Jesus at a Wedding in Cana
1Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there.
3When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, “They don't have any more wine.”
4Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn't yet come! You must not tell me what to do.”
5Mary then said to the servants, “Do whatever Jesus tells you to do.”
6At the feast there were six stone water jars that were used by the people for washing themselves in the way that their religion said they must. Each jar held about 100 liters. 7Jesus told the servants to fill them to the top with water. Then after the jars had been filled, 8he said, “Now take some water and give it to the man in charge of the feast.”
The servants did as Jesus told them, 9and the man in charge drank some of the water that had now turned into wine. He did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants did. He called the bridegroom over 10and said, “The best wine is always served first. Then after the guests have had plenty, the other wine is served. But you have kept the best until last!”
11This was Jesus' first miracle, and he did it in the village of Cana in Galilee. There Jesus showed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. 12 After this, he went with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples to the town of Capernaum, where they stayed for a few days.
Jesus changing water into wine is said to be a sign by which Jesus manifested his glory. As a result, the disciples believed in him. As we read this passage in John’s portrayal of Jesus, we are left wondering what exactly happened.
John called the miracles “signs,” pointing to higher and better realities. Surprisingly, this sign was seen only by a few servants who brought the jars to the man in charge of the feast, and maybe by some among Jesus’ disciples.
This first sign introduces more signs still to appear throughout John’s story of Jesus. Jesus heals the son of a Roman officer in Capernaum, and a lame man at the pool of Bethsaida in Jerusalem (4:46–5:9). He miraculously feeds thousands of people, and walks on water shortly thereafter (6:1-21). He heals a man born blind (9:1-7), and finally raises Lazarus from the dead (ch 11).
All these signs point to an ultimate sign: Jesus dies and rises from the dead. He did this on behalf of those to whom he reveals the Father and who believe in him (see 20:30-31).
In light of other signs mentioned in the fourth gospel, Jesus’ changing water into wine looks rather insignificant. John specifies this was the first, the beginning sign, by which Jesus manifested his glory. Jars of water used for ritual purification are changed into wine; but like other signs, this one points to something greater.
This present wine points in the direction of a new purification, now made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus himself alludes to new wine he will drink with his disciples in the kingdom of God (Luke 22:18). The new wine of the God’s kingdom is still to come. In short, this miracle tells us that the best is yet to come.
Gracious Father in Heaven, Thank you for revealing me your will in Jesus your Son. As the best is yet to come, help me to grow in grace and in knowledge of Jesus until your kingdom fully comes. In the name of Jesus who gave his life for me. Amen