1On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
This story, two days after the meeting with Nathaniel, takes us to a village named Cana of Galilee. Jesus and his family were there (1:1, 12). He also invited his disciples. (1:2). The famous story of turning water into wine followed. This text is important since it begins a series of seven miracles that Jesus performed (2:1-11; 4:43-54; 5:1-9; 6:1-5; 6:16-25; 9:1-41; 11:1-44). Every one of the miracles shows how the created order submitted itself to Jesus’ authority. As part of the whole Gospel narrative, these seven miracles testify to Jesus’ authority to do what he does and to say what he says. As we are considering the way in which the author uses hoi Ioudaioi (the Jews) there is something else of importance for us as we move through the gospel.
We read in 2:6: “Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the purification of hoi Ioudaioi, containing two or three measures each”. It is often argued that the best way to translate hoi Ioudaioi is simply – Judeans. It is also often argued, that hoi Ioudaioi were Jerusalemite authorities. Both of the theories fall short in explaining references like these when hoi Ioudaioi were permanently present outside of Judea. Jn.2:6 is not the only example that shows a geographical Judean location was not a necessary condition for people to be classified as hoi Ioudaioi. Cana was in Galilee.
In another instance, opposition from hoi Ioudaioi was seen in “Jewish” Galilee in Kfar Nahum (Capernaum). In that passage from Jn.6:24-59, we read that the crowd, together with the assembled leadership of Kfar Nahum’s synagogue, asked Jesus to perform miracles as verification of his authority. Jesus characteristically challenged the Judean authority structure, saying that Judean authority ought not to reside with the current Jerusalem leadership but with His Father (Jn.6:24-59). In this case also, hoi Ioudaioi in Kfar Nahum should be viewed as the adherents or religious affiliates of “Hoi Ioudaioi proper” – Jerusalem’s ruling elite.
One example that would illustrate this dynamic comes from Eastern European history. Ukrainians often called Russians and those Ukrainians who acknowledged the legitimacy of their Soviet rule over Ukraine – “Maskali”. The Ukrainian word “Maskal” comes from the name of the Russian Imperial Capital – Moscow. Those who either were of Russian ethnic descent or who even as much as acknowledged Moscow’s authority could be referred to as “Maskal.” In fact the Maskal did not have to be from Moscow, that person simply needed to be a supporter of Moscow-controlled political agenda. Other peoples outside of the Russian-Ukrainian political polemic, who were familiar with the issues themselves, never used the designation “Maskali” for those who served Moscow or were ethnic Russians.
Therefore, using similar analogy, those who acknowledged the Jerusalem-approved authorities in Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) and Cana, which were far from Jerusalem, were also referred to by the principal name for the Jerusalemite formal rulers – hoi Ioudaioi. All members of the Jerusalem-led system have become hoi Ioudaioi in the Gospel of John. This is very similar to the way “Russians” became “Moskali” to Ukrainians and others who witnessed their polemic.
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 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Jn 2:1–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.