And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. John 2. 1-11
Truths To Think About
- Jesus performed his first miracle to resolve a problem for newlyweds.
- Recognize Jesus’ authority over nature.
- Jesus cares about the small details.
- Jesus cares about people’s feelings, potential humiliation, and reputation.
- Jesus uses the ordinary to perform extraordinary miracles.
I. The Marriage Feast
Mary, the mother of Jesus was already in Galilee, probably because she was involved in the wedding ceremony. It is likely that she was a friend or family member of the bride or groom. The Bible doesn’t say specifically, but according to culture and custom it was common for friends and family to participate in the wedding. Jesus and the disciples were called to the wedding. The fact that the disciples were invited to attend with Jesus indicates a friendship that resembles a familial relationship. Very early, even before Jesus embarked on his public ministry we can see that following Christ involves the transformation of an estranged relationship to a familial relationship. Elsewhere Jesus identifies his disciples (and those who follow him) as family. It would have been rude for Jesus to decline the invitation; He attended the wedding feast. I enjoy reading this record of Jesus because it reminds me that even He took the time to celebrate marriage.
II. Mary’s Request and Jesus’ response
When Jesus and his disciples arrived at the wedding feast they wanted wine. Unfortunately there was no wine, it appears that they had run out. There could be a number of reasons that there was no wine. It is possible that more people than expected attended the wedding, or it may be that someone did not prepare properly. With the record that we have there is no way to be certain about the reason for the shortage of wine. Jesus responded to Mary with a soft rebuke. Despite how it seems, in the context, Jesus was not responding disrespectfully. But He did remind his mother that His purpose on earth was to fulfill the Fathers will; it was not time for Jesus to reveal His power and glory. However, part of the Fathers will included compassionate service to people. I can imagine the humanity of Jesus as His mother eyes met His, Jesus probably melted inside. She appealed to his humanity, but needed His power. He was the only one who could help these young newlyweds. Jesus never audibly agrees to provide wine, but Mary knew that he would help. Perhaps it was a look or a facial expression, I would like to have witnessed this particular interaction between Mary and Jesus, between mother and son. I am inclined to think it was a sweet moment for them both.
III. Jesus’ Miracle
Jesus told the servants to fill the stone water pots with water. The servants may not have known Jesus or trusted Jesus, but Mary commanded them to do whatever he said. The original and specific purpose of the stone water pots was for purification. By law the Jewish people were commanded to wash themselves before eating (which is kind of gross, community water pots). The water pots Jesus used were the same type used for cleansing. These pots would never have been used for wine. It is interesting that Jesus used pots that were designed for cleansing (never drinking) to miraculously provide amazing wine. Aren’t you glad that God can use something ordinary and transform it into something extraordinary. At times we may think that we cannot be very useful, or that we are insignificant. During these times we must remind ourselves of this first miracle. After they filled the water pots Jesus told them to draw out the water and give some to the governor of the feast. In this account the governor of the feast would be the one who tasted the food and wine to make sure everything tasted good enough to serve. It would be humiliating at a marriage feast for the bride and groom to serve something inedible or gross. Running out of wine would also humiliate the groom, which is why Jesus made some wine. The servants drew out the wine with a bucket or pitcher and took it to the governor of the feast. They had to use another container for the wine, and I think the reason is obvious. Other than Jesus, his disciples, and the servants, no one knew that the wine was made in purification pots. Ironically, the wine that was made in purification pots turned out to be the best wine, and the governor immediately complimented the groom on the decision to save the best wine for last. (AWESOME!) Mostly no one knew about the wine shortage. The marriage feast was a huge success, no one was humiliated, and the bride and groom lived happily ever after! Thank you Jesus, again, AWESOME!
Jesus performed His first miracle to rescue newlyweds from a potentially bad situation and unhappy outcome. Whenever Jesus performed miracles He was serving others. His miracles included healing (blind, lame, lepers, etc.), casting out demons, multiplication of food and wine, but the intent also included manifestation of His power and glory. In addition to the manifestation of His power and glory we also hear Jesus say, “thy sins are forgiven.” Jesus’ first miracle was simple (in comparison to His other miracles), but I cannot think of a more beautiful example of Christ’s kind heart. Before His appointed hour he provided an essential element (made it better) for the wedding feast and made certain that the wedding was successful, meanwhile preventing the broken heart of at least one young lady!
Whatever Jesus touches He improves; He makes it better. Has He made your life better?