Three things Jesus’ disciples saw when they observed him – John 2:1-11, Part 4

What do you see when you see Jesus? When you read the stories about his life, or maybe watch a dramatic presentation of the Gospels, what do you notice about Jesus? Perhaps the best place to get information about Jesus is from the people who were eyewitnesses of his life. His disciples walked with Jesus for 2+ years. They saw him more than anyone. What did they see? Keep reading as we’ll talk about what they saw one day while they attended a wedding with Jesus.

This week on the blog, we’ve been studying John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus’ miracle in which he changed water into wine. The Gospel writer, John, tells us that this miracle was a miraculous sign.  As we continue studying the Gospel of John in the upcoming months, we will read about many more of these signs.  Jesus’ changing the water into wine is the first one. 

John reports the miraculous signs because they have a purpose, and the key word in understanding the purpose is the word “sign”.  Each miracle is a signpost, pointing us toward something.  Remember that the writer of the Gospel of John wants us to learn who Jesus is so that we will believe in Jesus. 

In this passage what do we learn about Jesus?  We learn that he can change water into wine.  We learn that he can do miracles.  We learn that he is not only human, but also God.  The miracle is a signpost that tells us that Jesus is God.

There were some people, John tells us, who were watching this miracle, and they understand it was a sign. Who were they?  The apprentices.  Jesus’ disciples were there at the wedding, which we read in verse 2, and talked about in the first post in this series.  But after that initial mention, we don’t hear anything about the disciples’ involvement at the wedding until now.  What do we learn in John 2:11?  The disciples were there watching the whole time.  That’s what apprentices do.  They follow their master around and they watch what he does.  They want to find out, “Who is this guy?  Who is this carpenter, handyman, who has called us fishermen to follow him?”  What do they learn?  What did they see? I think they see at least three things.

First, they saw that he went to a wedding. Jesus, the Gospel writers, tell us, went to parties and celebrated.  Not just this one time, but this was the first of many parties.  The next party, it seems, was not long after this one.  We won’t learn about it the Gospel of John, though, so I’ll briefly tell you about it now.  You can read about it in Matthew, Mark and Luke, but I’ll read it in Luke 5:27-32,

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’.”

Jesus did not act like the prevailing view of how a religious leader should act.  Those religious elite wouldn’t be caught dead doing much of what Jesus did.  So the disciples saw that Jesus was a different kind of Rabbi who partied with all people, including sinners. Notice, though, that he called sinners to repentance.  So his partying with them was not an affirmation of their sinful choices, but an affirmation of their worth in God’s eyes, that they were loved by God, and therefore valuable to be in real relationship with.  That real relationship also included the call to repent, asking them to stop choosing ways that are opposed to God’s heart and start choosing ways that are in line with God’s heart.  The disciples saw this.

Second, the disciples saw that he had a close relationship with his mother.  They probably also saw that his mother Mary was bold, fun, humorous, vibrant.  I don’t know if Jesus and Mary’s relationship was typical or atypical for that culture.  But the disciples couldn’t avoid noticing that this mom told her son, the same son whom John the Baptist said what the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world, to do something about the wine problem, and he did it.  This shows Jesus’ humility, humanity and his great relationship with his mother. 

Finally, the disciples saw that Jesus was a miracle worker, which was amazing.  The miracle was a sign that pointed to the reality that Jesus was not just human, he was also God.  He revealed his glory to them, John tells us in John 2:11.  That is a phrase that indicates his divinity.  Jesus was 100% human and 100% God.  God did not create Jesus.  Jesus is God.  When you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus, read about Jesus, and Jesus shows you what God is like. When he turned the water into wine, it was as though Jesus was opening a door into a reality that the disciples had never seen before.  When they looked, they saw his glory. 

But what did his glory look like? We’ll talk about that in the next post.

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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