Okay let’s keep going with this great story! Jesus’ first miracle.
Let’s catch up with the first 5 verses:
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 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 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.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Okay, what does this tell us about Jesus? Remember, that’s the main point, right, finding him?
It tells us so much! But much of it is confusing. Why would Jesus make wine for drunk people? They were drunk, you know.
Oh, I know some people want to make this story more tidy and clean. They tell you, “It wasn’t really wine. It was grape juice.” Well… I’m pretty sure that with no refrigeration, canning, or vacuum seals, it was wine. And it’s pretty clear that they were drunk. Look at that wording. When the people have drunk freely, you bring out the poor wine. In some translations, it says, “When the people have had too much.” Who ever had too much grape juice? The point is that they were too drunk to know if it was good wine or bad.
Why? Just… why, God? With all of the issues that alcohol creates in so many places?
Why not let your first miracle be something really clean and tidy? Find a poor, faithful family, working hard and doing good, and reward them by healing Tiny Tim. So much more tidy. So much easier to understand the point. So much simpler to put God in a box there, wouldn’t it be?
Instead we get this wild start. Jesus makes six times twenty to thirty gallons of the best wine ever for a bunch of people who have been partying for quite some time. What does that even mean?
And notice something else? Jesus doesn’t “do” it. He doesn’t touch it. He doesn’t make it rain from the sky or pull it out of his pocket. He just gives these servants instructions, and when they obey, the miracle happens through them.
Whoa. Think about it! Think about how many hundreds of times you’ve prayed for a miracle, and then waited for the clouds to part. But what if you were praying for a miracle, and God was like, “Okay, here’s what to do…” And you didn’t notice. Or you didn’t obey. Or you didn’t believe.
What else do we learn about the Mercy Man in this story? We see that he was extravagant. He didn’t say, “Okay, I’ll spot you just this once, but only just enough, and not the good stuff.”
He didn’t correct them or lecture them about their lack of preparation. He didn’t say, “You’ll learn your lesson if you suffer this time. Next time, be more prepared.” What kind of Jesus is this? Is this how your Jesus is towards you?
He was discreet. He didn’t go out and wave his hands and make a big show of it. There was no lights and flash and magic words. In fact, the boss man didn’t even notice how it happened.
He was quietly working in the background, through a bunch of servants doing hard work.
Also… think about this: He was giving his blessing and approval to a party. Isn’t that interesting! He wasn’t providing oatmeal for monks or beans for people working in a field. He was at a party, resting and relaxing and enjoying the people around him, I assume.
Jesus changing water into wine.
And I really love that last part- He “revealed his glory.” Like, it finally happened. No hiding anymore. There’s something miraculous and amazing about this guy.
And what is the glory of the Lord? Abundant, overflowing riches and goodness, heaped on people who did not deserve it or work for it or buy it or even expect it.
What an awesome God!
The end says, “His disciples believed in him.” Other translations say, “His disciples put their trust in him.” Remember, the author, John, who is writing this, is talking about himself. He’s one of these disciples who was a witness to the story. After two days of following him and saying, “We think this is the Messiah,” they see this and say, “YEP. We’re all in on this guy. He’s the One.”
But why wouldn’t you be? I, too, am all in on this guy. This caring, capable, God, who walked through a normal life and could change things in an instant to abundant overflowing riches and goodness, even though I don’t deserve it.
What an awesome God.
This post is part of a series going through the book of
John. If you’d like to follow along, you can subscribe or head to the lead page and go at your own pace. Just click here