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The Gospel of John II - Lesson 1

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    The Beginning of the Ministry of Christ                          John 2:1-25

  1. THE FIRST MIRACLE (John 2:1-12)
    1. The Setting for the Miracle (John2:1-5)
      1. The day of the miracle: a dispensational picture (John 2:1)
        1. A thousand years as a day (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8)
        2. The first four days (John 1:19, 29, 35, 43)
        3. The last three days (John 2:1; Hosea 6:1-3)
        4. The events of the seventh day (matching the thousand year reign – Revelation 20:4-6)
          1. Jesus attends a marriage feast (John 2:1-2; Revelation 19:1-9).
          2. Dead religion runs dry (John 2:3-6; Hebrews 9:14).
          3. Jesus provides new wine (John 2:7-10; Isaiah 55:1-3; Revelation 21:3-7).
          4. Jesus manifests His glory (John 2:11; Isaiah 40:5; Matthew 24:29-30).
      2. The definition of a marriage
        1. The attendance of Jesus at this marriage feast brings up the question of what constitutes a marriage. In recent years, some have taught on the basis of Genesis 2:23-24, Matthew 19:5-6, and 1 Corinthians 6:15-16 that the sexual joining of flesh is the point at which a marriage takes place. But there is much more to this in the teaching of scripture. First, look at the custom of marriage in the Bible.
          1. Differences in the Old Testament
            1. Polygamy allowed (Deuteronomy 21:15; 1 Samuel 1:1-6)
            2. Divorce allowed (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
            3. The teaching of Christ (Matthew 19:3-9)
          2. Choice of a wife made by the parents (Genesis 24:1-4); though sometimes the children might be consulted (Genesis 24:58)
          3. The husband and the wife were expected to love one another because God, through their parents, had selected them for each other; not because they were romantically attracted to one another.
          4. Love before marriage, though rare considering the lack of opportunity, was possible (Genesis 29:10-18; Judges 14:2; 1 Samuel 18:20).
          5. The marriage dowry
            1. The dowry was a gift from the young man to the young woman’s family as compensation for the loss of her services.  NOTE: Whereas the men remained a part of their immediate clan when they married, the women left to join the clan of their husband.
            2. The dowry was settled by negotiation between the parents of the girl and the representative of the young man and his parents (“the friend of the bridegroom” – John 3:29).
            3. Sometimes a dowry could be rendered in service (Genesis 29:18; 1 Samuel 18:25).
            4. Some of the dowry was usually given to the bride as a safety net in case the marriage failed (Luke 15:8-9).
            5. Sometimes the father of the bride would give a special wedding gift, or dowry, to his daughter (Genesis 24:59,61; Judges 1:15).
          6. The betrothal
            1. A promise of marriage was sometimes given.  This promise was much like a modern engagement and could be broken.
            2. In the betrothal, the two parties entered into a covenant (Ezekiel 16:8); one that required the equivalent of a divorce to disannul.
            3. The betrothal, though binding, did not allow physical union (Matthew 1:18-25).
            4. The betrothal included the signing of a written document and the giving of a ring or some other sign from the groom to the bride as a promise of future marriage.
            5. A year or so elapsed from the time of the betrothal to the actual wedding (Deuteronomy 20:7).
          7. Wedding ceremony
            1. Both the groom and the bride were dressed as elaborately as the family could afford or borrow (Jeremiah 2:32; Revelation 21:2); the groom was dressed as much like a king as possible (Isaiah 61:10).
            2. The bridegroom would go to the house of the bride in order to bring her to his house for the wedding (Matthew 25:1-10 – the ten virgins); he would bring her in a grand procession to his house (Jeremiah 7:34).
            3. At the house, the bride and groom would stand under a canopy as words of blessing on their marriage were given (John 2:1-11; Ruth 4:11).
            4. The ceremony was followed by a great wedding feast (John 2:8-9; Judges 14:12-18).
        2. Reasons a physical union is not identical to marriage in the Bible
          1. The Bible calls a wedding ceremony a marriage (John 2:1-2).
          2. The Samaritan woman had a man who was not her husband (John 4:16-18); though she had had five husbands.
          3. Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). This would not be possible if all physical unions were marriage.
          4. The reason fornication (and adultery) is such a great sin comes from the fact that it commits an act that is to be reserved for husband and wife (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). However, this does not make the act identical to marriage.
        3. Three biblical aspects of marriage
          1. The spiritual aspect (Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:6)
          2. The civil aspect (John 2:1-2)
          3. The physical aspect (1 Corinthians 6:16-20)
        4. Biblical teaching concerning divorce
          1. God opposes the practice of divorce (Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:3-8; Matthew 22:23-30).
          2. God recognizes the fact of divorce even when it is unscriptural (John 4:16-18); Note: There is no biblical teaching supporting the idea of “living in adultery.” Like murder, adultery is a sin that is committed. It has consequences and requires God’s forgiveness for a right relationship with Him. But divorce and remarriage does not constitute any sort of continual state of sinning.
          3. God allows for divorce when the marriage union has already been broken.
            1. Death (Romans 7:1-3)
            2. Adultery/fornication (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9)
            3. Desertion (1 Corinthians 7:10-15)
            4. Danger of life (as in an abusive situation) is not mentioned in scripture but would probably come under the principle of self-defense (Exodus 22:2-3).
          4. Unscriptural divorce and remarriage is adultery (Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
          5. God seems to allow for remarriage in the case of the victims in an allowed divorce. Certainly, this is the case with death (Romans 7:1-3) and it probably applies to desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15) and adultery (Matthew 5:32).
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:9

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?