Summary: Why did Jesus turn water into wine? I think there are three reasons. 1. The first reason is that Jesus is compassionate. He got the couple out of a social disaster 2. The second reason was that wine signifies God’s new age that Jesus was ushering
Jesus’ first miracle: Turning water into wine
Story: A little girl was attending a wedding for the first time.
She whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?"
Her mother replied: "Because white is the colour of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life,”
The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why’s the groom wearing black?"
Why is it that marriage so often have a bad press?
People make comments like “When are you going to get married and be miserable like the rest of us?”
And the mother –in – law jokes are endless
Stag parties are painted as the last night of fun before you get tied down.
Yet here in the Gospels is one of the biggest vindications of marriage – Jesus attendance at it and his making of it a wonderful time
Did you notice in the story that Jesus takes something sombre and so very religious – purification jars - and turns them into something for rejoicing - wine
Surely that is what Christianity is all about
Yet if you put on the Christian TV stations here on Sky most of the time you will see sombre pastors preaching the word of God.
You wonder if they know the “joy of the Lord is my strength”
John starts the story with these words:
“On the third day………
Yet if you read the context from the beginning of Jn 1, it seems more like day 5!
The phrase – on the third day reminds me of Christ rising from the dead on the third day, thereby offering us abundant life.
And turning water into wine reminds me too of the wine of our Holy Communion service.
You see Jesus was not above turning something overtly religious into something that challenges, what some consider, outside the sphere of the religious - joy.
Not that I think Christianity is a religion – but that is for another sermon! It is a way of life
In this record, Jesus created something that emanated joy and happiness in life.
Question: So why did Jesus turn water into wine?
I think there are three reasons.
1. The first reason is that Jesus is
He got the couple out of a social disaster
2. The second reason was that wine signifies God’s new age that Jesus was ushering in.
3. The third reason is that Jesus wanted to develop faith
1. The first reason was that Jesus had compassion
Jesus felt compassion for this young couple that were just about to make the “faux pas” of their married lives.
In those days, running out of wine at a wedding was not a minor social inconvenience.
And you couldn’t just pop down to Safeway’s or
Tescos’ and get a few bottles more.
In the first century, running out of wine at a wedding was a social disgrace.
The couple should have planned better.
It was a major breach of the demands of hospitality; and it would be devastating for the couple.
And notice- when God does something – he does it well.
When Jesus changed water into wine, he didn’t make some cheap plonk – he made the best.
Question: Have you any idea how many glasses of wine the six stone jars represented.
24 glasses, 240 glasses, 2,400 glasses or 24,000 glasses
Answer=2,400 glasses – 150 gallons of wine (John the Gospel of Belief by Merrill Tenney p.83)
You could hardly call Jesus a killjoy could you?
Look what the master of the banquet said to the Bridegroom:
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink. But you have saved the best till now”
God has high standards – even at parties.
2. God’s new age
Those at the wedding feast who knew their Old Testament scriptures knew that an abundance of wine symbolized the arrival of God’s new age.
We miss this significance when we read it if we don’t know our Old Testament – as the Jews of Jesus day knew them.
Let me read a couple of these texts
"The time is surely coming says the Lord when
the mountains shall drip with sweet wine and
the hills shall flow with it; when my people shall plant vineyards and drink their wine." (Amos 9:13, l4.)
Here is another
"On this mountain the Lord will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of well-aged wines strained clear…This is the Lord for whom we have waited. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (Isaiah 25: 6-10.)
Jesus provided an abundance of wine at the wedding feast - to announce the arrival of the Kingdom of God.