The Gospel of John is different from the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) in that it had a different audience for whom it was written. John’s audience was for all mankind; to the believer and the unbeliever alike. John’s purpose is stated in John 20:31″ 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” A main theme of the book is about having faith. The Book of Hebrews gives a definition of faith in chapter 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. …” People need faith. Intrinsically our nature tells us we need to place our trust (hope, faith) in something bigger than ourselves.
John chapter one tells us about the deity of Christ and His preincarnate work. It introduces us to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. It tells us of the rejection and acceptance of Christ and then it tells us of the incarnation of Christ, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (v14)”
In chapter two, we are told the story of the first public miracle of this God/man who dwells among us. His name is Jesus.
“1 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.”
Jewish wedding festivities would often last up to a week. The bridegroom was to take care of the financial responsibilities of the festivity. He could have a lawsuit brought against him if food and drink were found lacking. Can you imagine being sued for not having enough ‘little smokies’ at your wedding?
“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.”
So an embarrassing situation arose. Mary, Jesus mother, was apparently related to the family and had some part in the preparation of the reception. She came to Jesus to tell him of the situation with the anticipation that Jesus would do something about it. Is there a lesson in that sentence that we can learn? Jesus responded not by calling her “Mom”, but Woman! At this moment, he was moving from her authority to the authority that was his, through God the Father. “My hour has not yet come” refers to something much more than not having wine at a wedding, but to his divine schedule set by God. Mary was not offended by his words, but was submissive, “Do whatever he tells you.” Again, another lesson we can apply to our life. Mary had faith in what Jesus would do.
“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.”
The scriptures teach us that we will not be abandoned in our hour of need and we see that in this situation. Jesus was there and took action. He used the jars that were used in the ritual washing of hands for purification to symbolically change the unclean to clean. He took something common and made something astonishingly unique from it. He has the power to change water into wine. He has the power to change a dead sin-filled life to one of a sin-forgiven abundant life.
“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.”
I love this part. Only the servants knew that they put water in the jars and it was what Jesus did to change it into what was needed at that hour! Did Jesus touch it, look at it, or spoke to it; it really doesn’t matter, it happened! Man can make wine, but Jesus did something that got their attention, he made superior wine.
11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
So God used this wedding to let the world see that Jesus was the incarnate God/man, he confirmed his power to change, and he created believers from those who were there.
He changed just a wedding into an event recorded in the Word of God. Have you seen the power of Jesus change a life? Has he changed yours?