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OneBook: The Gospel of John

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  1. Introduction

    Welcome to the OneBook Daily-Weekly
  2. Week One - Jesus Changes Water into Wine and Clears the Temple Courts
    Week One: Introduction
  3. Week One: Day One - Wedding Faux Pas
  4. Week One: Day Two - Saving The Best for Last
  5. Week One: Day Three - Trailing Clouds of Glory
  6. Week One: Day Four - Temple Tantrum
  7. Week One: Day Five - A Temple Raised in Record Time
  8. Week One: Gathering
  9. Week Two - Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
    Week Two: Introduction
  10. Week Two: Day One - Night Vision
  11. Week Two: Day Two - Twice Born
  12. Week Two: Day Three - Lifted Up
  13. Week Two: Day Four - Love's Gift
  14. Week Two: Day Five - Final Verdict
  15. Week Two: Gathering
  16. Week Three - Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman
    Week Three: Introduction
  17. Week Three: Day One - Oh, Well
  18. Week Three: Day Two - Thirst Quencher
  19. Week Three: Day Three - All Will Be Revealed
  20. Week Three: Day Four - Food for Thought
  21. Week Three: Day Five - The Test of Testimony
  22. Week Three: Gathering
  23. Week Four - Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
    Week Four: Introduction
  24. Week Four: Day One - Born Blind
  25. Week Four: Day Two - Holy Spit!
  26. Week Four: Day Three - Prophet and Loss
  27. Week Four: Day Four - Passing the Buck
  28. Week Four: Day Five - Redeemer to the Rescue
  29. Week Four: Gathering
  30. Week Five - The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
    Week Five: Introduction
  31. Week Five: Day One - Sheep-Stealing
  32. Week Five: Day Two - Calling Them by Name
  33. Week Five: Day Three - Abandon Doubt, All Ye Who Enter Here
  34. Week Five: Day Four - The Owner Versus the Hired Hand
  35. Week Five: Day Five - Other Sheep Not of This Fold
  36. Week Five: Gathering
  37. Week Six - Lazarus Raised from the Dead
    Week Six: Introduction
  38. Week Six: Day One - A Dire Situation
  39. Week Six: Day Two - Martha Confronts Jesus
  40. Week Six: Day Three - Mary, Did You Know?
  41. Week Six: Day Four - An Heir-Raising Incident
  42. Week Six: Day Five - The Plot Thickens and Sickens
  43. Week Six: Gathering
  44. Week Seven - Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
    Week Seven: Introduction
  45. Week Seven: Day One - A Prophetic Anointing
  46. Week Seven: Day Two - When Love Comes to Town
  47. Week Seven: Day Three - The Greeks Come Calling
  48. Week Seven: Day Four - A Voice from on High
  49. Week Seven: Day Five - Crowd Control
  50. Week Seven: Gathering
  51. Week Eight - The Last Supper
    Week Eight: Introduction
  52. Week Eight: Day One - Prime Time
  53. Week Eight: Day Two - Peter Puts His Foot in His Mouth
  54. Week Eight: Day Three - The Imitation of Christ
  55. Week Eight: Day Four - "Lord, Is It I?"
  56. Week Eight: Day Five - Simon Says
  57. Week Eight: Gathering
  58. Week Nine - Farewell Discourse
    Week Nine: Introduction
  59. Week Nine: Day One - The Genuine Divine Vine
  60. Week Nine: Day Two - The Love Command
  61. Week Nine: Day Three - Hate Crimes
  62. Week Nine: Day Four - The Advocate
  63. Week Nine: Day Five - Unbearable Truths
  64. Week Nine: Gathering
  65. Week Ten - The Death of Jesus
    Week Ten: Introduction
  66. Week Ten: Day One - The King and the Governor
  67. Week Ten: Day Two - The Son of Abba and the Son of God
  68. Week Ten : Day Three - No King but Caesar
  69. Week Ten: Day Four - The Title and the Robe
  70. Week Ten: Day Five - The Last Will and Testament of the King
  71. Week Ten: Gathering
  72. Week Eleven - Jesus' Resurrection and Appearances
    Week Eleven: Introduction
  73. Week Eleven: Day One - Tomb Raiders
  74. Week Eleven: Day Two - Mary, Mary Extraordinary
  75. Week Eleven: Day Three - The First Sunday Night Appearance
  76. Week Eleven: Day Four - Just Another Sunday Night, Until...
  77. Week Eleven: Day Five - The Purpose of This Good News
  78. Week Eleven: Gathering
  79. Week Twelve - Jesus' Appearance by the Sea of Galilee
    Week Twelve: Introduction
  80. Week Twelve: Day One - Let's Go Fishing
  81. Week Twelve: Day Two - The Light Dawns
  82. Week Twelve: Day Three - Breakfast by the Sea
  83. Week Twelve: Day Four - Do You Really Love Me?
  84. Week Twelve: Day Five - Don't Look Back
  85. Week Twelve: Gathering
Lesson 4 of 85
In Progress

Week One: Day Two – Saving The Best for Last

John 2:6–10 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Understanding the Word. Recent archaeological work in and around Cana has unearthed numerous mikvaoth—ritual purification pools where Jews would go to remove ceremonial uncleanness. The six stone water jars in our story were for holding just such purification water for ceremonial cleansing. The picture of Jews in this region is that they were often devout, and particular about keeping the laws regarding clean and unclean. This family for whom the wedding is held was certainly a Torah-observant family. We are told that each stone jar (stone because according to Jewish thinking it could not become unclean or polluted) could hold twenty to thirty gallons! And Jesus was about to turn it all to wine! It may well be this story that got Jesus the reputation that he was “a drunkard” as well as a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19). Whatever else you say about Jesus, he seems to have spent more time during the ministry feasting than fasting, and in this regard he stood apart from the praxis of his cousin John the Baptizer. The image of Jesus here is not of a killjoy, more nearly the life of the party, or at least the one who gives life to the party.

Notice that the only ones in the story who know a miracle has happened are Jesus, his mother, the disciples, and the servants involved in filling the jars with water and then dipping the new wine out to take to the toast- master. Despite the fact that the miracles in this gospel are stupendous, the Evangelist does not suggest that Jesus used miracles to wow people into the kingdom of God. He does reveal some of his glory to a select few in this story, but he does not make a big deal of the miracle or even make a pronouncement explaining it and taking credit. The impression all four Gospels give is that Jesus’ main ministry was preaching and teaching, and he set out to various places for that purpose. But where a need arose, as was at this wedding, he was prepared to stay to heal or help. This is presumably because Jesus knew that miracles were, at best, temporary solutions or cures, whereas the acceptance of the gospel message was the key to having everlasting life.

Nothing happens in these Johannine stories by accident, and the climax where we hear “but you have saved the best till now” is a double entendre—it refers not only to the best wine served last at this wedding party, but it likely also reminds that God, after a long line of prophets, priests, and kings, has finally sent his Son to rescue the world. What he brings is the new wine of the gospel, the new wine of salvation, which is truly the best wine of all. And note that there is more than enough of it for all as well. More to the point, Jesus replaces the old, lifeless ceremonial water, which could do no more than cleanse the outside of a person, with the new wine of the gospel, which can make the heart glad.


  1. Why doesn’t Jesus make more of a public display and explanation of this miracle?
  2. What does Jesus’ turning of water into actual wine tell you about him? Was he an ascetic like his cousin John?
  3. Why is the toastmaster so surprised at the outcome of Jesus’ action?