The First Miracle of Jesus – Turning Water into Wine
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”
There are all kind of unexpected things that have happened at weddings. Some good, some funny, and sometimes things that are not either good or funny. For example: Many years ago I was the best man at in a friend’s wedding. As most of you know, one responsibility of the Best Man is to provide the wedding rings at the appropriate time when the minister asks for them. Prior to the service I place the rings in the right hand pocket of my tuxedo. When the minister asked for the rings reached down into the pocket and found that they were no longer there. The rings were gone. In front of the crowded church I dug and searched in total shock and embarrassment. After what seemed like a long, awkward, and humiliating search my friend’s sister reached from behind and gave us her ring to use in the ceremony. Little did I know that there was a small tear in the pocket and the rings slipped down into the lining of my jacket and I found them shortly after the service.
Here are some others things I found that happened at other’s weddings:
●The bride and groom’s head table collapsed and knocked over all of the drinks and food during the reception.
●The groom passed out.
●The best man started crying and couldn’t stop.
●Mom stands by a candelabra at the alter and catches her hair on fire.
●When lighting the unity candle, the brides veil caught fire.
●The little flower girl screamed the whole way up the aisle.
●The bride tripped on her dress and falls flat.
●The mother of the bride shouted out orders…from her walk down the aisle and her seat.
●The officiate was drunk…
In our text today we read that Jesus had been invited to a wedding in Cana. During this time their weddings could last up to 7 days. I am sure if the mishaps were all recorded they also had their share of bloopers. In today’s story we read of how one such mishap was prevented with Jesus’ help.
Of the four Gospel writers John was the only one who recognized the significance of recording this wonderful story. He makes mention that this was the first miraculous sign that Jesus performed. I believe that there is more to learn from this story than Jesus simply revealing His power and glory.
And so today I would like to mention a few lessons I see here in this text.
Read: 2:1-3 So Jesus, after having been invited to this wedding, is there with his mother and some of His disciples. In verse 3, we read that they ran out of wine. So I ask, ‘what’s the big deal?’
In a small village such as Cana, a wedding would have been a community celebration. It is said, “To fail to provide adequately for the guests would involve social disgrace. In the closely knit communities of Jesus’ day, such an error would never be forgotten and would haunt the newly married couple all their lives.” (Tenney)
The loss would not only have brought shame and social disgrace, but also financial loss since grooms had a legal responsibility in that culture to provide a suitable feast for their guests.”
It also would have just destroyed their reputation and that was no way to start their new lives off as husband and wife.
And so we see Mary going Jesus and she lets Him know that they were out of wine. After reading this I asked myself, “Why did Mary do this? Why did she go to Jesus with this problem?” And I believe this leads us to our first lesson:
#1. Mary knew what kind of heart her Son had; that He was a caring and compassionate man. Over the years living with Him she saw how big a heart He had. As a boy she saw how generous and helpful He was. Maybe He was the one going around and helping the other kids when they needed help. Maybe she saw how He helped the old people around their neighborhood.
She knew in her heart Jesus would try to help this couple. Later we see how much compassion Jesus had for each and every one of us when He went to the cross. We sing, “Why did the Savior come to earth and to the humble go? Why on that cross be lifted up – because HE loved me so.”
Let there be no mistake about it; no one loves you as much as Jesus, and He showed us that by stretching out His hands and feet on that cross where he allowed Himself to be nailed to it so that He could save us from ours sin.
But just like Jesus loved us and was willing to die for us, He also wants us to love one another, and make sacrifices for one another, out of our love. He is not asking any more of you and me than what He himself gave.
#2. She knew her son. He was not only generous and compassionate, He was also the most dependable person she ever met and knew He could get things done when a need came up. She probably depended upon Him for many years to do so many things and He probably never failed her ever.
Mary knew how dependable Jesus was and knew that somehow He could fix the problem. As far as being dependable goes; I wish all were as dependable as Jesus. When it comes right down to it, I have found that there are not many people that we can truly depend on, especially when it comes to getting things done. Companies struggle to get employees that are dependable, who they can trust to get things done. We ask our spouse or family members to do something for us over and over, and eventually we give up or do it our self. And how many times have we been hurt or disappointed by friends or even church members because they talked about something that was said in confidence, or we wanted to depend on them for help, but were let down.
Mary probably had no idea what Jesus was going to do, but she trusted Him and had confidence in His ability. She even instructed the servant to do whatever He said. And after doing so she probably left Him in a peaceful state knowing that just like so many other times before, when you turn your problem over to Jesus He will help you through the situation.
I hope that you make it a goal to be trust worthy and dependable. And when you are in a difficult situation and don’t know what to do, like Mary learn to give it to Jesus, who is not only compassionate, He is able to help us.
#3. As for the third lesson I see in this text: Jesus can take something which is very common and turn it into something extraordinary. We read that Jesus told the servants to fill the six stone jars there with water. They fill the jars to their brim and then Jesus instructs one of them to draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. After doing so the master of the banquet was delighted and complements the bridegroom for the very, very high quality of wine that was now made available for the guests.
A couple of things are seen here: This shows that Jesus had the same power to create that God demonstrated in creation.
In John chapter 1:3 he wrote that
“Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
And just like when He made everything in the beginning and said that it was good, here, by the same power, Jesus produced the best as He always did when He creates. That must have been REALLY good wine!
But what I find especially interesting, is the fact that He transforms something which is very common (water – very possibly with some impurities or bacteria) into some extraordinary (the best wine ever).
Jesus is so good at transforming things from one condition into another. Look at what do does when He touches our lives: Fisherman, tax collectors, and even someone who persecuted Christians, became Godly men and apostles; great servants of the faith. Prostitutes, adulterers, slaves, prisoners, jailers, freemen and scoundrels of all kinds have been transformed by the touch of Jesus. (like turning polluted water into fine wine)
When the water of our life submits to Jesus, then even the worst circumstances in life can become rich and meaningful, and have value. It doesn’t matter how bad you lived, Jesus can re-create you!
#4. And lesson 4, the jars held between 20 and 30 gallon which represented about 120-180 gallon of wine; probably about 2400 servings. This wine was most likely fermented grape juice, possible diluted with a little water. This kind of wine was something that normally took much time to produce and ferment. To the Jew and others in this part of the world during, wine was symbolic of joy. “Many students of this passage have identified the wine as symbolic of the joy that Messiah brings. (Blum)
Some even go as far as seeing this as an example of Jesus going above and beyond so that we may be filled with joy because of His love for us. What He did brought joy to those people. And what did, and continues to do is meant to bring joy to us.
This miracle portrays not only the joy Christ brings into a person’s life but also the abundance of joy. . . .for the Christian there is a new life in Christ. The old is passed away and there is a whole new life and perspective in and because of Christ Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul wrote,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
So in Conclusion:
Jesus is trustworthy, and dependable. Trust Him, depend on Him in times of trouble and doubt. When Mary turned the problem over to Jesus, I would image it put her heart at ease. He can do the same for you.
Remember how much Jesus cares for you. And remember how he can take that which is ordinary (you & me) and make us into something extraordinary.
And last of all, remember that Jesus wants you to be happy, and full of joy.
He said, “I came that you may have life, and life to the full.”
Seize that joyful life! Everyday get up and thank Jesus for what He has done for you and what He has blessed you with…and choose to enjoy what you have and be happy.