Turning Water into Wine (2:1-11). This sign revealed Jesus’ glory and his disciples believed in him (v. 11). Concerning the term “sign,” Dan Owen writes, “The signs in John’s Gospel seem to have a two-fold purpose. First, they are designed to produce faith and life in the reader. The signs bring us face to face with Jesus and challenge us to respond to Him. Secondly, the signs are often symbolic acts designed to teach us spiritual lessons about Jesus. By these lessons we are convicted of our absolute dependence on our Lord” (That You May Believe, p. 7). Perhaps this sign is a comparison between Moses and Jesus (cf. Exodus 7:20). Compare 1:17 with “You have kept the good wine until now” (v. 10). In other words, “God saves the best for last!”
Cleansing the Temple (2:12-22). In Jerusalem, Jesus found certain people who had turned his Father’s house (i.e., the temple) into a marketplace. So he drove them all out of the temple courts. Depending on how the original should be translated, the Jewish leaders were either asking for confirmation of his authority or what lesson he was teaching by cleansing the temple (cf. v. 18). The sign/teaching was a destruction and resurrection of the temple, but like so many in John’s Gospel, they appealed to a physical rather than a spiritual application, for he was speaking about the temple of his body (v. 21).
Jesus at the Passover Feast (2:23-25). They believed in Jesus, but Jesus did not believe in them. At first, this seems strange. But Jesus knew when someone’s faith was superficial or shallow (cf. 6:26). Such seems to be true here.