This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. John 2: 11
This past weekend we attended the beautiful outdoor wedding of my great-nephew and his lovely bride. The clouds had threatened rain all day, but it never came, and the sun even peeked out before their 6:00 ceremony. It was a wonderful celebration of love and marriage with family and friends. A wedding is always such a special event as we watch two people join their lives together in love and commitment! And what a joyous occasion it is!
It was in Jesus’s day, as well! In fact, Jewish weddings were full of tradition and ritual, including celebrations that often lasted for three days! Now that’s a reception! And just as we serve food and drink to celebrate the happy occasion, it was the custom in their day to offer an extravagant feast for the guests.
It’s interesting that Jesus chose to perform His first miracle at such a wedding feast in the early days of His ministry in the village of Cana. He had gone with His mother, Mary, and the few disciples He had chosen at the time. Mary must have known the family well because she became very concerned when all the wine was gone, she spoke to their servants, and she even went to Jesus for His help.
In John 2, we aren’t offered any details about how much Mary knew about what Jesus was able to do, and it’s interesing to note that he replied to her, “Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not come.” Yet, she must have had some intuition because she instructs the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.
He then told them to fill the 6 very large stone jars that were used for ceremonial washing with water (each holding 20 to 30 gallons) and to draw some out for the master of the banquet who was in charge of the food and drink. The master was unaware that Jesus had turned the water into wine and when he tasted it, he was astounded. He took the groom aside and complimented him on bringing out their best wine at the end of the celebration. It was the usual custom for the cheap wine to be given at the end when the guests had already had too much to drink and would be less likely to notice. Jesus had done the impossible.
His disciples were amazed by this miraculous sign of the power that their Master had shown. They had heard John refer to Him as “the Lamb of God”, and now they “put their faith in Him” as the promised Messiah even more.
While this miracle may seem insignificant – turning water into wine – it clearly shows Christ’s deep concern for every aspect of our lives. What matters to us, matters to Him, for He knew that if they ran out of wine, it would have brought much humiliation and grief upon the bride and groom. Like all His other miracles to come, it benefitted people in need. By performing this transformation, “Jesus revealed His glory as the Son of God” to those who would choose to believe.
Just as our weddings have much symbolism with the ring and the vows, there is much symbolism found in this story. Not only did Jesus provide a large quantity of wine, but He also provided the best there was to offer. Jesus does the same for us as He abundantly pours His Spirit and love into us, giving us God’s very best.
The water in the jars that were used for ceremonial cleaning symbolizes the importance of purification and the need for a Savior. The water He changed into pure wine represents His blood that would cleanse us and wash away our sins.
Through this miracle, Jesus manifested His glory – He showed His power to change water into wine just as He can take our lives and transform them with His love and grace. What beautiful symbolism. What a beautiful story of His miraculous power and glory.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving us and caring so much about the details of our lives. Thank you for the lessons you give us in Scripture to show us your power and your glory. How grateful we can be that you can transform our lives with your love and grace. Amen