The First of the New Creation Signs (John 2:1-11)

Date: 1/20/2019
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: new creation
Organization: All Saints
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The First of the New Creation Signs (John 2:1-11)                            Dr. Gregg Strawbridge
John 2:1–11 - On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus *said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

The Seven + One New Creation (Signs in John)?
1. New Creator: Water into wine (2:1-11); Sixth Day (since Spirit on Water)?    2. Redeemer/Healer: Prevents death of nobleman’s son (4:46ff)?        3. True Sabbath: The paralyzed man at the pool (5:2-9)?            4. Bread of Life: Multiplication of loaves (6:1-14)?        5. Light of the World: Born blind, healed on Sabbath (9:1-7)?    6. Resurrection & Life: Delays/death then raises Lazarus (11:1-44)?7. Living Water: Water & blood on the cross (19:34-35); Sixth Day (Good Friday)?+ 8. New Adam/Gardener: The resurrection (20:1-29) “First Day” (8th Day)

The First Sign of the New Creation - This passage is well known and so I will focus on the larger theological meaning rather than other details. Jesus manifests Himself in St. John as His “hour” approaches. This is the first such “sign” (2:10). In this event Jesus makes from water the “good wine” (kalos oinos) on the request of His mother. This manifested several things: That Jesus obeyed His mother; He anticipated in this event “His hour” (the cross-resurrection); new creation was bursting on the scene of the fallen world; new creation promised in Messiah was like great feast; and especially that Jesus is worthy of our trust as the One who brings new life. In the words of verse 11, “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” (Compare with the last sign: “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out,”19:34–35).??The

Third Day of the Old Creation - In John’s code, “and in the third day” (lit. trans.) is pregnant with all of this new creation/old creation, death/resurrection, water/blood/wine. It is “a comparison of the first week of the new creation with the work of creation (Boismard, cited in Beasley-Murray, WBC). It is suggested in poetic fashion with a simple allusion. To unravel it consider: there is a connection to “in three days” (2:19) of Jesus’s death-resurrection, meaning Sunday. This would point to the first day of the new Christian week. But there’s more. Taking the sequence from the beginning of the days (1:29), it is the third day after Jesus met Nathanael. This would be Day Six since His baptism (1:29, 35, 39, 43). This implies a “six days of creation” connection, corresponding to the six day week of Genesis 1. It begins with the Spirit on the water (1:33) and ends with the Sixth Day wedding feast (cf. Adam and Eve). Note also that there is a parallelism between the Third Day and the Sixth Day (in Gen. 1). This view is also affirmed in the parallelism of the signs. Sign 1 (on the Sixth Day) corresponds to Sign 7 (cross) which happened literally on the Sixth Day of the old creation (Good Friday), on which Pilate declared, “Behold the man” (19:5).?

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more