Summary: The first of a five part series on how Jesus takes ordinary stuff the base and turns it into an extraordinary thing. How he will take lives that have nothing to offer, lives washed in doubt and have those people do extraordinary things.
In John’s gospel we find Jesus doing the first extraordinary thing of his ministry, his first miracle. This is a miracle that has a few stumped as it involves the manufacture of wine from water. I get the distinct view that many would not really approve. But this miracle is not just about taking something at it most base being water and turning it into wine this is about much more. So let’s spend some time exploring what this is about.
• This miracle, where did it occur?
• At a wedding, there is some thought that the wedding was a family wedding and that it was likely for one of Jesus cousins. There is a gospel that is outside the new testament that says that the groom was the son of one of Mary’s sisters
• It happened in a small town in Cana in the region of Galilee. I guess John noted the bit about it being in Galilee, as there was also a town called Cana, in Coelo-Syria. This Galilean village of Cana was just down the road from Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown
• So we have a time of celebration, funnily enough most likely on a Wednesday, as that is the day that weddings of those being married for the first time took place. So unless it was a second marriage, Wednesday is likely the day when Jesus first public miracle occured.
Why did it occur?
• Well this is interesting. If Jesus turned up at the wedding with his new picked disciples and at a minimum there would have been five of them there, it’s likely that his students, put a bit of a strain on the arrangements for the wedding, the old unexpected guests scenario. Imagine that you are putting on a diner party and five extras turn up, it’s a bit more than a couple of extra spuds in the pot to make sure things go smoothly
• This is not to say that they were chewing through the supplies at such a rate as to be drunk. In their society drunkenness was a disgrace. Wine was according to the historians always watered down and was two parts wine to three of water
• Mary came to Jesus and basically requested his help. It’s thought that being a family wedding, that Mary may have had some responsibility for the catering and with his bringing the disciples he had a bit of responsibility himself
4) An interesting point to note
• The jars were huge, these were around twenty gallons or nearly 76 litres per jar times six what’s that 456litres almost exactly two full baths filled to the brim
Well about all these points you may be thinking, so what?
First things first, this was the first of Jesus miracles recorded in the scriptures, very early in his ministry, well at least early in his ministry with the disciples. We get an understanding here that Mary knew that Jesus was capable of such things. With the way that Mary approached Jesus and the way that she told the servants at the time to “do whatever he tells you to do”, you sort of get the idea that Mary had seen Jesus take the ordinary and make it into the extraordinary before this day. Mary knew what her son was capable of. As a result of the miracles John records, “Jesus glory was revealed and the disciples put their faith in him.”
There are a couple of interesting points: “do whatever he tells you to do” and he takes the ordinary and makes it into the extraordinary. Now if all Christians lived our lives on the first of those points if we did what Jesus told us to do, I firmly believe that a whole lot more of God’s will would be being done on earth as it is in Heaven than is currently being done. We might even realise that part of the Lord’s Prayer where we see God’s kingdom come and his will done here on Earth.
There’s an interesting question; do you “do as Jesus tells you to do”, do you know what he is telling you to do? How versed in scripture are you, do you seek to live by the words of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit or are you just sort of fluffing around the edges of living for Christ? Please don’t think that that is a judgemental question, that’s between you and Him.
This has an interesting possibility for outcomes, the truth is that wherever Jesus is, be it in your heart, your life or mine he takes the ordinary and does extraordinary things. That kind of signs and wonders stuff.
For some reason, he heals, he empowers, he releases, he comforts, he befriends, he makes lives fruitful where previously they were waste grounds, where lives were laid waste by a world and an enemy who is out to kill, rob and destroy. Jesus does extra ordinary things in lives where those living them respond and do as he asks them to do.