Summary: Jesus reveals his glory in a most unusual circumstance.
John 2:1-11 Water to Wine
Weddings are expensive these days. I read about some celebrity couple who spent one million dollars on their wedding recently. They had everything plus fireworks. There are books available to help you plan a wedding from elaberate to low-cost. I heard on the TV not too long ago about how to have a low-cost wedding of under 15,000 dollars.
I don’t know if the wedding in John chapter 2 was supposed to be a low-cost wedding, but they did have an embarrassing situation. They ran out of wine before they ran out of wedding. But I’m getting head of the story…
Look at verses 1 and 2. 1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
It was on the third day, probably Tuesday. But whose wedding was this? Some have guessed it was either a disciple or some relative of Jesus. A few commentators think that this was none other than John’s wedding. Cana is just a few miles north of Nazareth. It seems to be springtime. (If Passover follows this event as we see in Verse 13).
Weddings are wonderful times of celebration. Jesus and his disciples are invited. Jesus mother seems to be aware of refreshments to the point that some think she may have been at least somewhat responsible. Was she in charge of the wine? She knows that they are out of wine and she certainly puts it to Jesus’ attention. Her words are brief. She doesn’t ask Jesus for anything. She doesn’t tell him to do anything. She simply makes this report: “they have no wine.” It’s sort of like a news headline. I wonder what was in those words? We don’t have a lot of scripture about Jesus’ relationship with his mother. We know that he was obedient. We remember his earliest recorded conversation in Luke 2:48-49. Remember when Jesus was left in Jerusalem at age 12? After 3 days of looking for him they found him in the temple. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." 49 "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?"
We have another record of his ministry when his family thought he was out of his mind. Mark 3:20-21,31-35
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." 33 "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother."
On this occasion, Jesus distances himself from his blood family. On another occasion, John 7:5 records for us, even his own brothers did not believe in him.
There are only a few words recorded about Jesus talking with his mother. The most touching time is found in John 19:25-27. Here Jesus gives responsibility to the care of his mother to John, his closest apostle, and perhaps his closest friend. That being the case, John, who wrote this gospel and kept Mary in his own home would have unique information about Jesus from his mother. It appears that Joseph may have died before Jesus leaves home. Joseph is not mentioned again after Luke chapter 2. Jesus may have had firsthand experience as the son of a widow. His deep compassion for the widow of Naine whose only son had died takes on a new perspective if this is the case.
But let’s go back to John chapter 2. The facts here are laid out for us. There is a wedding in Cana. Jesus, his disciples, and his mother are all present. They run out of wine, and Jesus mother informs him. The Bible says, when the wine was gone, or after the wine was gone. This implies they were they are for some time. These weddings took a long time. A week was traditional. Today, we usher them in, we tie the knots, we go to the reception, decorate their car, and send them off. And we do it all in the same day. Perhaps there is a rehearsal party the night before. And we do it all for under 15,000 dollars on the low budget plan. We are in a hurry in our culture. Not much time to celebrate relationships. We celebrate entertainment instead. At most weddings I have been to, wine wasn’t even on the menu. There may be ginger ale for a toast, but that’s about as far as it goes. So now, when we come to John 2, and see Jesus at a wedding, were kind of glad to see that the wine is gone. Well, it was gone because they drank it all up before the party was over.