Party On! The Miracle at the Wedding in Cana of Galilee - John 2
Intro: This morning, if you have your Bibles, turn with me to the gospel of John, chapter 2. Last week we began our study of John’s gospel. We saw his purpose in 20:30-31 - Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John declares for us that his purpose is to show us by the miracles he records for us how very special Jesus is. We saw last week that John starts out in the very first chapter declaring who Jesus is: he is the eternal, divine, creator who gives us life and light, and who became one of us to show us the way to the father. Today, we are going to look in chapter 2 at the first miracle that John records Jesus doing. To help us visualize the text, we are going to watch a short video clip from the “gospel of John” movie. The words you hear will be the words of scripture from the Good News Bible.
**show video clip**
I’ve entitled my sermon this morning, “Party On!” - not a phrase you’d expect to hear coming from the church. But I’d assert to you this morning that that is part of the problem we face in our society. Sure, there are many in the world “partying” in ways that we cannot embrace, but we as Christians are the ones who truly SHOULD be partying. After all, we’re the ones who’ve got a reason for celebration. It’s interesting to note, that as we find Jesus here today, he was at a celebration. In fact, we often see him eating with the IRS men and the prostitutes. He enjoyed himself so much that his detractors called him a “glutton and drunkard” (Matthew 11:19). He wasn’t afraid of celebrations and he wasn’t afraid of the ungodly. I think far too often we are afraid to have fun lest it should appear we aren’t being spiritual! We don’t want to come into contact with “sinners” lest we be enticed with their ways. But the truth is that we will never win the unsaved to Christ unless we find the opportunity to come into their world! The Bible never says “wait for all the world to come to you” - rather it says “go YE into all the world!” So this morning, the first questions I would ask you is “who is it that you know who is unsaved? What are you doing to build some relationships with them? I could probably offer the benediction right now and that would be enough for most of us to chew on for a week. But I’m only beginning. So let’s go on!
The Circumstances surrounding this miracle were quite ordinary. Jesus was not afraid of a good party. We see him here invited to a wedding feast in Cana, a small town a few miles away from his hometown of Nazareth. It was an ordinary wedding amongst common, ordinary people. The bride and groom are not named because nobody John was writing to would have known them anyway. They were a bunch of nobody’s. Jesus’ first miracle did not occur at the wedding of a king’s daughter. It did not occur in Rome or even Jerusalem. It occurred in a little insignificant village named Cana. This town was so insignificant that John had to specify it as Cana of Galilee. This was small town folks getting together to celebrate the joining together of two insignificant people as far as the world would be concerned. Why is that observation important for you and me to know? Because most of us are insignificant people as far as the world is concerned. It tells us a lot about Jesus’ attitude toward us and His priorities. Would the Son of God step into my little world and work a miracle? Yes, indeed! In fact, He delights in reaching way, way down to people who feel their need for Him and lifting them up.
It’s possible that Jesus was related; more probable that it was someone his family would have known well. And Jesus comes to celebrate with them. Jewish tradition for weddings had the bride and groom and all well-wishers take a long procession from the bride’s house to the groom’s house -- sort of like our traditional rides today from the wedding to the reception -- and once they got to the groom’s house the wedding feast began. It is probable that there was some form of ceremony, but nothing is recorded about it. Only about the feast -- often it could go on for days, even up to a week! And the expense was borne by the groom’s family! There is a great time had by all -- but then the wine runs out. This was a situation that was not only embarrassing but was a great insult to hospitality and could have long-term consequences for the groom’s family. So Jesus steps in.