Text: John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Things are happening rather quickly since Jesus’ Temptation after a couple of days of gaining disciples, Jesus and those disciples are invited ot a wedding feast. Jesus’ mother was also at the wedding.
In the exchange between Mary and Jesus, some think that Jesus is being a little short with his mother. Truth is she is actually overstepping her bounds as Jesus is the head of household with Joseph’s death. Mary is pressuring Jesus to do something (which is improper culturally for her to do) but Jesus seems hesitant stating that it is not time for him to manifest himself.
I suppose we can’t blame Mary too much. After thirty years of whispers behind her back about not just her but Jesus and Joseph as well, she is probably getting tired of waiting for vindication. She is remembering the angel Gabriel and wants to see something happen that gives her final vindication of all that she has gone through socially. Her final command though is not to Jesus but to the servants that they should do what Jesus tells them to do.
Jesus changes his mind about doing something, which indicates that he has some leeway in not only how he conducts his miracle but when as well. Jesus is not fated in my view; being an open theist, but I do see him driving toward a goal but the specific direction is his to choose.
The Jews used a lot of water in their purification rituals and there are six stone waterpots that hold 120-180 gallons of water total. Jesus decides to use these pots to make some more wine. He tells the servants to fill the waterpot to the brim with water and to draw out and take it to the headwaiter.
There is much debate in the modern-day about whether or not this was real wine. Truth be told the interpretation that this as very good grape juice is 19th/20th century temperance movement nonsense. In Jesus’ culture, wine was pretty much a staple drink besides good clean water. This is really not a big deal in the culture of Jesus’ time and it should not be for us in our time. The Bible is very clear about drunkenness but a glass of wine or a beer now and then is not going to put you in any class of sinners. I also think the headwaiter’s reaction indicates alcoholic content as he talks about bringing out poorer wine after people have ‘drunk freely’. The idea is what anyone with common sense would say – “Once the people are a little buzzed and don’t really care about the quality of the wine, then you bring out the poorer stuff”. The headwaiter is shocked that the bridegroom would hold back the best wine till the end. Jesus did not just make alcoholic wine; but wine that by the standards of those who know wine, it was the best wine.
John mentions in his gospel at this point that this was Jesus first sign miracle that showed that Jesus was the Messiah. What Jesus is about to do next is take on the religious establishment.
Next: The First Cleansing of the Temple