Summary: Jesus made himself known through performing miracles.
Title: The Fixer
Text: John 2:1-11
Thesis: Jesus made himself known through the miraculous.
Epiphany Series: Encountering Christ in Epiphany
The First Sunday of Epiphany we encountered Christ at his baptism.
• The First Sunday after Epiphany: Christ’s Identity. The First Sunday after Epiphany we encountered Christ at his baptism where God reveals to Jesus and to us who He (Jesus) is. “This is my Son, whom I love, and with whom I am very pleased.” Matthew 3:17
Today, the Second Sunday after Epiphany, we encounter Christ at a wedding.
• The Second Sunday after Epiphany: Christ’s Power. The Second Sunday after Epiphany we encounter Christ at a wedding where he performed the first of many miracles that would follow. “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” John 2:13
(Miracles are intended to be a blessing to people but they are also intended to demonstrate that Jesus is God and to inspire faith in those who observe them.)
When Bonnie and I were married, the ceremony was performed by her grandfather, who was a retired pastor. It was a beautiful event… very formal including an Italian tenor. But it was not without its memorable moments:
1. The Maid of Honor fainted.
2. Bonnie’s veil caught on fire when she moved too close to candelabra.
3. Her grandfather had Bonnie repeat her vows twice and did not ask me to say mine.
Though it was a memorable occasion for us, eventually all that will remain of our wedding day will be a dilapidated photo album that one of our children or grandchildren will tuck away in a box in an attic. Perhaps generations from now our great, great, great, great grandchildren will discover the album and thumb through it, wondering who the handsome couple might have been before sending it on to the landfill.
I understand Queen Elizabeth is quite upset about the upcoming wedding of her grandson, Prince William to Kate Middleton. In lieu of the tough economic times the couple has decided to scale down their plans by forgoing a traditional “royal wedding. One of their decisions was to arrive at the Abbey in a car rather than a horse-drawn, glass-covered carriage. It is reported that when Queen Elizabeth heard that, she immediately phoned Prince William on his cell and asked, “Are you going to ride your cycles (bicycles” to the Abbey?”
The Queen, very fixed on tradition, does not want the wedding to be a non-descript commoner’s wedding. She wants it to be a traditional royal wedding, woven with pomp and ceremony that will not soon be forgotten.
The wedding in our text today was probably, by the standards of that day, a very traditional Jewish wedding. However it was and continues to be an unforgettable wedding. People are still talking about it despite the fact that it occurred over two-thousand years ago in a dusty little, Middle Eastern village. It is remembered as “The Wedding at Cana of Galilee.”
We do not know the names of the couple who were married. We do not know if they were part of Jesus’ extended family or if they were family friends or neighbors. What we do know is that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was there as was Jesus and his disciples and that the host of the wedding ran out of wine before the celebration was over. And we also know that what made this the most remembered wedding in history is the fact that when the host ran out of wine, Jesus turned water into wine.
This morning I want to take some time to unpack the text so we can appreciate all there is about this story that gives us insight into who Jesus is. (Last week we encountered Jesus as the Son of God at his baptism.)
This week we ask the question, how do we encounter Christ in the story of the Wedding at Cana of Galilee?
I. Jesus was ordinary. Jesus did what ordinary people do… he went to a wedding with his family and friends.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. John 2:1-2
Wedding customs vary the world over. Some of the most interesting weddings are in foreign cultures.
The Massai people of Kenya traditionally practice arranged marriages. A father will give his daughter in marriage when she is a child, to a man who is usually much older. When she is between 13 and 16 years of age, the bride packs her things and is dressed in her finest jewelry. At the ceremony the father of the bride spits on the bride’s head as a blessing and then she leaves with her husband, walking to her new home. She never looks back fearing she will turn into stone.