The First Sign

John 2:1-4:42

21The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. 3When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him,


They have no wine.

4Jesus said to her,


Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.

5His mother said to the servants,


Whatever he says to you, do it.

6Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three metretes* apiece. 7Jesus said to them,


Fill the water pots with water.

They filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them,


Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.

So they took it. 9When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, 10and said to him,


Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!

11This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
12After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. 13The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. 15He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. 16To those who sold the doves, he said,


Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!

17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”*
18The Jews therefore answered him,


What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?

19Jesus answered them,


Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20The Jews therefore said,


It took forty-six years to build this temple! Will you raise it up in three days?

21But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
23Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. 24But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, 25and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.
31Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2The same came to him by night, and said to him,


Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.

3Jesus answered him,


Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew,* he can’t see God’s Kingdom.

4Nicodemus said to him,


How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5Jesus answered,


Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into God’s Kingdom! 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Don’t marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 8The wind* blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

9Nicodemus answered him,


How can these things be?

10Jesus answered him,


Are you the teacher of Israel, and don’t understand these things? 11Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don’t receive our witness. 12If I told you earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. 14As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.

22After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. 23John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. 24For John was not yet thrown into prison. 25There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John’s disciples with some Jews about purification. 26They came to John, and said to him,


Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.

27John answered,


A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before him.’ 29He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full. 30He must increase, but I must decrease. 31He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 33He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 34For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 35The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 36One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys* the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

41Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but his disciples), 3he left Judea, and departed into Galilee. 4He needed to pass through Samaria. 5So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.* 7A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her,


Give me a drink.

8For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9The Samaritan woman therefore said to him,


How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?

(For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
10Jesus answered her,


If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.

11The woman said to him,


Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. So where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?

13Jesus answered her,


Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

15The woman said to him,


Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.

16Jesus said to her,


Go, call your husband, and come here.

17The woman answered,


I have no husband.

Jesus said to her,


You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ 18for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.

19The woman said to him,


Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.

21Jesus said to her,


Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 22You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

25The woman said to him,


I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.

26Jesus said to her,


I am he, the one who speaks to you.

27At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” 28So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people,


29Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?

30They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 31In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying,


Rabbi, eat.

32But he said to them,


I have food to eat that you don’t know about.

33The disciples therefore said to one another,


Has anyone brought him something to eat?

34Jesus said to them,


My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 35Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.

39From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified,


He told me everything that I did.

40So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 41Many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman,


Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

*John 2:6 2 to 3 metretes is about 20 to 30 U. S. Gallons, or 75 to 115 liters.
*John 2:17 Psalm 69:9
*John 3:3 The word translated “anew” here and in John 3:7 (anothen) also means “again” and “from above”.
*John 3:8 The same Greek word (pneuma) means wind, breath, and spirit.
*John 3:36 The same word can be translated “disobeys” or “disbelieves” in this context.
*John 4:6 noon


  • To compare is to associate two or more similar persons, ideas, or situations. Can you see any comparisons made by the author of this passage? Why do you think that the author would have made this comparison?
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World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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