Water to Wine
John 2:1-11 (NKJV)
I’m not sure Jesus planned that his first miracle would be turning water into wine. In my mind I’d think his very first miracle would be on a grander scale. I would have expected it would be a compassionate miracle where needy people were involved.
So why was turning water to wine his first miracle?
We learn from John 2:1-4, “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
When Jesus’ mother Mary realized the host ran out of wine, she knew exactly who could fix the problem. Running out of wine would have been a BIG deal! Jewish weddings were not just something you stop what you’re doing, run to the wedding, and go back to what you’re doing. They were a multi-day event. It was common in Jesus’ day to have a wedding last between 5-7 days. Weddings were (are) filled with love, joy, and laughter. There was music, food, shared love between the couple and the guests, and dancing.
Another problem with running out of wine was the reputation of the bridegroom (verse 10). Running out of wine that you planned to serve at a wedding today would certainly distract the guests. Even today guests would be inclined to talk about the wedding because ‘they ran out of wine’. So, the bridegroom would be remembered for running out of wine.
In this portion of scripture Jesus didn’t appear to be concerned that they ran out of wine. His mother WAS concerned. She knew full-well the social implications of what was happening. So when Mary went to Jesus and informed him of the problem and he dismissed it, she ignored His answer. In John 2:5, she instructed the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
She vetoed her son just like any smart Jewish mother would do. She took charge and NOTICE, Jesus did not argue with His mother.
So in John 2:6-10, Jesus proceeded to obey His mother. “Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
So not only did the miracle of wine restore the grooms reputation, it means the joy, laughter, and shared love could continue for days. Also notice when the bride’s father tasted the new wine he went to the groom (versus 9-10) and praised him for his bold choice of saving the best wine for last. Clearly, the grooms new Father-in-law realized this wine was far superior to the first wine served.
In the end we learn in John 2:11, “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
The miracle of turning the water to wine proved to be a great miracle. It was a great start to Jesus’ ministry. It manifested the glory of God AND got the attention of Jesus’ disciples.
Mary, Mother of Jesus was one smart woman!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: think of one good piece of advice your Mother (or Mother figure) has given you.
Thank God for their female wisdom!
In Jesus, Deborah