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Sermon24-31 Jn2 Guide

John 2:1-11,13-22, theme verse John 2:23-25

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

In this sixth Sunday after the Pentecost, I pray that His grace of the application of all the benefits which Jesus earned for our salvation and also the glorious ministry of the proclamation of His kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit may be full in our life. Last week, we looked the Gospel of John through its prologue of chapter 1 that it was written by John the Apostle to let them to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing they may have a rich life in His name. This week, we would like to learn few lessons through the first Book of Signs from chapters 2-12 among the main body of the Gospel.

1)    The Gospel of John as the last book of Gospels was written by the Apostle John, around AD 90-100 for the Johannese communities who were faced up with the attack of the heresy on Jesus’ divinity and humanity, while experiencing also the growing persecution from the Roman Empire and Jewish communities, in order for them to believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing, they may have life in His name as written in John 20:31.

2)    And John wrote his Gospel in his own unique way, I mean, John structured his Gospel, in the way that between prologue and epilogue, he put the book of signs in which he put seven signs for Jesus as the Messiah and the book of glory in which Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection.

3)    In Today’s text, I mean, in the Book of Signs, John revealed Jesus’ character through four Jewish institutions such as the purification rite, temple, Rabbi and Jacob’s well, and Jewish feasts such as Sabbath, Pass Over, Tabernacle and the feast of Dedication, in other word, Hanukkah. And also through seven signs, John tried to reveal Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. But here in his Gospel, John used His own word, “sign” “semeion” in Greek, since Jesus’ miracles are not merely acts of power and might, yet unveil that God is at work in Jesus and indeed is present in him so that Jesus reveals his “glory,” radiating the presence of God, while the “miracle,” “dynamis in Greek which was used in the Synoptic Gospels emphasized the power and generally were received with awe by the peoples.

4)    In details, first of all, when we see the meaning of each Jewish institutions; In the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus did a sign that He changed water into wine through the stone jars which were used for the purification rite through which John tried to reveal that

a)     the kingdom of God which was inaugurated by the coming of Jesus is a feast like  a wedding

b)    and the stone jar purifies His people, Jesus transforms His people to the kingdom people through the fundamental transformation.

And then through Jesus’ purification of the temple when He saw His Father’s house became the house of trade, John tried to reveal that

a)     Jesus is true temple as Rev 21:22 says

b)    and He is the One who came to recover true worship in the temple.

And then in the following chapter 3, even though Nicodemus was a Rabbi who was specialized in the law, led synagogue and education, serving as a spiritual guide, through the fact that he did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, even after he saw signs that God was with Him and also did not understand the secret of being born again so that he was reprimanded, John tried to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah and true teacher of God’s law.

And then through the conversation with a sinful Samaritan woman whom the Jews so despised, John tried to reveal that

a)     Jesus is the living water far superior than Jacob’s well for just physical thirst

b)    and He came to recover true worship

And lastly in 4:43-54, after returning again to Cana where He started His journey, through the sign that Jesus healed a dying son of ruler, John tried to reveal that He came to raise His people through the faith in Him.

5)    And then, John introduced Jesus as the One who accomplished true meaning of Jewish fests from chapter 5. First in chapter 5, through the incident that Jesus healed a long-suffering lame in the pool of Bethesda, so that the Jews planned to kill Jesus since they thought that Jesus not only violated the Sabbath, but also blasphemy that Jesus treated him as the Father, John introduced Jesus as the One in whose name has the power to give the life, not being perished, as Jesus said that

a)     “My Father is working until now, so that I am working”

b)    and His authority came from God

c)     and even the final judgment was entrusted to His Son, as all these were written in the Bible.

To explain in more detail, while the Jews tried to keep the commandment of not to work in the Sabbath, yet they did not understand that in the Sabbath, they had to do in God’s way instead of their way, and to pursue God’s pleasure instead of their own joy and to speak in God’s word instead of their own words, as Is 58:13 says so that Jesus said He was doing the ministry of life as His Father has been doing until now.

And then in the chapter 6, through the Pass Over when all the first born were killed, yet the Israelites could avoid the death through the blood of the Pass over lamb, John tried to introduce Jesus as

a)     the Pass Over lamb who saved His people from their sins through vicarious death in the cross,

b)    and the bread of life as He fed five thousand people,

c)     with the divine power to walk on the water of Galilee as the Son of God

yet, other people and even the most of His disciples except twelve did not understand His words and left from Him.

And then through the Tabernacle, when the Israelites gave thanks to God after they harvested all the fall crops and fruits, remembering God’s provision in the wilderness, while residing in a booth with some branches, in the later, with water ceremony that they poured the water over the sacrifice from Siloam as Is 12:3 says “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation,” and also with the light ceremony at night, John tried to reveal that Jesus came as the light as He healed the blind and the word in John 7:38 “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” was said based on this water ceremony of the Tabernacle.

And finally, through the feast of dedication, Hanukkah, that celebrates the day when Maccabees of the Jewish Hasmonean family purified the temple in which the dead pigs were sacrificed by King Aniochus IV of the Seleucid Dynasty of the Greek Empire, as part of a policy to Hellenize Israel, John tried to introduce Jesus as the light of the world, as the Hanukkah lighted the candle for eight days and also He was the life of resurrection through the sign to raise the dead Lazarus.

In this way, John tried to reveal Jesus is the fulfillment and replacement of Judaism’s festivals and institutions. 

6)    As such, by providing seven great signs over the top of Jewish institutions and feasts that

a)     Jesus was the Messiah who would transform His people like He changed water into wine, after He inaugurated the kingdom of God like the wedding feast,

b)    and raised the people in faith

c)     and healed the long sickness

d)    and fed His people

e)     yet as the One who had the divine authority with that He could walk on water

f)     to open the blind from the birth and made him to see the truth

g)    and even to raise the dead,

John tried to testify Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.

7)    Through today’s Bible verses, we would like to learn few things. First of all, we would like to understand the reason why the Jews did not accept He was the Messiah whom they had been waiting for even though they saw many signs. That was because Jesus was not the Messiah as they wanted, I mean, the Messiah they wanted was the person who would establish their Israel in the glory of David politically again and the Messiah for them should be the person who should acknowledge and praise all the ways of their life so far and defend their vested interests. But, Jesus the Messiah who came from heaven was not that kind. Rather than establishing their dreaming nation, He was a shabby and insignificant person in their eyes, and even He denied their traditions and the way of their life. So there was only one way for them, I mean, to kill Him before more Jews who saw many signs believed in Him as Caiaphas, the high priest in that year said, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” Therefore, the faith that seeks signs is fraught with danger like this. Of course, even though it is not necessarily a bad thing to believe after seeing signs, yet, when seeking signs, we have to be very careful since we can easily want to see the signs as we want, as we can see from today’s text. And even if this is not the case, even as John the Baptist who saw the sign of the Holy Spirit on the Lord when He was baptized in chapter 1 and testified that He was the Son of God, but when he was imprisoned, weakened in faith, sent his disciples, asking to Jesus, “Are You the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?,” the faith which relies on signs is weak and even vain. Therefore I pray that all of us here will be able to please God with unwavering faith, believing without seeing, just as the Lord said.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 According to today’s text, we can know that the Jews who had been seeking for the signs crucified Jesus who showed lots of signs. Through this fact, we could know what signs they had been seeking for and also whom they had been waiting for. So after checking who the Messiah we are looking for is and what kinds of signs we are seeking for, I hope you could share your thought with your team members together.

Q2 And also, through these Jewish history, as recognizing how serious our sinfulness is and how difficult it is to escape from this sinfulness by our power and effort, I hope we could understand why Jesus said without the regeneration by the Holy Spirit we could not see the kingdom of God. After reviewing yourselves, I hope you could confess your sinfulness and pray for each other together.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or  even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized   ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon                                    )

Please help me to live in that (  learned way of life                                                )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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