Summary: Jesus’ first miracle was at a jubilant wedding at Cana. From the circumstances and process of the miracle we learn much about the way our Lord operates as well as the appropriate response to Him.
Fortifying the Foundations #5
This morning our text is found in John 2:1-11. As you recall from Chapter 1 Jesus has been identified as the Messiah in John the Baptist’s meetings. The first day Jesus was there John recognized Him in the crowd and announced Messiah’s presence there but did not identify Jesus to the people. The second day as Jesus approached John in the meeting John pointed to Jesus and made his famous introduction, “Look, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” The day following day the first five or six disciples began to gather around Jesus. They left the area in the Jordan Valley where John had been preaching and began a two day journey on foot- about sixty or seventy miles north to Cana of Galilee, Nathanael’s home town which incidentally was only about three or four miles from Nazareth where Jesus had grown up. Our story today begins on the third day after their two-day journey. Please follow with me as we read:
2:1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." 5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." 6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. 8Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, 9and 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 10and 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." 11This, 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. NIV
In that last verse John tells us the point of this story. This is Jesus’ first miracle. It is a revelation of the glory of Christ, a demonstration of His power and character. It is significant in the development of the disciples’ faith.
There is a lot of information we would like to have that John simply does not give us. Who were the bride and groom? They were probably close friends to Jesus’ family—maybe one of them was even a relative. We can guess that from the influence Mary demonstrates as she directs the servants. But the bride and groom are not named and we really don’t know who they were.
Exactly when did the water turn into wine? Did the transformation occur as the water was poured into the water pots or did the miracle happen as the water was drawn from the pots to be served?
Then there is the big question that must be on somebody’s mind this morning—
What kind of wine was this that Jesus made? Was it grape juice? Was it fermented? We do not really know?
Why doesn’t John give us this information? Because it is not significant to what he is trying to say to us.
In verse 11 John says, “This, the first of his miraculous signs…” That is significant. There have been all kinds of fanciful conjectures as to what went on in Jesus’ life as a child—concocted stories of Jesus making clay pigeons and then turning them into live ones, changing people into animals then back again, stretching lumber to its desired length (that would be handy wouldn’t it?), killing another kid, blinding people, all kinds things out of harmony with the nature of God and God’s purposes in the miraculous. But here we have a sure word of revelation about Jesus’ childhood. He did not perform miracles as a child. He lived a relatively normal life as a Jewish boy except that he never sinned. And some of you parents know that’s not normal.
Jesus never did a miracle until after the Holy Spirit came upon Him as a dove at His water baptism. That was His empowerment for service. Jesus did not exercise His deity to perform miracles. He did His miracles as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit and dependent upon the Father. This is His first “miraculous sign.” In this book John will share seven moresuch signs that clearly prove Jesus is Who He says He is.