New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:1 Cana. Cana, a small town near Nazareth, was the home of Nathanael (John 21:2).
2:1 mother of Jesus. Mary is never called by name in John’s gospel. Note John 19:25-27.
2:3 wanted wine. In view of the long trip from Bethabara to Cana, it is probable that Jesus and the disciples arrived late to the wedding, only to find that the guests had exhausted the wine supply and had “well drunk” (literally, had “become drunken”—see John 2:10).
2:4 with thee. This question was not disrespectful but somewhat sad. Literally, Jesus said: “Woman what to me and to thee?” meaning, “Is there anything we have in common?” The Lord rebuked drunkenness (e.g., Luke 21:34), yet His mother not only seemed to tolerate it but now was asking for still more wine for the already drunken guests.
2:4 hour. Mary should have remembered what her son’s mission was not to meet temporal (and questionable) social needs, and certainly not to encourage sinful behavior, but rather to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). On more than one occasion, He had to remind people that “my time is not yet come” (John 7:6; 8:20). Finally, however, He did come to that hour, and so testified (John 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).
2:5 do it. Somewhat rebuked by Jesus’ response to her desire for Him to get more wine for the guests, she is never shown again in Scripture as requesting or demanding anything from Jesus. Instead, the only command the record shows on her part, anywhere in Scripture, is this one. Simply: “Do whatever Jesus says!” No doubt she would say the same to us today.
2:6 six waterpots. These six waterpots (normally used for washing feet, etc.) would contain when full about 150 gallons. This much additional intoxicating wine would certainly be too much for guests who were already drunk, and it is inconceivable that Jesus would provide such.
2:6 firkins. A “firkin” was a “fourth” of a barrel of water, or about nine English gallons.
2:10 have well drunk. “Have well drunk” is one word in the Greek (methuo) meaning simply “are drunk,” and is translated with this meaning in every other instance (e.g., Matthew 24:49) where it is used.
2:10 the good wine. This “good wine” had been miraculously created by the Creator, and was brand new, with no time to ferment and become old, intoxicating wine. The Greek word oinos was used for the juice of grapes in general, the same word for both unfermented and fermented wine, with the context determining which. The decay process, utilizing leaven (always in Scripture representing corruption) to convert good fresh wine into old intoxicating wine, could not have acted in this case, because Christ Himself had created the wine in its originally intended form before sin and decay entered the world. In this form, it was certainly the best wine, having all the health-giving, joy-inspiring character it was created to exhibit in the beginning. It was probably the same wine which Christ will provide in “that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29), and will certainly not induce drunkenness.
2:11 beginning of miracles. This is the first of the seven great “miracles,” or “signs” (same Greek word) which John describes in order to persuade his readers to believe on Jesus Christ (John 20:30-31). Like the other six (see John 4:49-54; 5:5-9; 6:5-14; 6:16-21; 9:1-7; 11:41-44), this first miracle was a miracle of creation (as distinct from miracles of providence, which only control rates and timing of natural processes). It required the direct creative power of the Creator, superseding the law of entropy, in order to cause an instantaneous increase of complexity, transmuting the simple molecular structure of water into the much more complex structure of new wine.