Summary: “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” John 2:11.
Theme: The first of the signs
Text: Is. 62:1-5; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Jn. 2:1-11
Weddings are and have always been considered a major event. Human history began with a marriage ceremony in the Garden of Eden and human history will end with the marriage ceremony between the bride and groom. Jesus also began His ministry at a wedding ceremony in Cana. In Jesus’ day a wedding celebration could take several days. The bride and groom would return to the groom’s house after the bridal ceremony and celebrate with their friends for as long as a week. During such a celebration in Cana, the wine run out and Jesus used the occasion to demonstrate His power for the first time by performing a miracle that was also a sign. Signs are not merely miracles. They are miracles with a meaning and with a message. They are intended to convey truth that would otherwise not be known and to manifest something significant that might otherwise be hidden. A sign is the outcome of the combination of human and divine activity. Men can dill water jars but only God can turn water into wine. Men perform the ordinary, normal activity but God touches it supernaturally and brings it to life giving it flavour, fragrance and effect. This sign at Cana was indicative of what the ministry of Jesus was going to be like whenever He touched a human life, not only during His lifetime on earth but also throughout the centuries to come when ever His ministry would be present in the world. Thus it affects us today as well. Bringing God into a situation touches everything with a new power that manifests His glory and ensures joy and gladness. The signs that Christ performed were special actions to reveal His glory to those who believed and confronted others with the need to make a decision about Him. They point us to who He really is. Jesus performed many signs to demonstrate how we could obtain the fullness of His blessings. The signs served to reveal Christ and what He came to do and changing water into wine was the first of the signs
The purpose of a sign is to point the way, to draw attention to or to give information about something. Today we all rely on signs that are placed in various places to give us information or point us in the right direction. In a variety of ways each of the miracles recorded by John points the way to Christ, draws attention to Him and gives information about Him. Signs are important but we have missed the point when we only focus on the signs and do not reach the destination they are pointing to. The signs in the gospels are pointing to the person of Christ, telling us about Him for the express purpose of leading people to faith in Him. Instead of focussing on the signs they should lead us to the belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that through faith in Him we receive eternal life.
Street signs are very helpful and many countries make it a priority to prevent people from getting lost. We often do not value signs till we find out how difficult it is to meet a need without them. On many occasions while trying to locate houses in areas unfamiliar to us we find ourselves looking for non existent signs and end up asking for directions. If those signs were available we would have no trouble finding our way unless we cannot read the signs. The first of the signs turning water into wine is very significant. Many Old Testament prophecies about the Messianic age talk about a time when wine would flow liberally. In Isaiah 55:1 the prophet declares “everyone who thirst come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price”. He talks about a time when everyone shall see the glory of the Lord and this is repeated by Amos in the words “the time is surely coming, says the Lord, when the one who ploughs shall overtake the one who reaps, and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit”. So Jesus’ miracle is in a sense an announcement of the coming of the Messianic age. It is also significant that the responsibility for providing the wine belonged to the bridegroom and Christ is the bridegroom announcing the birth of the Messianic age. Jesus used the occasion of the wine shortage to reveal God’s plan of salvation and redemption to the world. He takes an embarrassing situation, a situation of need and wants and turns it into a time of Joy and happiness. He redeems the situation and this was the purpose of His coming to earth.