Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 2: 1 – 12
John 2: 1 – 12
They ran out of Joy
1 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.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six water pots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. 12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
The incident at the wedding in Cana of Galilee is said by the writer John to be the first of Jesus’ ‘signs’. This brings out how important what happened here was seen to be. It was to be seen as a specific sign of Who He was. It is to be seen, therefore, as more than just a nature miracle. And that should cause us to look at it carefully.
John is in fact the only one who describes Jesus’ miraculous acts as ‘signs’. They were ‘signs’ because they revealed something of His person, His glory and His purpose. In other words they are ‘signs’ because they demonstrate something of Who and What He is. We should note in this regard that John stresses that these signs actually occurred and were witnessed by the disciples and by others which John comments again in chapter 20 verses 30 – 31, “‘Many other signs did Jesus in the presence of His disciples --- but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing might find life through His Name’.
There are seven such signs described in John’s Gospel:
• The turning of water into wine (2.1-12).
• The healing at a distance of the son of the high official at Herod’s court (4.46-54).
• The healing of the lame man on the Sabbath (5.1-16).
• The feeding of the five thousand (6.1-15).
• The walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee (6.16-26).
• The healing of the man blind from birth (9.1-41).
• The raising of Lazarus (11.1-46).
Each of the ‘signs’ points either to being the Messiah or His divinity. The first has in mind the promise of full flowing wine in Isaiah 25.6-8 which is to take place when God takes away the veil that is over men’s eyes and when death is swallowed up, and consolation and joy is given to all who are His.
Isaiah 25 ‘And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.’
This miracle or sign will also indicate that the old ritual is passing away to be replaced by the new wine of the Spirit.
In this first extraordinary sign we see the creative power of God through Jesus as John declared in chapter 1 verse 3, ‘All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made’. By ‘creating’ wine Jesus reveals Himself therefore as the One Who has come to bring joy to the world through His creative power. It revealed that He could do it by a word or even a thought for He made no movement towards the jars of water. He simply determined that they should hold wine, and they did.