Summary: Jesus can quench our thirst for real, lasting joy.

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In every wedding ceremony, there is always at least one mistake. A young couple, very much in love, was getting married. Marilyn, the wife to be, was very nervous about the big occasion and so the pastor chose a Scripture verse that he felt would be a great encouragement to her. The verse was 1 John 4:18, which says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Rather unwisely, the pastor asked the best man to read it during the ceremony. The best man wasn’t very familiar with the Bible and didn’t know the difference between the Gospel of John and First John. The time came for him to read the verse. He introduced his reading by saying that the pastor felt this was a very apt verse for Marilyn. But instead of reading 1 John 4:18, he read John 4:18, which says, “You have had five husbands and the one that you now have is not your husband.”

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee” (v. 1a).

Chapters 1 and 2 recount the first week of Jesus’ public ministry:

• Day 1: John the Baptist testifies concerning Jesus (1:19-28).

• Day 2: John the Baptist’s encounter with Jesus (1:29-34; “the next day”).

• Day 3: John the Baptist refers two of his disciples to Jesus (1:35-39; “the next day”).

• Day 4: Andrew introduces his brother Peter to Jesus (1:40-42).

• Day 5: Philip and Nathanael follow Jesus (1:43-51; “the next day”).

• Day 6: No information is given.

• Day 7: Jesus attends the wedding at Cana (2:1-11; “on the third day”).

Jewish weddings:

• Jewish weddings were important and joyful occasions in the lives of the bride and the groom and their extended families, and the entire community joined in the celebration.

• On the eve of the wedding day, the bride was brought from her father’s home to that of her husband in joyful procession. Veiled by a bridal veil and surrounded by bridesmaids, she was led by “the friends of the bridegroom” and the “children of the bridechamber.”

• Upon arrival, the bride was led to her husband, and the couple was crowned with garlands. This was followed by the signing of the marriage contract.

• After the marriage supper, which could last up to a full day, the “friends of the bridegroom” led the pair to the bridal chamber.

“Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding” (v. 1b-2).

Why were they there?

• Application: To have a marriage as God intended, Jesus must be present (spiritually).

• That Jesus, his mother, and his disciples were all invited to the same wedding suggests the wedding was for a relative or close family friend. (Cana was a short distance from Nazareth.)

• Perhaps Mary had some responsibility for the organization of the catering. This could explain her attempt to deal with the shortage of wine.

“When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine’” (v. 3).

What about wine? Why was running out of wine such a big problem?

• Scripture portrays wine both as a blessing and as a symbol of violence, corruption, or wickedness (cf. Proverbs).

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