Third Day of John 2:1: a prophetic type of the Messianic Age
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee...” John 2:1
In the first two chapters of John, we see a prophetic picture of the age of Israel,
the Church Age, the Second Coming and the Messianic Age.
The mystery of this passage: days that don’t seem to add up
In John 2:1 the text says the wedding in Cana took place on the third day, when there
are a total of five days described since verse 1:19. At first glance this may seem
like a mistake, but in the deeper meaning of this passage the first two days are
a prophecy of the age of Israel and the next two days are a prophecy of the Church
age. So taking the Second Coming time scale from II Peter 2:8 that a thousand years
equals one day, we can chart this out as:
First day: First thousand years of Israel - John 1:19
"Next" day: Second thousand years of Israel - John 1:29
"Next" day: First thousand years of the Church age - John 1:35
"Next" day: Second thousand years of the Church age - John 1:43
"THIRD DAY": Messianic age: The third day for both Israel and the Church - John 2:1
God’s math, not man’s
The Lord works and sees on the deeper prophetic level of time and the math He uses
in His Word also reveals these deeper prophetic truths. It may not add up in the
natural man’s mind, but in the mind of the Spiritual man, it leads to a deeper understanding.
Hosea 5:15-6:3 describes this same prophetic type for Israel
"'I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek
My face'... 'He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.'"
Two days (the Church Age) after Jesus returned to His place (the Ascension), Israel
will be revived, and on the third day (the Messianic Age) raised up when He comes
The raising of Lazarus describes this prophetic type for the Church
"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was
sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He
said to the disciples, 'Let us go to Judea again.'...So when Jesus came, He found
that he had already been in the tomb four days...Martha therefore ..went to meet
Him... Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life'...And when she (Mary)
heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him."John 11:5-19.
Here we see the same kind of supposed discrepancy of total days recorded. Lazarus
was reported as sick, not dead and Jesus stayed across the Jordan for two more days.
He should have arrived at the tomb on the third day that Lazarus was in the tomb,
but instead it seems to be the fifth day because he had already been entombed four
days. So this mystery must be explained in the deeper prophetic meaning of the passage:
Jesus raised Lazarus on the Third Day
1. Jesus arrived at the tomb of Lazarus on the third day: The two days He stayed
over the Jordan are the two thousand years of the Church age. At the beginning of
the third day of the Church age, He will raise the dead and rapture the Church.
2. Jesus met Martha first as the Resurrection: A prophetic type of the dead in Christ
3. Then Mary got up quickly to meet Jesus: A prophetic type of the Rapture of the
4. Then Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead: A prophetic type of Israel being raised
up at His Coming on the third day after the Church Age and the fifth day since Israel
This same exact sequence is what will happen when Jesus Comes again
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ (Martha) will rise
first. Then we who are alive and remain (Mary) will be caught up together with them
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air..." II Thessalonians 4:16-17.
A Mystery revealed: once the Church is gathered, then Israel will be saved
"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery...that a partial
hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
and so all Israel will be saved..." Romans 11:25-26.
Lazarus had been in the tomb four days: two thousand years of Israel plus two thousand
years of the Church Age. Jesus arrived at the tomb on the fifth day. For four days
Israel has been "dead" that is, spiritually dead, even though some see Israel only
as "sick" spiritually. Israel as a nation has never lived up to God's call, but has
largely been an apostate people; spiritually dead and not bearing the fruit that
God desired. When Jesus came to the fig tree (Israel), He found no fruit so He cursed
it to never bear fruit again.
"The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you (Israel) and given to a people (the
Church) producing the fruit of it."Matthew 21:43.
So the Second Coming and the thousand year Messianic age will be the third day after
Christ's ascension for both Israel and the Church, but also Israel’s fifth day (from
the time of Abraham) that will raise Israel from it’s apostate (spiritually dead)
existence into a nation believing in Jesus as Messiah.
John 1:19-2:23: A prophetic picture of the age of Israel, the Church Age, the Second
Coming and the Messianic Age
John 1:19-28 The first thousand years of Israel
"'Who are you?' And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am not the Christ.'...
'It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."
The Prophets told Israel about the coming Messiah for their first thousand years,
but even the greatest of the Prophets was not the Messiah or even worthy of Him.
John 1:24-34 The second thousand years of Israel ending in the First Coming
"The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes
away the sin of the world!' This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes
a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.' 'I did not recognize
Him... I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.'"
Even John the Baptist did not recognize Him at first just as Israel was blind to
who He was. When Jesus came at the end of the “second day" of Israel only John the
Baptist testified about Him as the preexistent (Divine) Lamb of God.
John 1:35-42 The first thousand years of the Church Age
"Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at
Jesus as He walked, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God!'... So they came and saw
where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, ... He found first his own
brother Simon and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah'... He brought him to Jesus."
The Church Age begins as the Gospel is spread and people come to salvation in Christ,
believing, following Him and “staying with Him” the first thousand years.
John 1:43-51 The second thousand years of the Church Age
"The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said
to him, 'Follow Me.' Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law
and also the Prophets wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'"
The second millennium of the Church Age is in full swing as believers follow Jesus
and go out into the all world and preach the Gospel, making disciples of all nations.
The Coming of Christ at the end of the Second Day
"And He said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you , you will see the heavens opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.'"
The first two “days” of the Church Age end when the heavens open, Jesus comes again
and sends out His angels to gather His elect in the Resurrection/Rapture; the fulfillment
of Jacob’s Ladder.
Nathanael the Israelite
The incredulous Nathanael meets Christ on the second day. Jesus identifies him as
an Israelite. He saw him sitting under the fig tree, a type of the nation of Israel.
When Nathanael realized the Lord had miraculously seen him there, he proclaims “Rabbi,
you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel!” Nathaniel represents the salvation
of the Jewish nation when they declare Jesus King of Israel after they see the heavens
opened and the Son of Man coming on the clouds at the end of the Second Day.
John 2:1-11 The Third Day wedding, a prophetic type of the Messianic Age
"On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus
was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding."
A total of five days are mentioned since verse 1:19, but 2:1 says it's the third
day. This can only mean that only the previous two days are being counted, prophesying
of the two thousand year Church Age. This Third Day is the beginning of the thousand
year Messianic Age that follows.
"'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does that have to do with
us? My hour has not yet come.'"
The wedding at Cana was not yet Christ's hour, but as a prophetic picture it speaks
of His hour to come, the wedding of the Church and reign of Jesus during the Messianic
"Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification,
containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots
Water is a type of the Holy Spirit. The six water jars may represent the six thousand
years of history that the Holy Spirit has been working in believer’s lives.
"When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where
it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called
the bridegroom, and said to him, 'Every man serves the good wine first, and when
the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the
good wine until now.'"
Saving the best for last: the good wine of the Messianic Age
On the third millennial “day” during the Messianic age, all the work that God has
done through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and will bear it's fruit. He is saving
the best for last. Christ's reign as King of Israel will be greater than that of
David and Solomon or any other time in history; an age of peace, glory, justice,
rewards and God dwelling among men.
"This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory,
and His disciples believed in Him."
The Messianic age will be a time of the glory of God manifested through the reign
of the Lord Jesus.
John 2:13-33 The Lion of Judah begins the Millennium by cleansing the Temple
"And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple,"
Jesus will execute judgment on the Antichrist and his followers who have taken over
the Jerusalem temple during the Tribulation. After the Lord has taken His seat on
the Throne of David and judged the nations, He will build the temple of the Messianic
age and rule the world for a thousand years.
"Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'"
Jesus was talking about the temple of His body here, but the subject of this paragraph
is the Temple and the deeper prophetic level also speaks of Jesus building the Messianic
Temple in Jerusalem as part of raising up Israel on the Third Day.
“And David My servant (Jesus) will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant
of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place
them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.” Ezekiel
The Third Day of John 2:1 also predicts the 2030 Second Coming
As the prophetic picture of this passage tells, the Church Age was prophesied to
last for two days, which is two thousand years according to the II Peter 3:8 Second
Coming time scale.
“ ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ ...with the Lord one day is like a thousand
years, and a thousand years is like one day.”
Jesus ascended into heaven in 30 AD so two thousand years after means He will return
in the year 2030. The third millennium after His ascension also begins in the year
2030 so the Third Day of John 2:1 also describes a 2030 beginning of the Messianic
age. This prophetic type is corroborated by the two days Jesus stayed with the Samaritan
woman (a type of the Church), the two days longer Jesus stayed before raising Lazarus,
and the two days after the ascension that Israel would be revived as prophesied by
Summary of the prophetic types of John 1-2
Mary - Israel
Jesus - Himself
The servants - The Church
The wine steward - Blind religious authorities
Six stone jars - Six thousand years of human history
Water - Work of the Holy Spirit throughout history
Wine - Fruit of God’s work among men - good wine of the Messianic age
Greater things - Christ’s Coming with the angels to gather the Church
Nathanael - The nation of Israel will believe when He comes on the clouds
Whip of cords - The judgment of God on the wicked when Jesus returns
Temple - The Temple (and world) will be cleansed when Jesus returns
First Day - First thousand years of Israel
Next Day - Second thousand years of Israel
Next Day - First thousand years of the Church Age
Next Day - Second thousand years of the Church Age
Third Day - 2030 Second Coming and thousand year Messianic Age
Wedding at Cana - Saving the best for last: the good wine of the Messianic Age
Cleansing the Temple - The Lion of Judah will cleanse the Temple and judge the world