Summary: The miracle of water into wine
Langham, Field Dalling and Thornage 26-01-03
Jesus’ first miracle: Turning water into wine
Illustration: THE MARS BAR QUESTION
Do any of you know a show on television "Wheel of Fortune" in the UK? It is a show where the contestants have to guess a word or phrase, based on consonants that are revealed on a display board.
I’d like to do something like that this morning.
I have eight words – jumbled up, which I would like you to guess.
And the first letter of each word goes to form a proper word, which is the subject of my talk this morning.
When I was at school, we used to have a Mars
Bar question. If you got the question or caught
the catch you got a Mars Bar.
And so the person who guesses the FINAL word
will get a Mars Bar.
So the first letters of the following words makes up the Mars Bar word
Nuptials - another name for a marriage service
Invitation - what you have to send out to get people to come to a marriage
Groom - an important person at a marriage
Dance - what you would do at the reception after a marriage
Drink - this would be consumed at a marriage
Embarrassment - if the drink had run out, what would this have caused?
Water - what did Jesus change?
Put them in order to read: WEDDING
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 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.
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.)
"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.
3. Jesus is looking to develop faith
The result of this miracle was to develop faith. John 2:11 says;
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus’ first display of his glory. AND HIS DISCIPLES BELIEVED IN HIM.
Was faith just a result of the miracle or had Jesus thought it though. I like to think that it was thought through.
Why - because throughout the Gospels Jesus is looking to develop the faith of those around him.
Jesus’ disciples were probably a bit mixed up.
They had heard John the Baptist identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God – the Messiah.
And yet many “messiahs” had come and gone.
Israel at this time was a hotbed of unrest, with terrorist groups like the Zealots springing up everywhere.
For example Theudas had led a revolt with 400 men and this had been put down, followed by Judas the Galilean (see Acts 5:36/37)