(Just a little behind, here…)
This wedding feast seems to be a richly symbolic narrative. The story of the miracle of turning the water into wine could not happen in our experience. If we focus on this, we miss the richness of the symbolism. As John tells us, rather than ‘just’ a miracle, this is a sign. A sign that points beyond itself. The wedding banquet, which may have lasted a week, was a time of feasting and dancing. In this wedding banquet, a metaphor of our lives, the wine never runs out and the best is saved for last. A wedding, perhaps, symbolizes the intimacy of the divine-human relationship and the marriage between heaven and earth.
In the temple cleansing, there is again much rich metaphor. This parable on temple cleansing brings up issues such as anger, and violent expressions of anger by Jesus – one who we typically consider beyond anger, and certainly beyond violence – because ‘his Father’s house’ had become a marketplace or was being defiled. To remove this corruption by expulsion of sacrificial animals is symbolic perhaps, of the anticipation of the day when the Temple and its sacrifices would be gone and the sacrifice of the Lamb of God could be achieved. When asked for his authority, Jesus gives a sign of his death and resurrection. “If you destroy, I will raise up.” This is only understood much later.