
disciples of Jesus. Or perhaps three days after Jesus’ departure from the place of his baptism. The
exact identification seems unimportant, but we should note that less than a week went by between
Jesus’ appearance in the desert and the miracle at Cana. — Holman New Testament Commentary –
2. This is the first of seven miracles in the book of John. Thumb through the book. See if you can find
1. Turning water to wine (ch. 2)
2. Healing of the official’s son (ch. 4)
3. Healing of the invalid man at Bethesda (ch. 5)
4. Feeding of the five thousand (ch. 6)
5. Walking on the water (ch. 6)
6. Healing the man born blind (ch. 9)
7. Raising Lazarus (ch. 11)
Holman New Testament Commentary - Holman New Testament Commentary – John.
3. Anyone have a smart phone or a Study Bible? Can you find a map? Where was Cana? Can you find
4. Is Cana still around?
Modern Cana: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1956558
5. Verse 3. How do you think this made the host feel?
It wouldn’t be hard to find a commentator that says it made the host feel terrible. The easiest way
to think about it is this: how would you feel if you had some people over for dinner and you ran out
of food? Imagine you are the father of the bride and you have provided a catered dinner for your
daughter’s wedding. The last 20 people don’t get anything to eat. Hard to imagine anything more
6. How does your translation have verse 4?
John 2:4 (NIV) “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
John 2:4 (CEV) Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn’t yet come! You must not tell me what to do.”
John 2:4 (HCSB) “What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has
not yet come.”
John 2:4 (NASB) And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has
not yet come.”
John 2:4 (NLT) “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
7. Does Jesus seem a tad rude here?
Jesus’ reply seems a bit abrupt, and even harsh; but such is not the case. “Woman” was a polite way
to address her (John 19:26; 20:13), and His statement merely means, “Why are you getting Me
involved in this matter?” He was making it clear to His mother that He was no longer under her
supervision (it is likely that Joseph was dead), but that from now on, He would be doing what the
Father wanted Him to do. There had been a hint of this some years before (Luke 2:40-52). — The
Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1.
8. Jesus said his time had not yet come. Can you think of other times Jesus makes reference to
At this point, John introduced one of the key elements of his record, the idea of “the hour.” Jesus
lived on a “heavenly timetable,” marked out for Him by the Father. (See John 7:30; 8:20; 12:23;
13:1; 17:1; and note also the words of Jesus as recorded in John 11:9-10.) As you study John’s
Gospel, you will observe how this concept of “the hour” is developed. — The Bible Exposition
Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1.
9. Can anyone think of a time in your life when timing really mattered? Anyone have a story that
illustrates the importance of timing?
The orthopedic surgeon was moving to a new office across town, and decided to carry the display
skeleton in the front seat of his car. Concerned not to have the skeleton fall, he didn't pay enough
attention to his driving and ran a stop sign, with a policeman looking on. The blue light pulled up
behind him, and as the traffic cop stepped to the driver's window the physician said, by way of
explanation, "I'm a doctor and I'm taking him to my new office."
The policeman replied, "I hate to tell you this, Doc, but I think you're too late."
10. What can we learn from Mary’s attitude toward Jesus in verse 5?
Mary’s words to the servants reveal that she was willing to let her Son do whatever He pleased, and
that she trusted Him to do what was right. It would be wise for all of us to obey what she said! It is
worth noting that it was Jesus, not Mary, who took command and solved the problem; and that
Mary pointed, not to herself, but to Jesus. — The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament,
11. What keeps us from a “I will do whatever he tells me” attitude?
During a time of congregational renewal at Skyline Wesleyan Church, where I am the senior pastor,
my heart was challenged with the words of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who said, “Whatever He
[Jesus] says to you, do it.” I shared with my congregation this thought of obedience drawn from the
story of Jesus’ miracle at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1–8).
Whatever Jesus says to you, do it, even though …
1. You are not in the “right place” (verse 2).
They were at a wedding and not a church when Jesus performed the miracle. Some of God’s
greatest blessings will be at “other places” if we will be obedient to Him.
2. You have a lot of problems (verse 3).
They had run out of wine. Too many times our problems drive us away from Jesus instead of to Him.
Christian renewal begins when we focus on God’s power and not our problems.
3. You are not encouraged (verse 4).
Jesus said to those at the wedding, “My hour has not yet come.” Instead of being discouraged by
these words, Mary laid hold of the possibility of a miracle.
4. You have not walked with Him very long (verse 5).
The servants who obeyed Jesus had just met Him, and the disciples had just started following the
Lord, yet they were expected to obey Him.
5. You have not seen Him work miracles in your life.
This was our Lord’s first miracle. The people in this situation had to obey Him without His having a
previous track record.
6. You don’t understand the entire process.
From this biblical story we can draw out a definition for obedience. It is listening to the words of
Jesus and doing His will. Inward obedience provides outward growth. — John Maxwell, The Winning
12. Verse 6. How much water did Jesus turn to wine?
Each (of the jars) holding two or three measures. A measure was the equivalent of about 81/2
gallons; hence, each jar was able to hold between 17 and 25 gallons of water. Accordingly, the six
jars had a total capacity of between 100 and 150 gallons! But why is this fact stated? Obviously, in
order to emphasize the greatness of Christ’s gift! — Baker New Testament Commentary – Exposition
of the Gospel According to John.
13. How does this story illustrate Ephesians 3.20?
In 1996 the Chicago Bulls basketball team won their fourth world championship behind their leader
Michael Jordan. Jordan's contract ended after the season, however, and fans in Chicago were
uneasy about whether the Bulls could re-sign Jordan for the upcoming year. Would owner Jerry
Reinsdorf be willing to pay the huge salary that everyone knew Jordan would request for a new
On July 12, 1996, the Chicago media discovered the answer. The Bulls announced they had agreed
to pay some $30 million.
Bob Verdi reported later in the Chicago Tribune that months prior to the negotiations, when snow
was on the ground, Reinsdorf had joked with Jordan and his agent that when the season ended, if
the negotiations took more than five minutes, they would be wasting their time. At a dinner with
Jordan less than two weeks before negotiations began, Reinsdorf repeated his intention to wrap
things up quickly. And when the time came to talk numbers, Reinsdorf paid Jordan's asking price
without a qualm.
"I could have tried to talk Michael down from what he asked," said Reinsdorf. "But why?... Michael
is unique. I can afford what he's getting, he deserves what he's getting, and if it's not the best
business transaction I ever made, so what? This wasn't a business deal in the truest sense, anyway.
Call them psychic dollars. When we couldn't give Michael what he deserved because of the salary
cap, I told him there would be a day. Well, the day has come."
Like Michael Jordan asking for a big salary, we often come to God with large requests, and we
wonder how he will feel about it. Jesus taught us that God's response to our prayers is guided in
large measure by how he feels about us. God's sons and daughters are more special to him than
Michael Jordan is to the owner of the Chicago Bulls. For God, prayer isn't some spiritual negotiation;
prayer is love. God is giving "heart dollars." — 750 Engaging Illustrations.
14. Verse 7. Why did Jesus ask the men to do this? What do we learn about God and following God
Jesus never does for us what we can do for ourselves. He always asks us to do what we can do. God
does what only God can do.
15. We see this same principle in Exodus 4.1 – 2. What did God ask of Moses in this passage?
Jesus’ first “sign” and its preliminary purpose (2:6-10) was to meet this emergency and bring joy into
that wedding where doom and gloom were on the periphery. The Lord used what was available, as
he always does. (He said to Moses, “What is that in thine hand?” [Exodus 4:2]. It was only a stick,
but it became a symbol of divine power to pharaoh and his people before all was over.) — The John
Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring the Gospel of John: An Expository Commentary.
16. Verse 8. What do you admire about these servants? What were they feeling?
But now came a challenge to the faith of the servants: “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor
of the feast” (1:8), the man we would call the master of ceremonies. There was no hesitation. They
did as they were told. — The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring the Gospel of John: An
17. Some, who oppose drinking, can’t imagine that Jesus really turned water into wine. How do you
It upsets many Christians to think that Jesus actually turned water into wine. Some have claimed it
was not really wine but grape juice—a position hard to defend both in consideration of the word
used for wine and of the reaction of the emcee who certainly believed it to be wine, and
extraordinarily good wine at that. He said to the bridegroom, “Every man at the beginning doth set
forth good wine [oinos]; and when men have drunk, then that which is worse [inferior]: but thou
hast kept the good wine until now” (2:10). — The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring the
Gospel of John: An Expository Commentary.
18. How was this wine different from the rest? What do we learn about God from this?
“The good wine”! Some would maintain that there is no good wine. Yet year by year the Creator
turns water into wine by a natural process. Who can explain all the mystery of a plant that is able to
take water and minerals from the soil, energy from the sun, all that it needs from its environment
and transform them into wine-filled grapes? What Jesus did as Creator was short-cut the whole
process—with a difference. This was good wine. Not just better than inferior wine, but good wine. A
man could have drunk gallons of it and never have had a bad reaction. Nobody could have made
himself drunk on wine that Jesus made. (It is difficult to make a case for total abstinence from the
Bible except on the grounds advocated by Paul in Romans 14.) — John Phillips Commentary Series –
Exploring the Gospel of John: An Expository Commentary.
19. Jesus could have miraculously prevented these people from running out of wine in the first place.
Why do you think he didn’t? What do we learn about God from this?
Andre Crouch — Through it all:
I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
I’ve been to lots of places,
I’ve seen a lot of faces,
there’s been times I felt so all alone.
But in my lonely hours,
yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus lets me know that I was His own
I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.
20. Does God still do miracles like this today?
An old woman at the Ulster frontier was asked if she had anything to declare. “No, nothing at all.”
“But what is in the bottle?”
“Oh, only holy water—holy water from Lourdes.”
Pulled the cork, the customs officer smelled. “Whisky, it is.”
“Glory be to God!” cried the offender. “A miracle!” (John 2:1-11)
— Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
21. Who can tell of a time when God came through for you in an embarrassing time?
22. There is little said about Jesus’ life up until now. Why do you think that is?
The Gospels record only about 3 years of Christ’s life on earth. His first 30 years were “hidden” in
Nazareth. But we may surmise from 3 recorded voices:
I. A NON-SPECTACULAR CHILDHOOD (John 2:11)
From the voice of John, we deduce no miracle existed for Jesus prior to Cana (“the beginning of
miracles”). Jesus was no “Superboy” in Nazareth. A normal childhood, yet without sin. Children and
youth usually like to “show off,” but Christ emptied Himself—became true Man.
Lesson: Do not overlook or despise common beginnings. — Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations:
Signs of the Times.
23. Summary. What do we learn about following God from this story?
24. How can we support one another in prayer this week?