We are in the Christ Stream reading from the Good News Translation.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Thank you Lord Jesus for becoming flesh, for living among us, for touching our hearts, for your Cross, for saving us, for loving us… For you. We are grateful. Amen.
We began the book of John today. It is the first of John’s five books we find in Scripture; John, I Jo., II Jo., III Jo., Revelation. John’s gospel is comprised of incidents and teaching that is over 90% unique to John; found only in John, whereas Mt,Mk,Lk are much more similar to eachother John was closest to Jesus. It was John who was told by Jesus from the Cross to “look after mother.” [Mary]. Peter was regularly jousting with John and James for prominence among the disciples. John sat next to Jesus at the Last Supper and leaned upon Jesus. He seemed to know most clearly that ‘this was it.’ Back in Galilee, Jesus told Peter in a clear insinuation that Peter would also be executed years from now. Peter immediately refers to John and asks, “what about him…?!” The other Disciples had to sense that Jesus was closest in heart to John. One writer wrote, “The Intimate Gospel: Studies in John” in 1978. It is a perfect title for commenting upon one of the most amazing books ever written.
1 – John opens by equating Jesus as “The Eternal Word.” The Truth is that God is God, and what God has said is also God. His Word IS Him. All people can look back on things spoken in the past and blush, “oh heavens, did I say that?” We compare our words now with what we said or believed years ago during school days, or earlier school days and muse, “what on earth was I thinking?” Well we weren’t thinking clearly, nor completely. We never totally are prior to meeting Christ Jesus (I John 3:2). After we see Him, we shall be like Him. What Jesus is and says is God. Not so with us, however. God’s Word is eternally true, and eternally God. God’s Word is Jesus. This Word; Jesus came to earth and dwelt among us. The only way we ever find out the eternal truth about God is to dwell with Him. Therefore He came to dwell with us. Jesus is God’s grace and truth and therefore He’s the one way that we find grace and truth. This news of God’s arrival on earth was so vital that it warranted a messenger to go ahead of and announce his entry. This was John the Baptist. In case anyone missed it, Jn./Bpt is a different John than the John who wrote the Book of John. Jesus and John/Baptist meet publicly and Jesus is baptized by John to demonstrate that we are to be baptized also; to put this world and this life away in burial and arise anew in the Holy Spirit to live for our Eternal Savior. Jesus then calls the first Disciples. He calls us too, btw!
2 – Jesus walks into a wedding situation and performs his first miracle by turning water into wine. It was not just any wine but the finest of the finest of fine wine. The value of what Jesus made that day was in the realm of $2.5Million in wine if it were to be purchased and served today. This is similar to when Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4.000. The farmer’s work turns a bag of seed into tons of food every summer. Then there is the miller, then the baker and “voila” there is bread on the table for us to eat. All this 6-month long process happens in moments in Jesus’ hand. How? Jo.1:3 “Through Him all things are made.” So the process of winemaking requires years…normally. Jesus’ hands can make it happen in moments. And He did. And it was such an excellent product that it made the satiated guests marvel over the flavor and quality. The disciples picked up on who did it but not the wedding guests.
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover three years before He Himself would be the Passover Lamb and cleaned out the Temple area from being a market place. He was angry that God and prayer time with God was being sold to the highest bid that anyone could afford. The distinction here is that Jesus refers to them making the Temple of marketplace. When He clears the Temple area the week before the Resurrection, He calls what they are doing as making the Temple a “Den of Robbers.” And the reading today ends with a clear reference that Jesus understood human nature. And indeed He did. That is why He came to redeem – for we needed redemption.