Summary: # 6 in series -A Study of the Book of John - “That You May Believe.” From this the first miracle we can learn four things about miracles.
A Study of the Book of John
“That You May Believe”
Sermon # 6
“Jesus – Performs His First Miracle!”
This story begins with the words “On the third day,” that is to say just three days after His baptism in the river Jordan, and His identification as the Lamb of God by John (John 1:33-34), Jesus performs His first recorded miracle. Jesus performed His first miracle, not at a funeral but at a wedding; not in the temple but in a private home.
The occasion of the miracle was a village wedding feast to which Mary, the mother of Jesus had been invited. I find it fascinating that the earthly ministry of Jesus began at a wedding and all of human history will culminate with a wedding (Rev 19:9).
Weddings are always special, but Eastern wedding are far different from what we in the West are use to! In Western weddings the bride is the star of the show, the groom just shows up and tries not get in the way. When she enters, dressed in bridal white the whole congregation stands as the organ plays, “Here comes the Bride.” But in Eastern weddings, it is the groom who is the featured one. And here is something to send a shutter down the spine of all the parents of boys in the congregation. Not only is the groom the featured person but he also pays for the entire affair.
Another key difference is that instead of the couple leaving immediately after the wedding for a honeymoon, they had open house for a week.
The setting for Jesus’ first miracle is given in verses one and two, “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. (2) Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.”
This morning I want you to notice three things with me about this miracle.
First, The Reason For the Miracle. (2:3-5)
The Request of Mary (v. 3)
“And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."
Apparently, the amount of wine needed for the wedding feast has been underestimated. As the pastor I understand the dilemma of trying to estimate how many people will be at any particular function. There is the ever present fear that supplies will run out before everyone has been served.
The problem is that the wine has run out and there appears to be no solution. Either there is no more wine available or there is no money to purchase more wine. So Mary takes the problem to Jesus. This in no mere report and although we really have no way of knowing what Mary’s expectations were when she made this statement to Jesus, she informs Him with the hope that He might do something about the situation. Some suggest that she is hinting that He and the disciples need to leave, but I hardly think this is likely. J. Vernon McGee suggest that Mary is asking for is that He at last vindicate her reputation that He is indeed the Son of God. But since He had not yet performed any miracles, this was probably not asking for something super-natural, she just wanted His help. [Warren Wiersbe. Classic Sermons on the Miracles of Jesus. Ch 1. “Empty Waterpots.” (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1995) p.8]
Mary is very careful not to tell Jesus what to do, but it seems clear that she hopes he will do something.
The Response Of Jesus (vv. 4-5).
“Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
Although in English Jesus’ use of the term “Woman” in addressing His mother seems harsh and abrupt, it was in fact a common term. It is the same form of address He used with the woman at the well (John 4:21) and with the woman taken in adultery (John 8:10) and with Mary Magdalene at the Tomb (John 20:15). It is also the same form of address He uses from the Cross to commend her into the Apostle John’s care (John 19:26). There is no harshness in his voice on any of those occasions.
Jesus goes on to say, “What does your concern have to do with Me?” (v. 4). A literal translation of the Greek phrase would be, “What to me and to you!” Jesus is asking his mother just what has caused her to think the problem was His problem as well as hers. It is as though Mary has said, “Jesus, they are out of wine and WE need to do something!” There is probably not a man in this congregation that can not identify with his wife saying, “WE need to do this or that” but what she really means is “you need to do something!” Jesus responds in like matter with “Ma’am what do you mean we!” Jesus is asserting that not only is he a grown man no longer under the authority of his mother but he is the Messiah! Jesus’ response seems to be setting new parameters in his relationship with his mother. For many years (Jesus is now 30 yrs old) she has raised Jesus as her son. It is perhaps a gentle reminder that she could no longer view him as other mother’s viewed their sons.