The third day we find in chapter 2. A marriage takes place in Galilee.
Jesus is there; and the water of purification is changed into the wine of
joy for the marriage-feast. Afterwards at Jerusalem He cleanses the temple
of God with authority, executing judgment on all those who profaned it. In
principle these are the two things that characterise His millennial
position. Doubtless these things took place historically; but, as
introduced here and in this manner, they have evidently a wider meaning.
Besides, why the third day? After what? Two days of testimony had taken
place-that of John, and that of Jesus; and now blessing and judgment are
accomplished. In Galilee the remnant had their place; and it is the scene
of blessing, according to Isaiah 9-Jerusalem is that of judgment. At the
feast He would not know His mother: this was the link of His natural
relation with Israel, which, looking at Him as born under the law, was His
mother. He separates Himself from her to accomplish blessing. It is only in
testimony therefore in Galilee, for the moment. It is when He returns that
the good wine will be for Israel-true blessing and joy at the end.
Nevertheless He still abides with His mother, whom, as to His work, He did
not acknowledge. And this also was the case with regard to His connection
Afterwards, in judging the Jews and judicially cleansing the temple, He
presents Himself as the Son of God. It is His Father's house. The proof of
this which He gives is His resurrection, when the Jews should have rejected
and crucified Him. Moreover He was not only the Son: it was God who was
there-not in the temple. It was empty-that house built by Herod. The body
of Jesus was now the true temple. Sealed by His resurrection, the
scriptures and the word of Jesus were of divine authority to the disciples,
as speaking of Him according to the intention of the Spirit of God.
This subdivision of the book ends here. It closes the earthly revelation of
Christ including His death; but even so it is the sin of the world. Chapter
2 gives the millennium; chapter 3 is the work in and for us which qualifies
for the kingdom on earth or heaven; and the work for us, closing Messiah's
connection with the Jews, opens the heavenly things by the lifting up of
the Son of man-divine love and eternal life.
The miracles that He wrought convinced many as to their natural
understanding. No doubt it was sincerely; but a just human conclusion. But
another truth now opens. Man, in his natural state,
[see note #16]
was really incapable of receiving the things of God; not that the testimony
was insufficient to convince him, nor that he was never convinced: many
were so at this time; but Jesus did not commit Himself to them. He knew
what man was. When convinced, his will, his nature, was not altered. Let
the time of trial come, and he would shew himself as he was, alienated from
God, and even His enemy. Sad but too true testimony! The life, the death,
of Jesus proves it. He knew it when He began His work. This did not make
His love grow cold; for the strength of that love was in itself.