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Summary: Jesus' first sign was quiet, not at all spectacular as one might have supposed. Yet, what He did at that time anticipates God at work in the mundane. He performs the miraculous in the mundane facets of life on any given day.

“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

“Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.’ So, they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him” [JOHN 2:1-11]. [1]

Weddings happened every day in Galilee. At a wedding, everyone knew what would happen next. Like our own celebrations, the rituals are fixed. Though the bride may imagine that her special day is unique because she wrote her own vows, or because she chose a strange venue for the ceremony, or because she chose dresses for her bridesmaids and her maid of honour that no one will ever wear again, the order of service will seldom vary. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that weddings in that ancient day were rather monotonous. The routine never varied. Well, not until one day when Jesus came to a wedding.

A WEDDING AT CANA — When Jesus was revealed as the Messiah to the Baptist, He immediately began His divine work. For thirty-three years, He had lived in relative obscurity. He did nothing to stand out until that day He came to where John was baptising in the Jordan. John immediately knew Him. The Baptist shrank in awe at the request to baptise Jesus. He demurred, saying, “I need to be baptised by You, and do You come to me” [see MATTHEW 3:14]? Nevertheless, the Master responded to John, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting to fulfil all righteousness” [MATTHEW 3:15].

After He was baptised by the Baptist, Jesus began to gather around Himself those men who would be His apostles. John was standing with two of His disciples, one of whom was Andrew, the brother of Simon the son of a man named John. As Jesus passed by, John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God” [JOHN 1:36]. The two men who had been standing with John immediately began to follow Jesus. It was not a desertion of the Forerunner; this was fulfilment of the ministry God had assigned to John.

I suppose some might imagine that there was competition between Jesus and John. That is the way things operate in our world, but John saw matters differently. He knew why he was there in Judea, and he understood what his purpose was. He would say of Jesus and of himself, “He must increase, but I must decrease” [JOHN 3:30].

Having heard John’s testimony concerning Jesus, Andrew made the decision to follow Jesus. Andrew was excited—excited enough that he raced to find his brother, saying to him, “We have found the Messiah!” His excitement generated interest in Simon, who followed Andrew to Jesus. When Jesus saw Simon coming to Him, He said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas.” The Master was gathering a band about Him. There was nothing exceptional about these first followers; nevertheless, they were destined for greatness.

The next day, with these first disciples in tow, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. There, He found Philip, and invited him to join the growing band of disciples. The account the Evangelist provides reads as follows. “Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael said to him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered him, ‘Because I said to you, “I saw you under the fig tree,” do you believe? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’” [JOHN 1:44-51].

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