Summary: If you are going to have a wedding invite Jesus
Jesus’ first miracle: Turning water into wine
Story: Some years ago when Johnny Carson was the host of the well known American chat show: The Tonight Show he interviewed an eight year old boy.
The boy was asked to appear because he had
rescued two friends in a coalmine outside his hometown in West Virginia.
As Carson questioned the boy, it became apparent to him and the audience that the young man was a Christian.
So Carson asked him if he attended Sunday
When the boy said he did Johnny inquired, "What are you learning in Sunday school?"
"Last week," the boy replied, "our lesson was about when Jesus went to a wedding and turned water into wine."
The audience roared with laughter but Carson tried to keep a straight face.
Then he said, "And what did you learn from that story?"
The boy squirmed in his chair. It was apparent he hadn’t thought about this.
But then he broke into a smile and said, "If
you’re going to have a wedding, make sure you invite Jesus!"
Perhaps he was on to something because weddings are time of Joy.
It is interesting that Jesus’ first recorded miracle in John’s Gospel, is the turning of water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
I have often thought about
1. firstly why did Jesus turn water into wine and
2. secondly why did John specifically record it – after all Jesus perfomed lots of other miracles that have not been kept for posterity
We know that John had a lot of material to draw from. But he gives his reason for his final selection of stories used in the penultimate chapter of his Gospel
For in verse 30 and 31 of Chapter 20John writes
"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." (Jn 20:30-31)
So this miracle is recorded so that we, his readers may believe that Jesus is firstly the Christ the Son of God – and then progressing from there we may have life in his name
So what is there about this miracle that will enable us to have faith in Jesus
Firstly it is an incredibly REMARKABLE miracle – not just a drop of wine but six stone jars!
I can think of three reasons why Jesus performed this miracle
On the simplest level, this miracle shows us that Jesus is compassionate. He got the couple
out of a social disaster.
On a deeper level the turning of water into wine is covenantal. It represents the new covenant that Jesus was ushering in.
As one commentator put it: “Jesus replaces the old wine of Judaism with the new wine of his Covenant. “
And of course we see in the wine motif - an element of our communion service too.
The wine signifying Jesus blood poured out for us on the Cross.
In other words – Jesus pouring our himself for our sakes – revealing the Holy Love of God.
The third reason for the miracle is that Jesus wanted to develop confidence about Himself in his disciples – In other words that they could have faith in him.
Let us look at the three reasons in a bit more detail:
1. The first reason was that Jesus had compassion
Jesus felt compassion for this young couple that were just about to make the “faux pas” of their married lives.
In those days, running out of wine at a wedding was not a minor social inconvenience.
And you couldn’t just pop down to Safeway’s or Tescos’ and get a few bottles more.
In the first century, running out of wine at a wedding was a social disgrace. The couple should have planned better.
It was a major breach of the demands of hospitality; and it would be devastating for the couple.
And in those days a wedding went on for a good week with the couple keeping open house rather than going off on honeymoon
Jesus helped them out. And it is worth reflecting on the fact that when God does something – he does it well.
When Jesus changed water into wine, he didn’t make some cheap plonk – he made the best.
Question: Have you any idea how many glasses of wine the six stone jars represented.
2,400 glasses or
Answer= 2,400 glasses – 150 gallons of wine (John the Gospel of Belief by Merrill Tenney p.83)
You could hardly call Jesus a killjoy could you?