signs. Of these works, the deed performed at Cana is remarked to be the first in point of time.
I. WHAT THESE SIGNS WERE IN THEMSELVES.
1. They were works, and mighty works; such as implied great power on the part of the Worker; such as were not wrought by ordinary men.
2. They were wonders, or miracles, fitted to arrest the attention, awaken the inquiry, excite the surprise, of beholders.
3. As in this instance, they were deeds authoritative over nature, its elements, processes, and laws.
II. OF WHAT THESE SIGNS WERE SIGNIFICANT. That they did speak to the minds and hearts of those who beheld them, is clear; they compelled the inquiry, "What manner of man is this?" The works led the witnesses to ask concerning the Worker; for they testified of him.
1. Of a Divine presence and power among men. The signs were as the cry of a herald, as a trumpet call summoning the attention of all who were capable of understanding. They spake in plainest language, and their voice and utterance was this: "The King of nature and the Lord of man is here!"
2. Of Divine compassion and mercy. Observe the contrast between the mediators of the old covenant and the new. The first sign which Moses wrought was to turn water into blood; the first which Jesus presented to men was to turn water into wine. We see pity in its varying grades excited by human want and. misery, manifesting itself in the exercise of authority prompted and guided by love.
3. Of Divine adaptation to special needs of men. There was vast variety in the miraculous ministrations of Immanuel. The first sign proves that the same Lord who supplies the most urgent wants is not unmindful of the social pleasures and comforts of men. There is delicate discrimination and thoughtful adaptation and suitability in the marvels which Jesus wrought. Bread for the hungry, healing for the sick; yet also wine for the joyful and the festive.
III. TO WHOM THESE SIGNS APPEALED.
1. Not primarily to unbelievers. Whether there were any such in the happy circle in whose midst and for whose benefit the first of the signs was exhibited, we do not know; probably all were friendly and receptive, and none more than partially enlightened. Jesus did not go into public and perform a wonder to amaze a multitude.
2. But to his disciples. There was no sign from heaven for the unspiritual, but for the believing and affectionate there were proofs given that their confidence and love were not misplaced. "His disciples believed on him," i.e. all the more as they saw more of the might of his word and the tenderness of his heart. - T.
After this, He went down into Capernaum.Matthew 4:13), when He came to dwell in Capernaum, for then John was cast in prison (Matthew 4:12), but now he was not (John 3:24).
I. Christ was content to submit Himself to the wanting of a certain abode and settled dwelling in the world, that He might sanctify our pilgrimage and tossed condition to us, and to invite His followers willingly to be removed from place to place, as He hath service for them. So much are we taught by this His removal.
II. Christ hath errands in eminent places as well as obscure, and will not despise them for their eminency more than the base for their baseness; and He can make the work of His kingdom in a land advance from obscure beginnings and places, to be more eminent and conspicuous. So much may we gather from Christ's going out of obscure Cana to Capernaum, a chief city in Galilee.
III. As it is wisdom in Christ's own to go still in His company, so others also may be with Him so long as His way and theirs lieth together, or when He is working gloriously and His gospel hath credit; for, after this miracle, we find not only His mother and disciples, but His brethren or kinsfolk with Him, who yet believed not in Him (John 7:5).
IV. Christ may stay longer or shorter while, and do little or much in a place, as He pleaseth; and particularly He stayeth or removeth according as may contribute to advance the great work of His glory and of sinners' salvation; for He continued there not many days, as having more to do at this time in Jerusalem.
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