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Notes for Epiphany 2 – John 2:1-11

by pastorjuhl ~ January 12th, 2009

Pius Parsch “The Church’s Year of Grace”

Why Christ appeared on earth is precisely what the Church tells us on the Sundays after Epiphany (1:307).

All His miracles, indeed His whole life, should serve as a reflection of His activity in the Church; for the end and purpose of all His work on earth was mankind’s salvation (1:313).

The most high God, the God of inaccessible majesty, comes to us unhappy men in the garb of man. His desire is to be Emmanuel, God with and among us…. The splendor of the Godhead would have frightened us away; therefore God came to us in the garb of human nature. He came in the form of a brother and friend so that we should come to Him in all our needs, even as He on His part willed to obtain firsthand knowledge, as it were, of the whole drama and tragedy of mankind. He came to relieve our sorry lot, to free us from the dungeon of hell, from the bondage to the flesh and sin (1:306f).

In the solemn reading of the Gospel the Church is not merely retelling an event in the life of Christ; rather, she intends to make Christ and His work present “in symbol”. For this reason the chanting of the Gospel is surrounded by the highest marks of honor, such as would be proper only to Christ personally present – candles, incense, kissing the book, the sign of the cross, all in a standing position (1:313f).

Raymond Brown, “Anchor Bible Commentary on John”

John never calls (the mother of Jesus) Mary. (My comment: John calls her “mother of Jesus” as a title of respect.)

ti emoi kai soi is a Semitism. Brown explains two shades of meaning: 1. When one party is unjustly bothering another, i.e., “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” 2. When someone is asked to get involved in a matter which he feels is no business of his, i.e., “That is your business; how am I involved?”. The saying carries refusal of an inopportune involvement and a divergence between the views of the two people concerned. There is some hostility and some disengagement. The demons in Mark chapter one say this with hostility. Jesus says it with disengagement. Christ’s hour of glory has not come. Yet Mary desires Christ’s hellp. Perhaps she is making a simple statement of fact.

John tells us what the sign accomplished: through it Jesus revealed His glory and His disciples believed in Him. Thus, the first sign had the same purpose that all the subsequent signs will have, namely, revelation about the person of Jesus (1:103).

In view of this consistent theme of replacement, it seems obvious that, in introducing Cana as the first in a series of signs to follow, the evangelist intends to call attention to the replacement of the water prescribed for Jewish purification by the choicest of wines. This replacement is a sign of who Jesus is, namely, the One sent by the Father who is now the only way to the Father. All previous religious institutions, customs, and feasts lose meaning in His presence. (1:104)

Blessed Martin Luther’s House Postil

The disciples are to recognize from this miracle that Jesus is the Son of God and the true Messiah, since He is able to do what no other humand being is able to do, namely, alter the nature of created things by changing water into wine. Such power belongs solely to God, the Lord of creation. This miracle, therefore, serves chiefly to teach us Who Christ is, and to seek His help and mercy with confidence whenever in need. He will supply it at the proper time.

Blessed Johann Gerhard’s Postil

Mary secretly in her heart thought that the Lord Christ was subject to her also in the work of the office of mediator because of her motherly authority. However, Christ teaches with this answer that neither Mary nor any other person should or can prescribe to Him what to do in His official works.

Christ is the almighty Son of God, the essential Word by which everything was created in the beginning. For no one is able to change essentially the creation; only the Lord and Creator of all creatures can.

All miracles of Christ relate to and call for faith; God’s Word and His miracles are the two pillars and the foundation of faith. For from the Word and promises we come to know His gracious will; from the miracles we come to know His divine omnipotence upon which the trusting heart from now on must found and establish itself.

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