On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
There are many minor points that intrigue me in this passage, but the point of the passage is clear. The miracle is a sign. It is a clue. We will have a number of miraculous signs which point deeper and deeper into the essence of who Jesus is. This is not just an academic exercise but a personal and relational journey. Imagine if you are going to work at a summer camp with someone and the camp canteen starts to run out of orange juice at breakfast on the first day. Then your new acquaintance takes you through the kitchen and asks you to bring the large water bottles that hold drinking water behind the kitchen. He asks you to taste the water and it tastes like … water. Then he touches the water bottles and they change from clear to orange and he asks you to taste it again. Now imagine the shock when the taste that hits your taste buds is the sweetest fresh-squeezed orange juice you have ever tasted. Then he tells you to tell the camp director that there are huge amounts of orange-juice out back ready for consumption. What kind of person would do this and, more importantly, how would you relate to them?
Mary is shown here as knowing that her son is special, but in the synoptic gospels she also comes to deter Jesus when she thinks he has gone too far (perhaps insane). The disciples do not know the end of the story, where he dies. They would have seen the abundance and it would have confirmed their ideas that he was the Messiah. However, their Messiah wasn’t destined to suffer and die, the disciples’ Messiah was meant to flourish and expand. He would conquer and hand out rewards to them. Why does your Jesus change water into wine? Is it because he loves to lavish abundance on his friends? Is it to show who he is?
Jesus, why did you change water into wine? You showed us something of who you are. You were generous. You were compassionate in that instant. You saved the hosts from embarrassment. However, more than that you had control over the elements. You provided abundance because you are the one through whom everything was created. We see you as more than the rest of us. We see you as set apart … holy.
- What did Jesus do?
- What was an appropriate response of those who were with Jesus?
- Where does this sign point you?
- How does the passage challenge other areas in life like interpersonal boundaries, partying, obedience, drinking, the absence of a father?