All men were in expectation of Messiah, but in addition, they were expecting the Prophet Elijah. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Mal. 4:5). Elijah was known to have worn rough clothing, and now along came John the Baptist wearing rough clothing and speaking with authority. Hence many thought he was the predicted Elijah. John spoke with such conviction that the people were willing to be baptized. And they assumed he was doing the very “Elijah” work predicted: “He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:6). The point is that the appearing of John the Baptist in this manner alerted and awakened the nation of Israel so that he could introduce Jesus as someone different.
Smith’s Bible Dictionary has some interesting comments about Cana. John 21:2 states that Nathanael came from Cana, and this could well be the connection as to how the disciples received invitations to the wedding there. Also, the name Cana means “place of reeds.” We think of reeds as writing instruments or the ingredient for making papyrus paper.
Another application of the water being changed into wine could pertain to the Kingdom. After the marriage of The Christ, the Old Law Covenant (the “water”) will be exchanged for the New Law Covenant (the “wine”). The stone water pots picture the stone tablets of the Law. Jesus “manifested forth his [future] glory” in this miracle. This phrase suggests that the incident is typical, that there is a lesson in regard to Jesus’ future glory.
The “hour” began at the First Advent in Israel, and Jerusalem did become a center of attraction in the beginning of the Gospel Age. After AD 69, Jerusalem lost significance for the Christian, and the worship of the Father in spirit and in truth became paramount. In the Kingdom too, Jerusalem will be the center of worship, education, etc., but it will fade out in time.
In verses 28 and 29, Jesus was speaking primarily of the Kingdom Age. Notice the two component parts: those who “have done good” and those who “have done evil.” Those who have done good would be the Little Flock, the Great Company, and the Ancient Worthies (the “spirits of just men made perfect”—Heb. 12:23). The Ancient Worthies will be raised perfect, having already proven faithful. When the Kingdom is established, the krisis period for each of these three classes will already have occurred, whereas the world will get their krisis period in the Kingdom.
“Damnation” (Greek krisis) means “judgment.” Krisis is translated “condemnation” in verse 24 and “judgment” in verse 27. The thought is of a trial period, not just a verdict. The Revised Standard Version has “resurrection of judgment,” that is, a resurrection of stripes and disciplines. Thus the nature of the judgment is shown rather than just final judgment.
Notice the word “immediately.” The disciples received Jesus into the boat, and immediately the boat was at their destination. As the writer of the last Gospel, John did not repeat all the details of the other Gospels but added new information, and this important detail had been overlooked. Apparently, the other writers just saw Jesus as stopping the wind and calming the elements. However, as Jesus stepped into the boat, it was at land—immediately. This incident shows his control of the elements (as does his walking on the sea). It also has an antitypical fulfillment (as does the earlier incident where he was asleep in the boat during the storm).
Verse 1 is a preface to the rest of Chapter 7. “After these things” would mean after the feeding of the multitudes and the subsequent explanation on the other side of Galilee with regard to Jesus’ being the bread from heaven, etc. In addition, the other Gospels tell that Jesus then went to Jerusalem to observe the Passover, after which he returned home to the Galilee area. Thus there was a six-month time gap between the end of Chapter 6 and verse 2 of Chapter 7. “Jewry” was Judea. When Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover, some of the Jews sought to kill him. Therefore, he did not linger there but returned home before they could make plans to apprehend him.
Notice Jesus’ reply: “Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.” The Jews’ question is astounding: “Who art thou?” Not only had Jesus been telling them all along, but they should have been able to figure out who he was because of his miracles. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his apprehenders, “Why do you come after me at night? I have boldly, throughout my ministry, stated these things to you frequently, yet you apprehend me like a thief.” And at his trial, they asked what he had been saying when he had taught over and over, and they should have known. He spoke openly of his purpose in appearing before them as a teacher. The point is, if one is not sympathetic to the words spoken by another, it is like talking to a stone wall. The reasoning will not get through no matter how plainly stated.
Jesus called the sheep his own, but he purchased them with his own life. The Good Shepherd gave his life for the sheep. Getting the sheep cost him something, whereas there was no cost to the hireling. The hireling was on the receiving end, not the giving end; consequently, his rapport with the sheep was much inferior (there were far less concern and interest).
Under the Law, if a wolf came and devoured a sheep, the shepherd was required to bring back a piece of the sheep to prove that he had risked his own life to try to save the sheep. Spiritually speaking, one might risk his own reputation to defend a brother who is being attacked.
Apparently, Jesus decided to return to Judea when Lazarus died. Thus Jesus’ initial delay, which John observed, was very significant. The other disciples were probably preoccupied with other matters, and hence they missed this observation. Jesus’ delay was the same principle as “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22). Our minds should be on the more important matters. There are two ways of viewing Jesus’ statement in verses 9 and 10, namely, from his standpoint and from the apostles’ standpoint. All of them had responsibilities, and there are practical lessons either way. Jesus was saying that he would not waste his time by traveling during the daylight hours. He used the daytime to minister to others as he made his way to Judea. And the disciples should have realized the importance of, and capitalized on, his preaching—on all the fragments of opportunity.
Judas’s remark, “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for 300 pence and given to the poor?” sounded very noble, but it was not his real reason. His argument seemed to be sensible, for 300 pence could have helped a lot of poor people, but we must watch lest we do similarly in our reasoning. Jesus cannot be equated with the poor. Jesus said, “The poor are with you always,” but he would not be there with them always (Matt. 26:11 paraphrase). Hence Judas made a false appraisal. He was the treasurer—he held “the bag” (John 12:6)—but he was a thief as well and hence was really looking for ways to benefit himself. Nevertheless, his reasoning sounded very plausible.
Sometimes Christians also use false reasoning. For example, some are very magnanimous with the property and possessions of other people. They are only too willing to sacrifice the property of others, not the property of self. They will control the lives of others, write their wills, etc.