Summary: Through his first miracle, at the wedding in Caana, Jesus shows that he cares about the small stuff in our lives…we should care about the small stuff in the lives of others.
Introduction: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” We’ve all heard it. Many of us try to practice it. We encourage others to do it. There are even books about it. We are supposed to stop worrying about the small stuff and just let it go. There’s just one problem with that; most of life is made up of the small stuff.
I’m not saying that we should spend our time worrying (Jesus even condemned that). I’m not saying that we should let our lives be consumed by the small details and all of the insane business of the little things that make up our lives. But I am saying that the small stuff matters and when it comes to being compassionate, caring and loving towards others…we would do well to spend time on the small stuff.
This morning, as we continue to look at this compelling portrait of Jesus I want us to notice that he genuine concern for the little things. Things that may have matter at the moment, but in the scheme of things carried no perceived importance…these things mattered to Jesus. The smallest issues in the lives of people mattered to Jesus.
Today I want us to look at the first recorded miracle of Jesus. In this snapshot from the life of Jesus we see him at a wedding turning water into wine. The book of John records the details for us.
Before we look at this passage though, we need to understand a few things about John. John was a Jew. His background, upbringing and culture were thoroughly Jewish. However, John was writing to a primarily GREEK audience or to Jews that were in Greek communities. The Greeks thought differently than the Jews. They had different beliefs. Their ideas regarding deity and humanity and the interaction between the two was very different from that of the Jews. So John is focusing on helping Greek readers understand who Jesus was and believe in him. In fact, John clearly states his purpose for writing this letter.
In John 20:30-31 he says,
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30-31 (NIV)
Everything that John wrote down in his record of the life of Christ was for the purpose of helping people know/believe that Jesus was indeed the Son of God – the Messiah. So John chose carefully what he included in his account.
Something else we need to understand about John. He wrote in layers. John recorded historical events, but more than that he couched them in such a way as to tell a “Story behind the story.” (This was very Jewish) Every story John included had a factual, historical level, but underneath that he had deeper spiritual meaning that he wished to convey and the images he used to tell his story would convey that spiritual meaning to those who were familiar with first century Jewish and Greek cultures.
It’s important to understand this dimension of John’s writing when we explore his accounts of the life of Jesus.
Let me read you this account and then we’ll dive into our exploration of it.
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. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "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."
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
John 2:1-11 (NIV)
The Historical Event – Water to Wine
The first level of this story is the actual historical account of Jesus attending a wedding at Cana in Galilee and working the miracle of turning water into wine.