Daily Bible Reading for August 2, 2014, with Commentary: John 1-2
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Author: John, son of Zebedee, a disciple of Jesus Christ
Date: Approximately AD 90, sixty years after the accession of Christ
Context: The Gospel of John is not written in chronological order. John focuses on the messages of Christ, what He had to say, as opposed to His miracles. Unlike the other three Gospels, John skips over the earthly birth of Jesus Christ, instead introducing Him as the Son of God, the Word. Note that Jesus is not called by His earthly name (Jesus Christ) until 17 verses into the book. Before His earthly birth, Jesus was not known as Jesus, a point John was stressing. He, the Word, became Jesus Christ, for us, so that we may understand God. John also introduces John the Baptist, although not by that title. John was the forerunner to Christ, but is quick to acknowledge that he is not Christ. He is merely preparing the way. The remainder of chapter 1 introduces several of the disciples and their first conversation with Jesus. Although John did not write in chronological order, the events of chapter 2 follow shortly after the previous events. The response of Jesus to His mother’s request can be mystifying. To some it comes across as angry, or perhaps flippant - “what do you expect me to do about it?” Jesus would not disrespect His mother, though, so how to understand His comment? Jesus was telling His mother that He was on God’s timetable. He would be revealed for who He was when God allowed. Nevertheless, Jesus honored His mother’s request and did as she asked, but perhaps not in the way she expected. Next, Jesus cleaned out the temple. Confused? Thought this happened later? You are not alone. Scholars have debated this for years, with different theories gaining and waining in popularity. Regardless, Jesus was appalled that His Father’s house had become a common market! This is a warning to all churches to remain focused on the Lord. Jesus also predicts His death when confronted by the Pharisees. The disciples would later remember His words after His death.
World History: During the time of Jesus, providing wine was the responsibility of the host. Failing to have enough wine on hand during a celebration was a social disaster resulting in family disgrace, humiliation, and insult. Jesus’ remark to the Pharisees that He would rebuild the temple in three days would have been considered laughable. Have you ever seen or been part of a church that was building or expanding. Do you know how long it takes? Between the planning, raising of funds, and actual construction, it typically takes years! The temple in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus had been under construction for 46 years! How would one man rebuild it in three days?! Of course, Jesus was not talking about the physical temple, but rather His body.