John 2

The First Sign Worked by Jesus

Chapter 2

The Wedding Feast at Cana.[a] 1 On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana[b] in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. 3 When the wine was exhausted, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus responded, “Woman,[c] what concern is this to us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now standing nearby there were six stone water jars, of the type used for Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus instructed the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When they had filled them to the brim, 8 he ordered them, “Now draw some out and take it to the chief steward,” and they did so.

9 When the chief steward tasted the water that had become wine, he did not know where it came from, although the servants who had drawn the water knew. The chief steward called over the bridegroom 10 and said, “Everyone serves the choice wine first, and then an inferior vintage when the guests have been drinking for a while. However, you have saved the best wine until now.”[d]

11 Jesus performed this, the first of his signs,[e] at Cana in Galilee, thereby revealing his glory, and his disciples believed in him. 12 After this, he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brethren,[f] and his disciples, and they remained there for a few days.

Worship of the Father in Spirit and Truth[g]

The Mystery of the New Temple

Jesus Casts the Merchants Out of the Temple.[h]13 When the time of the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, including the sheep and the cattle. He also overturned the tables of the money changers, scattering their coins, 16 and to those who were selling the doves he ordered, “Take them out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18 The Jews then challenged him, “What sign can you show us to justify your doing this?” 19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews responded, “This temple has taken forty-six years to build, and you are going to raise it up in three days!” 21 But the temple he was talking about was the temple of his body. 22 After he had risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

The Mystery of the New Covenant

23 Jesus in Jerusalem.[i]While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many people saw the signs he was performing and came to believe in his name. 24 However, Jesus would not entrust himself to them because he fully understood them all. 25 He did not need evidence from others about man, for he clearly understood men.


  1. John 2:1 The evangelist calls special attention to the presence of the Mother of Jesus. Her role is to call Jesus to the cross and then stand by him in his Passion (Jn 19:25-26).
  2. John 2:1 Cana was five miles northeast of Nazareth.
  3. John 2:4 Woman: a universal address from son to mother; it is used again in Jn 19:26, where its meaning becomes evident: Mary is the new Eve, mother of the living (Gen 3:15, 20). My hour has not yet come: the hour is that of Jesus’ glorification and return to the Father (see Jn 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1; 19:27). It is determined by the Father and cannot be anticipated. The miracle worked at Mary’s intercession is a prophetic symbol of it.
  4. John 2:10 The first wine represents the first Covenant, the second better wine represents the New Covenant. Jesus is prefiguring the Messianic banquet.
  5. John 2:11 Signs: a term used by John to indicate Jesus’ miracles, emphasizing the significance rather than the marvelous character of the event (see Jn 4:54; 6:14; 9:16; 11:47). These signs reveal Jesus’ glory (Jn 1:14, Isa 35:1-2; Joel 4:18; Am 9:13).
  6. John 2:12 Brethren: that is, his close relatives. See notes on Mt 12:46-50 and 12:47.
  7. John 2:13 The author of the fourth Gospel brings us from one Jewish feast to another; he seems to want to make them the points of reference with which to link the discourses of Jesus.
    The incidents that follow are therefore connected with the feast of Passover. They attest that Jesus has come to establish a new and spiritual worship that is no longer reserved to a single people or to a place.
  8. John 2:13 Passover is the feast of Unleavened Bread, a sign of renewal (see Ex 12:15). Jesus knows, better than the Prophets (Isa 1:11; Jer 7:4; Am 5:21), that his Father has nothing to do with this traffic in sacrifices and offerings, if the interior gift of the heart is lacking.
    In fact, in the evangelist’s view, this temple of stone has already lost its function, and the true dwelling of the Father among human beings will be the humanity of the risen Jesus, who is the focal point of all worship. The construction of the new temple in Jerusalem had been begun by Herod the Great in 20–19 B.C. According to v. 20, then, we are in the year A.D. 27–28.
  9. John 2:23 To be filled with wonder at what Jesus can do, as was Nicodemus, is not yet faith. Faith is acceptance of the testimony of Jesus about God and about the plan of Jesus. Faith is another life, a transformed existence. The flesh—i.e., we with our material and intellectual possibilities—does not have the power to transform our life.
    This transformation comes like the wind—mysterious and surprising—the same word in Hebrew and Greek expressing spirit and wind. The idea here is to bring to mind an event (rebirth) in which God alone has the initiative. Only those who open themselves to the Spirit, those who want to be reborn in Baptism and transformed as children of God, can believe in the new life that Jesus reveals and whose source is the Spirit—for they live it as by a gift.

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