Thursday, October 31, 2013

Commentary on the Gospel of John According to the Aramaic Peshitta: Chapter 2

And on the third day there was a wedding feast in Qatneh, a city of Galeela. And the mother of Yeshua was there. And also Yeshua and his disciples were invited to it.  – John 2:1-2
    Cana was to the west of Bethsaida and Magdala, which were both on the coast of the Sea of Galilee.

And running out was the wine, and his mother said to Yeshua, "They have no wine." Yeshua said to her, "What to you and to me, woman? Not yet has arrived by hour." – John 2:3-4

     This is commonly believed to be a disrespectful way to address a woman, much less your own mother. This, though, is us trying to bring the 1st century Messiah and His culture into the 21st century.  The Aramaic word for "woman" and "Mother” (Antta Ftn0) is actually a term of respect. Without the brackets (therefore a literal translation), Jesus’s response would be “What to Me and to you?” This means “What does this have to do with us?” or “What do we have in common?” George Lamsa suggests that sha’ati (Yt94) should be translated as “My turn” instead of “My hour”, as in “My turn to get more wine has not come!”

His mother said to the servants, "Whatever he says to you, do [it]." And there were there six jars of stone, each two measures or three. - John 2:5-6
   Mary (Aramaic: Maryam Myrm), as said in Luke 2:19, kept all the things she was told about her firstborn son in her heart. She knew her son had the power to give more wine. The word here for “waiters” can also be translated as “servants” or “slaves”. Also take notice of how the author explains Jewish custom for us. This is a sign that the audience of his Gospel were not Jewish.

Yeshua said to them, "Fill [with] water the jars." And they filled them up to the very top. And he said to them, "Draw [some] now and take [it] to the master of ceremonies." And they took it and when that master of ceremonies tasted that water that had become wine and did not know from where it was, but the servants did know because they had filled the water. The master of ceremonies called to the groom and he said to him, "Everyone first brings good wine, and when they are drunk, then that which is inferior. But you have kept the good wine until now." – John 2:7-10

The servants didn’t know what Jesus was going to do, but they clearly had faith that He would fulfill their needs. They did everything He told them and they got what they needed. And what they got was not just water turned into good wine, it was the best wine! When we ask Jesus to give us something and He answers with an affirmative, then He’ll not give us just the scraps that fell off of the table, He’ll give us the best that is possible.

This was the first sign that Yeshua did in Qatneh of Galeela, and he made known his glory and his disciples believed in him. – John 2:11

     This is the first of seven signs that John records. Each of these signs tell us something about Jesus. My personal opinion is that this shows us that Jesus will supply our every need. After this miracle was done, they knew that Jesus was the Messiah of God. The glory that He has as God’s only Son was revealed to them through this deed.

After this, he went down to Capurnakhum: he, his mother, and his brothers, and his disciples. And there they stayed a few days. And approaching was the Paskha of the Yehudeans, and Yeshua went up to Urishlim.– John 2:12-13
        Whether or not this is before or after Jesus moved to Capernaum, I have no clue. Aramaic for “Passover” is Paskha (0xcp), while in Hebrew it is Pesach. The Passover is a celebration of God’s delivering the children of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 12). This is one of three Passovers recorded in John’s Gospel, so this is where we derive the belief that Jesus’s ministry lasted for three years. This also shows us more evidence of Jesus Christ being a Torah-observant Jew.

And he found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers who were sitting. And he made for himself a whip from cords and drove out all of them from the temple, even the sheep and oxen and moneychangers. And he poured out their exchange money and their tables he turned over. And to those who were selling doves he said, "Take these [away from] here and do not make the house of my Father a house of bartering." And remembered his disciples that it is written that, "The zeal of your house has devoured me." – John 2:14-17
Jesus’s anger here is a righteous anger, born out of a zeal for God and His house. The scripture referenced here is Psalm 69:9.

But the Yehudeans answered and said to him, "What sign do you show us [so] that you do these things?" Yeshua answered and said to them, "Tear down this temple, and after three days will I raise it." The Yehudeans said to him, "For forty and six years was built this temple, and you in three days will raise it?" But he was speaking concerning the temple of his body. And when he rose from the grave, his disciples remembered that this he had said. And they believed the scriptures, and the word that Yeshua had said.– John 2:18-22
    Jesus proved His unique authority and His Messianic claims through His resurrection from the dead. On Jesus’s resurrection, all Christianity stands or falls (I Corinthians 15:17). The disciples and the Jewish authorities both missed what Jesus was saying, but the disciples eventually came to understand what the Messiah was saying. The unbelieving people took Jesus’s saying here out of context and twisted His words during His trial (Mark 14:58).

And while Yeshua was in Urishlim at the Paskha during the feast, many believed in him when they saw the miracles that he did. But Yeshua did not entrust himself to them because he did understand every man, and he did not rely on men to testify to him concerning anyone, for he did know what was in man. – John 2:23-25

A lot of the people that followed Jesus were not following Him for the right reasons, and He knew that their hearts were not in the right place. We should not be following Jesus without our heart being in it. Only then can we be true disciples of the Messiah, when we take up the cross and follow Him.