SUMMARY.--The Marriage at Cana. The Water Made Wine. The Passover. Jesus at Jerusalem. The Temple Cleansed. The Resurrection Foretold.
11. Manifested forth his glory. This was the first supernatural manifestation of his divine power; that he by whom all things were made controlled the powers of nature. His disciples believed on him. They already believed, but their faith was made firmer.
12. After this he went down to Capernaum. From the hilly region of Cana to the low-lying shore of the Sea of Galilee. His mother and his brethren. Catholics and some Protestants have held that these "brethren" were not brothers in the flesh, but kinsmen. The phrase, "his brethren," occurs nine times in the Gospels, and once in Acts. The natural interpretation is always that they were his brothers, sons of Mary. Two places ( Matt. 13:55 Mark 6:3 ) mention his sisters. Had it not been for the dogma that Mary remained a virgin, a dogma that has no foundation in the Scriptures, it would never have been doubted that these "brethren" and "sisters" were her children.
13. The Jews' passover was at hand. See Exodus, chapter 12 , for institution of the passover. It was celebrated yearly at Jerusalem. This is the first that the Lord attended after he began his ministry, and of this attendance there is no mention in the other Gospels.
14. Found in the temple. In the Court of the Gentiles, which was within the temple walls. Those that sold oxen and sheep and doves. These were for the sacrifices. The great crowds who came to Jerusalem at this time could not bring victims, and the traffic in oxen, sheep, kids and doves became enormous. It would have been proper enough if it had been conducted at stockyards, but the priests made a monopoly of it and installed it right in the temple. The Court of the Gentiles, "a house of prayer for all nations" ( Mark 11:15-19 ), was filled with cattle, ordure, and the din of traffic. The changers of money. Every Jew paid a half-shekel annually to the support of the temple ( Exod. 30:13 ), but Gentile money was the coin in usual circulation, and this was refused at the temple. These money brokers, agents of the priests, furnished Jewish coin at a heavy charge. Edersheim says that this traffic alone cleared the priests what would be equivalent to about $300,000 a year.
15. Made a scourge of small cords. Rather as a symbol than for use. Drove them all out. He had the right to cleanse his Father's house and here first asserts his authority. The traffickers fled before his glance, awed by a superhuman majesty.
16. Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise. How often still the Father's house is so desecrated! This cleansing was a different one from that which occurred three years later at the close of his ministry ( Matt. 21:12 ).
17. The zeal of thine house. Quoted from Psalm 69:9 .
18. What sign? The Jewish officials demand some sign that would demonstrate that he had authority over the temple.
19-22. Destroy this temple. His own body. The sign that he would give the Jewish nation was his Resurrection. The Jews did not understand him, nor his own disciples, until after he rose from the dead. Forty and six years. It had been forty-six years since Herod the Great began the reconstruction of the temple, and it was not yet entirely completed. When Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrim, these words were brought up as blasphemy.
23. Many believed. The miracles wrought that they saw at this time are not recorded. They are alluded to again in 3:2 . These believed that he was a man sent from God, but did not trust in him as the Christ. The nature of their belief is stated in 3:2 .