What Time is It?… (John 2)

In John 2:1-5, Jesus and His disciples make their way to Cana to attend a wedding. While they are there, the hosts run out of wine. In Jesus’ day, having the wine run out was a big deal. Weddings were multi-day events and usually were large social gatherings.

When his mother brings the situation to Jesus’ attention (in v. 4), He gives an interesting response,

“Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

John intersperses into his gospel several allusions to Jesus’ impending “hour”. It is through these allusions that the reader begins to anticipate the arrival of that hour. 

Mary may have hoped He would take this opportunity to make Himself known. She may have been imagining a king and His kingdom! 

… but Jesus knew everything His “hour” would bring en route to His throne and glory.

Notice the other times in John’s gospel where this time stamp is mentioned…

  • John 7:6-8 – Jesus answers his brothers, “My time is not yet here…” and “My time has not yet fully come.”
  • John 7:30 – Jesus was not arrested because… “His hour had not yet come.” 
  • John 8:20 – No one seized him because… “His hour had not yet come.”

But then, about half-way through the gospel Jesus switches gears.

  • John 12:23 – “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
  • John 12:27 – Shall I say, “Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”
  • John 13:1 – “Jesus knowing that His hour had come…”
  • John 16:32 – “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come…”
  • John 17:1 – “Father, the hour has come…”

John makes explicit use of time as a metaphor for the approach of Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to glory. This is a package deal. Jesus’ hour begins with His death… but isn’t completed until His glory is re-established in heaven.

John uses this to create suspense and anticipation in Chapters 1-12, and then unveils the events of the hour in Chapters 13-21. It literarily splits the gospel down the middle. 

John’s allusion to time is just one of the topics I cover in The John Study video lesson for chapter two. You can watch the video below… or preview other videos (and download chapter lessons) from The John Study by visiting: THE JOHN STUDY VIDEOS page.

And listen to the Rethinking Scripture Podcast: Episode 4 – The Wedding Theme in John’s Gospel (John 2)

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