Summary: The miracle of transformation begins when we are willing to offer Jesus obedience without reservation; service without limitation; and participation without intimidation. Jesus can take what we will do and do with it that we can’t do.
Jesus was on a mission to save the world, the greatest mission in the history of mankind. Yet, he took the time to attend a wedding and take part in the festivities. We may be tempted to think we should not take time out from our important work for social occasions. But maybe these social occasions are part of our mission. Jesus valued these wedding festivities because they involved people and Jesus came to be with people. Our mission can often be accomplished in joyous times of celebration with others. Bring balance to your life by bringing Jesus into times of pleasure as well as times of work.
Wonder why Jesus would allow his first miracle to be here at a wedding feast? Maybe it was because all of us can relate to this couple’s predicament. In the Jewish culture, the weddings were pre arranged and the couples were obedient to their parents. The bride and groom were selected by the parents and the couple had little to do with it. Many of us find ourselves in predicaments of life that we can do very little about. Many of us may not be able to relate to a chronic illness, or blindness, deafness or dumbness, but every one of us have been caught in situations where something ran out! The pandemic has caused all of to experience a season where thing ran out!
Weddings in Jesus' day were weeklong festivals. Banquets were prepared for many guests, and the week was spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Often the whole town was invited and everybody came. It was considered an insult to refuse a wedding invitation. To accommodate so many people, careful planning was done. To run out of wine was more than embarrassing; it broke the strong unwritten laws of hospitality. Jesus was about to respond to a heartfelt need.
This is not a life or death situations. Everyone could survive without another shot of wine. But heartfelt needs touch the heart of God. Mary was probably not asking for a miracle; she simply hoped Jesus would help solve this family's problem. Some Jewish traditions say Joseph had died some years early and Jesus Mary's oldest son was the key to the family's success. Mary leaned heavily on the shoulders of Jesus. Although Mary did not know exactly what Jesus would do, she trusted him to do the right thing. Those who believe in Jesus will sometimes run into situations they cannot handle or understand, but they must continue to trust that he will work things out in the best way.
John’s gospel provides us with only seven signs to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the son of God. He begins his miracles at a wedding feast and ends his miracles at a funeral. Have you ever considered why this miracle? John introduces Jesus in chapter one… John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Jesus is more than a prophet, more than a healer. He is the creator God. Personally, I had missed the point of this text. I concentrated my study on the wedding, the festivities, the lack of wine and the obvious felt need. All those things do appear in the text but they are the minor details. John meaning goes deeper. The Roman Catholics have attempted to use this passage to prove that His mother Mary is a mediator. Thus they teach praying to Mary. Certain bootleggers and moonshine makers have try to use this passage to justify their operations, but this passage is not about mediation or wine production. It is about proving that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God.
In this first miracle, John attempts to show us Jesus is the Creator God who has power to change one substance into another. Not only is God concerned about our felt needs, He is willing to use His creative ability to supply that need. This miracle really points to the new birth and how He can change a sinner into a saint.
There is interesting story in 1 Samuel 10. Saul has been sent on an errant to find his father’s lost live stock when he meets the prophet Samuel. Samuel anoints Saul with oil and predicts his future. When Saul meets a group prophets descending from worship, the 6th verse says, “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” Saul witnessed and experienced a demonstration and transformation by the Creator God.
Jesus is not violating the laws of nature; he is not using mind over matter. Being from Palestine, Jesus was well aware of the wine making process. This wine was not made in old wine skins or bottle, but stone wash pots. Every guest had probably washed off their hands and feet with water from these pots. Notice also that Jesus did not even use his disciples in this miracle. He used “house servants.” The possible bounty of this miracle was staggering, six water pots held nearly 150 gallons of water.