1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and 2 Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.”
4 Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.”
5 His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby were six stone water jars used for the Jewish cleansing ritual, each able to hold about twenty or thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,” and they did. 9 The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.
The headwaiter called the groom 10 and said, “Everyone serves the good wine first. They bring out the second-rate wine only when the guests are drinking freely. You kept the good wine until now.” 11 This was the first miraculous sign that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
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About this story Pastor Hamilton wrote, “Why does John tell us the jars were used for Jewish rites of purification? He could have said simply, ‘There were six stone jars’…. John’s story is not just about Jesus changing water into wine, but it is instead about how life in Christ is richer and more joyful than the ritualistic religion of first-century Judaism.”*
- John pointedly noted that Jesus changed water in jars used for ritual purification (verse 6) into “good wine” (verse 10). It was a sign that he offered a better way than his day’s rigid, repressive ritual system. Did you, in your growing up years or later, ever experience faith as rigid and repressive, draining life of joy and satisfaction? When has Jesus changed “water into wine” in your spiritual walk?
- John called this event “the first miraculous sign that Jesus did.” Jesus did not do things like changing the water into the “good wine” as an end in themselves. They were signs that pointed to God’s kingdom. John, wrote N. T. Wright, “is setting up a series of signposts to take us through his story. The signs are all occasions … when the transforming power of God’s love bursts in to the present world.”** What qualities of God’s kingdom do you see this sign pointing toward?
Lord Jesus, fill me to the brim with the joyous, freeing quality of life you came to offer us. I want to do as your mother told the servants to do and do whatever you tell me. Amen.
* Adam Hamilton, John: The Gospel of Light and Life. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015, p. 35.
** Wright, N.T. John for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-10 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 21). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
Roberta Lyle has been on the Resurrection staff since 2006. She serves as the Program Director for Local Impact Ministries, concentrating on Education, Life Skills and Youth Focused Ministries.