Summary: What did your friend, Jesus, do to get your attention?
A friend gains your faith
As we follow the early career of the disciples in John 1 and 2 we are actually looking at a relatively short period of time.
Day 1 - John and Andrew spend a day with Jesus
Day 2 - Peter, Phillip and Nathanael follow Jesus as he goes back to Galilee
Day 3 - They attend a wedding in Cana
Let’s go to a wedding.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
John 2:1-11 (NIV)
I wonder whose wedding this was. It strikes me that it might have been Nathanael’s or a member of his family’s. John just got done telling us that he was from Cana, and the next day we are there. We know that Peter was married. We also know that the apostles were relatively young men. It isn’t impossible. Of course, it also isn’t certain.
Jesus had a life
What is certain is that Jesus and His disciples are invited to this wedding separately from Mary. In fact, from some translations, we get the impression that Jesus was invited separately from His disciples too. In other words they were not invited due to their association with each other, though that probably played a role. I might naturally be invited to the same wedding as my parents, but all of you would not necessarily be invited to the same wedding, just because I was.
It is difficult for us to imagine Jesus in the context of the world where he lived. We can do historical and cultural studies, and they will tell us something about the events in the gospels, but that is not the same as seeing someone in their own surroundings.
â€¢ and friends
â€¢ and a job
â€¢ and a neighborhood
â€¢ He had coworkers
â€¢ and brothers
â€¢ and sisters
His mother was the person who tied his shoes and bathed him and fixed his boo boos.
At this stage, when Jesus went to a wedding, it was not as a local dignitary or a famous person. He was not an honored guest, the bride and groom were honored. He was just a guy, circulating among the other guests, eating and talking. He probably danced, as the Jews did, with other men. He probably extended congratulations to the happy couple and had a good time. As a single man of 30, he probably put up with a lot of guff about when he was going to find a wife and settle down.
The point is, these people knew Him, or thought they did. He had grown up around some of them and had worked with some of them. He had probably done construction work for many of them. They did not yet understand who He was or what he was capable of. That is what he means when he says to his mother:
Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.
We have a tendency to think of Jesus’ miracles in the broader context of His ministry. They were part of the vehicle that spread His popularity. They were His gateway to the ear and the belief of the masses. They were expressions of His power and compassion. They demonstrated His authority over nature and the legitimacy of His place in people’s hearts.
We don’t tend to think of them as personal, at least not to Jesus as a man and certainly not personal, for the most part, to his family and friends. But Jesus’ miracles did not start as a part of His ministry, this one, the first one, was a favor to a personal friend and his mother.