Summary: The miraculous and revelatory are a byproduct of following Jesus. The greatest miracle is knowledge of Him and ourselves.
The Beginning of Greater Things
God is a miracle-working God. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. When we follow close to Him, miracles are an everyday occurrence. The disciples followed Jesus, looking for a Messiah and Saviour, but there was more than they anticipated. We do not look for miracles, we look for Jesus. Miracles are revelatory, and the Word is always in the process of revealing Himself. Therefore, we follow close to Jesus; we will behold greater things.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." 4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."
We love the chapter divisions' tidiness in the Bible, but we should remember that they are not original. Our text begins not with the word "On," but with the word "and" connecting it with the previous chapters and verses. Last week, we ended our lesson with Jesus telling Nathaniel that if he continued to believe and follow Jesus that he will see the glory of God--that he would "see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Our text picks up with "And'... and as we will see the beginning of the manifestation of Jesus' glory.
Chapter 1:19-51 repeated the phrase "the next day" is repeated three times leading up to the third day in our text. Chapter 2 begins with "the third day."
They are in Galilee. Not Judea. The verb egeneto is the same as "came to be" in 1:3, 6, 10, 14, 17, and 28).
They have no wine. This need does not seem to have been a direct concern to Mary or the Lord. She does not say, "We have not wine" but "they." In the Synoptics, there is a parallel in the story of the feeding of the 5,000 where it reads, "They have nothing to eat" (Mk 8:2; Mt 15:32). There it was a matter of hunger or starvation; here, it is a matter of social disaster. Jesus cares.
What does that have to do with either of us? Jesus is disengaging from the situation.
Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus will speak of His hour. He understood His purpose. He knew that once He began His ministry, there was an inevitable end.
We need those people in our lives who will nudge us. This is one of the reasons why regular fellowship with the members of the body of Christ is essential. Provoke one another to good works. People who say that they "come to church for God and not for people" miss the point. God knows that we need one another by His design, and He has so willed it that we experience His glory when we are gathered together. The gifts of the Spirit operate when we get together. Paul's letter to the Corinthians about the supernatural gifts of the Spirit was written in the context of corporate worship. He says, "when you come together" (1 Cor 11:20). Mary was there, the Lord was there, His disciples were there. Everyone was there. Some people grow spiritually dry because they are not connected to the rest of the church. It is important to stay together.
It is significant that Jesus' "beginning of miracles" takes place at a wedding feast. There were those in the history of the church who taught that a life of celibacy was superior to the married life. Here Jesus blesses the institution of marriage by attending. There may also be an allusion to the marriage supper of the Lamb. John will use the language of marriage in speaking of his ministry as compared to that of Jesus. Jesus was the bridegroom, and John was just the best man.
It also speaks to Jesus' interest in the things of our lives. He had time to attend a wedding. We have a tendency to compartmentalize our lives. A right understanding of the doctrine of creation can cause us to cry out with the seraphim, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God Almighty, the whole earth is filled with His glory."
He is at the beginning of creation. He created the stuff of creation ex nihilo--from nothing. He then took the watery chaos and formed the world in which we live.
There are three aspects of the doctrine of Providence:
Preservation refers to God's work and will in upholding all of creation.
Concurrence describes God's work in and with all that he has made.
Governance indicates God's work in guiding all things to the purpose for which they have been made, and God's active rule over creation.