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John 2:11

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

This beginning of miracles - This his first public miracle. This is declared by the sacred writer to be a “miracle” - that is, an exertion of divine power, producing a change of the substance of water into wine, which no human power could do.

Manifested forth - Showed; exhibited.

His glory - His power, and proper character as the Messiah; showed that he had divine power, and that God had certainly commissioned him. This is shown to be a real miracle by the following considerations:

1.Real water was placed in the vessels. This the servants believed, and there was no possibility of deception.

2.The water was placed where it was not customary to keep wine. It could not be pretended that it was merely a mixture of water and wine.

3.It was judged to be wine without knowing whence it came. There was no agreement between Jesus and the governor of the feast to impose on the guests.

4.It was a change which nothing but divine power could effect. He that can change water into a substance like the juice of the grape must be clothed with divine power.

Believed on him - This does not mean that they did not believe on him beforehand, but that their faith was confirmed or strengthened. They saw a miracle, and it satisfied them that he was the Messiah. “Before this” they “believed” on the testimony of John, and from conversation with Jesus John 1:35-51; now they saw that he was invested with almighty power, and their faith was established.

From this narrative we may learn:

1. That marriage is honorable, and that Jesus, if sought, will not refuse his presence and blessing on such an occasion.

2. On such an occasion the presence and approbation of Christ should be sought. No compact formed on earth is more important; none enters so deeply into our comfort in this world; perhaps none will so much affect our destiny in the world to come. It should be entered into, then, in the fear of God.

3. On all such occasions, our conduct should be such that the presence of Jesus would be no interruption or disturbance. He is holy. He is always present in every place; and on all festival occasions our deportment should be such as that we should welcome the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. “That is not a proper stale of feeling or employment which would be interrupted by the presence of the Saviour.”

4. Jesus delighted to do good. In the very beginning of his ministry he worked a miracle to show his benevolence. This was the appropriate commencement of a life in which he was to go about doing good. He seized every opportunity of doing it; and at a marriage feast, as well as among the sick and poor, he showed the character which he always sustained - that of a benefactor of mankind.

5. An argument cannot be drawn from this instance in favor of intemperate drinking. There is no evidence that any who were present on that occasion drank too freely.

6. Nor can an argument be drawn from this case in favor even of drinking wine such as we have. The common wine of Judea was the pure juice of the grape, without any mixture of alcohol, and was harmless. It was the common drink of the people, and did not tend to produce intoxication. “Our” wines are a “mixture” of the juice of the grape and of brandy, and often of infusions of various substances to give it color and taste, and the appearance of wine. Those wines are little less injurious than brandy, and the habit of drinking them should be classed with the drinking of all other liquid fires.

The following table will show the danger of drinking the “wines” that are in common use:

d WineAlcohol Content

d

d Brandy has fifty-three parts and 39 hundredths in a hundred of alcohol, or5339 percent

d

d Rum5368 percent

d

d Whisky Scotch..5432 percent

d

d Holland Gin.5160 percent

d

d Port Wine, highest kind583 percent

d

d Port Wine, lowest kind140 percent

d

d Madeira, highest kind2942 percent

d

d Madeira, lowest kind934 percent

d

d Lisbon894 percent

d

d Malaga726 percent

d

d Red Champagne130 percent

d

d White280 percent

d

d Currant Wine2025 percent

d

d

It follows that a man who drinks two glasses of most of the wines used has taken as much alcohol as if he had taken one glass of brandy or whisky, and why should he not as well drink the alcohol in the brandy as in the wine? What difference can it make in morals? What difference in its effects on his system? The experience of the world has shown that water, pure water, is the most wholesome, safe, and invigorating drink for man.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is very desirable when there is a marriage, to have Christ own and bless it. Those that would have Christ with them at their marriage, must invite him by prayer, and he will come. While in this world we sometimes find ourselves in straits, even when we think ourselves in fulness. There was want at a marriage feast. Those who are come to care for the things of the world, must look for trouble, and count upon disappointment. In our addresses to Christ, we must humbly spread our case before him, and then refer ourselves to him to do as he pleases. In Christ's reply to his mother there was no disrespect. He used the same word when speaking to her with affection from the cross; yet it is a standing testimony against the idolatry of after-ages, in giving undue honours to his mother. His hour is come when we know not what to do. Delays of mercy are not denials of prayer. Those that expect Christ's favours, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ's methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses' miracles was turning water into blood, Ex 7:20; the beginning of Christ's miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and make them comforts indeed. And Christ's works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ's works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best in its kind. Though Christ hereby allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, Lu 21:34. Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us, if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

This beginning of miracles - It was probably the first he ever wrought: - at any rate, it was the first he wrought after his baptism, and the first he wrought publicly.

His glory - His supreme Divinity: John 1:14.

His disciples believed on him - Were more abundantly confirmed in their faith, that he was either the promised Messiah, or a most extraordinary prophet, in the fullest intercourse with the ever blessed God.

Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 144-53

This chapter is based on John 2:1-11.

Jesus did not begin His ministry by some great work before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. At a household gathering in a little Galilean village His power was put forth to add to the joy of a wedding feast. Thus He showed His sympathy with men, and His desire to minister to their happiness. In the wilderness of temptation He Himself had drunk the cup of woe. He came forth to give to men the cup of blessing, by His benediction to hallow the relations of human life. DA 144.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 206

Ministers’ children are in some cases the most neglected children in the world, for the reason that the father is with them but little, and they are left to choose their own employment and amusement. If a minister has a family of boys, he should not leave them wholly to the care of the mother. This is too heavy a burden for her. He should make himself their companion and friend. He should exert himself to keep them from evil associates, and should see that they have useful work to do. It may be hard for the mother to exercise self-control. If the husband sees this, he should take more of the burden upon himself, doing all in his power to lead his boys to God. GW 206.1

Let the minister's wife who has children remember that in her home she has a missionary field in which she should labor with untiring energy and unflagging zeal, knowing that the results of her work will endure throughout eternity. Are not the souls of her children of as much value as the souls of the heathen? then let her tend them with loving care. She is charged with the responsibility of showing to the world the power and excellence of home religion. She is to be controlled by principle, not by impulse, and she is to work with the consciousness that God is her helper. She is to allow nothing to divert her from her mission. GW 206.2

The influence of the mother who has a close connection with Christ is of infinite worth. Her ministry of love makes the home a Bethel. Christ works with her, turning the common water of life into the wine of heaven. Her children will grow up to be a blessing and an honor to her in this life and in the life to come. GW 206.3

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 335

But on these very occasions, by His teachings, as well as by His generous conduct, He was enshrining Himself in the hearts of those whom He honored with His presence. He was giving them an opportunity to become acquainted with Him, and to see the marked contrast between His life and teachings and those of the Pharisees. GW 335.1

Those with whom God has entrusted His truth, must possess the same beneficent spirit that Christ manifested. They must adopt the same broad plans of action. They should have a kind, generous spirit toward the poor, and in a special sense feel that they are God's stewards. They must hold all they have—property, mental powers, spiritual strength—as not their own, but only lent them to advance the cause of Christ in the earth. Like Christ, they should not shun the society of their fellow-men, but should seek it with the purpose of bestowing upon others the heavenly benefits they have received from God. GW 335.2

*****

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 333

The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine. The wine that Christ made from water at the marriage feast of Cana was the pure juice of the grape. This is the “new wine ... found in the cluster,” of which the Scripture says, “Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it.” Isaiah 65:8. MH 333.1

It was Christ who, in the Old Testament, gave the warning to Israel, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1. He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. He never places before men that which would be a temptation. His whole life was an example of self-denial. It was to break the power of appetite that in the forty days’ fast in the wilderness He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour's blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil. MH 333.2

In the light of what the Scriptures, nature, and reason teach concerning the use of intoxicants, how can Christians engage in the raising of hops for beer making, or in the manufacture of wine or cider for the market? If they love their neighbor as themselves, how can they help to place in his way that which will be a snare to him? MH 333.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 356

He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet, performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above. MH 356.1

Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, “Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Solomon 4:7. MH 356.2

Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it; ... that it should be holy and without blemish.” “So ought men to love their wives.” Ephesians 5:25-28. MH 356.3

The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities. MH 356.4

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