Summary: From John 2:1-11 Jesus performs his first public miracle at a wedding feast in Cana where the wine ran out.
The Person of Jesus series
Jesus – overflowing with joy
CHCC: March 7, 2010
You Tube Wedding video (2 minutes)
Through the years, I’ve officiated, or been involved, in hundreds of weddings … and I’ve pretty much seen the good, bad, and ugly.
* I remember one wedding where the three year old son of the bride was so taken with his new daddy-to-be, that he literally wrapped himself around the groom’s legs and wouldn’t let go. That meant that for the unity candle ceremony, the groom had to drag the boy to the kneeling rail and then back to his place for the final kiss.
* At another wedding, the bride’s veil caught fire in the unity candle and just about burned her hair off her head
* I remember a best man who put whipped cream into a carburetor of the get-away car and ruined the engine
* And then there was the bride who decided to let her elderly Aunt play the organ for the wedding. Now, this was the Organ in the old Sanctuary. Until that Aunt played it, we didn’t even know it had a caliope setting!
* We also soon discovered that she was a one-note-at-a-time organ player.
* But the biggest problem came during the vows … when her foot slipped down onto one of the organ foot-pedals. During the vows everyone heard a low bellowing sound coming from the organ, while the organist was unaware she was causing the noise with her foot on the pedal
Today we’re going to look at an account of a wedding Jesus attended. John chapter 2 tells us an interesting story … about water, wine, and 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. John 2:1-2
Notice that John 2:1 says “on the third day” – the third day since what?
It was 3 days since Jesus left Judah … along with six new disciples … to head north to the little town of Cana in the Hills of Galilee near Nazareth. This is the 5th sermon in a series about the Person of Jesus, and we are still early in Jesus’ ministry.
So far, we have explored the chiastic poem John used to introduce his gospel. We talked about the Angel’s announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. We read about Jesus baptism by John the Baptist … and his temptation in the wilderness immediately after His baptism.
Now, at this point, Jesus has called his first followers, and they are taking a trip back to the area where Jesus grew up. Perhaps the reason they went back at this time was so they could attend this wedding.
There are so many things we can learn about Jesus from this story. I want to stop right here and talk about one of them. Anyone who sees Jesus as a cosmic killjoy doesn’t know much about Jesus’ personality. When God came to earth to live as a man, he participated fully in the real world --- doing what regular folks do. Jesus didn’t hold back from taking part in life to the fullest. In fact, the Pharisees actually accused Jesus of being a wine bibber and a friend of sinners. (Matt. 11:19)
In this story, we can also see that Jesus was concerned about every-day needs and problems. I think sometimes we figure, “I shouldn’t bother God about my little silly problems … he has bigger things to think about.” But this story shows that Jesus was concerned, even about mundane concerns --- like a banquet that was running low on wine.
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." John 2:2-5
Since the wedding was near their home town, we can guess it may have been a relative’s wedding. The fact that Mary knew about the wine running out implies that she might have been helping to host this event. At any rate, running out of wine at one of the week-long Jewish weddings was a calamity of gargantuan proportions. Wine was the primary drink for such occasions. Remember that they didn’t have refrigeration. They used wine because the fermentation killed harmful bacteria and made wine a safe drink to serve on big occasions.
To run out of this essential beverage might literally stop the wedding in its tracks. Weddings back then were legal contracts that joined one family to another. The Wedding was a celebration --- but it was also an important legal obligation. If one party failed to meet their obligation, the marriage could be canceled … and even if it wasn’t, the offending party would be embarrassed for life.