February 23, Monday
The next day Jesus decided to return to Galilee. He found Philip and invited him to come along. Philip was from Bethsaida, the same city as Andrew and Peter. He found his friend Nathanael and told him about Jesus, saying, “We’ve met the One whom Moses and the Prophets said would come — the Messiah! His name is Jesus. He’s from Nazareth, son of a carpenter by the name of Joseph.”
Nathanael’s response was, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
To which Philip said simply, “Come and see.”
As Nathanael approached, Jesus said to him, “Now here is an Israelite whose life is above reproach!”
Nathanael was taken aback. “How do You know me?”
Jesus told him that He’d seen him sitting under a fig tree before Philip had come up to him.
Nathanael was convinced. “Teacher, You are the Son of God, rightful king of Israel.”
Commending him, Jesus went on to say, “So you believe Who I am just because I said I saw you under the fig tree? You will most certainly see greater proofs in the days to come: the heavens opening and angels going back and forth between heaven and the Son of Man.”
A few days later Jesus and His disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana. Jesus’ mother also attended; and when she heard that the hosts had run out of wine for the feast, she approached her Son about the situation. He let her know that it may not be time for doing public miracles.
Nevertheless, in a few minutes He instructed the servants to fill six large stone water pots with water. No sooner had they filled them with water, than Jesus told them to take a cupful to the master of ceremonies.
The servants knew where the wine had come from, but the host had no idea. So he called to the bridegroom saying, “This is remarkable! At most celebrations they serve the good wine first and save the lower quality for later. Instead, you have saved the best for last!”
And so it was that Jesus demonstrated His unique power. This was his first miracle. It increased the disciples’ faith in Him.
From there, Jesus, His family, and His disciples went to Capernaum for a few days and then made His way to Jerusalem for the Passover.
When He arrived at the temple, He saw the courtyard filled with animals and with people conducting business. Jesus found some scraps of rope and wove them into a whip which He then used to drive all the animals out of the sacred space. He also dumped out the money boxes and declared loudly, “Get these things out of here! Do not turn My Father’s house into a public market!”
Needless to say, this caused quite a commotion. The disciples recalled the Scripture that says, “Zeal for the sacredness of Your House overwhelmed Me.”
Some of the leaders approached Jesus, asking, “Who gave You the right to do this? Give us some sign that You have this kind of authority.”
Jesus said cryptically, “Destroy this temple and three days later I’ll raise it back up.”
The Jews were incredulous, “We’ve been working on rebuilding this for forty-six years. How can You talk about doing it in just three days?”
Of course, He was referring to His body; but it wasn’t until three years later, after His resurrection, that the disciples put this all together and more fully believed what Jesus had told them.
The people were astonished at the reports of His miraculous powers, and many believed what had been claimed about Him; but Jesus didn’t put too much stock in their support, knowing how fickle people can be.