On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus *said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to theheadwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter *called the bridegroom, 10 and *said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This beginning of His 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 and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
(John 2:1-12 NIV)
The Apostle John continues to keep a count of the days, and so far, not a day goes by without John recording a significant event in Jesus’ ministry. Today is no different, as John records Jesus’ first miracle.
John does not tell us who is getting married. From chapter 1, we know Nathaniel was from Cana – could it be Nathaniel? Or maybe John himself? We can only surmise.
The wedding was obviously for a friend or family member related to Jesus, as Jesus’ mother was there, along with Jesus and His disciples. They were not crashing the party; they were all invited guests.
Remember that Jewish weddings in Jesus’ day were multi-day affairs, some lasting as much as a week or two. At some point in the festivities, Jesus’ mother comes to Jesus and let Him know that the guests had consumed all the wine. Her notification was likely early in the multi-day celebration, and would have been an embarrassment to the bride and groom as well as the guests.
Jesus’ response to His mother, at first glance, seems a bit harsh or even condescending. But in their culture, this was considered a term of endearment, not a criticism or sign of disrespect. Jesus is saying, “This is not our responsibility. We are the guests, not the hosts.” Jesus’ mother understands, and trusts Jesus’ response, as she tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.
Jesus then instructs the servants to fill the waterpots made of stone to the brim. John tells us that each waterpot held between 20 and 30 gallons each. When we do the math, that equates to between approximately 600 to 900 standard bottles of wine! Obviously, Jesus was not inviting a drunken brawl, but merely meeting the need and giving abundantly. With the party running out of wine early, money was likely an issue with the families. Jesus did not come from a rich and wealthy family, nor did He associate with the rich and famous. The extra wine in the waterpots was ceremonially clean, and could be sold to pay for the additional wedding expenses and provide the newly married couple a financial start.
Jesus used the unsuspecting head of the wedding festivities to verify the wine was good. The head waiter not only proclaimed it was good but said they had saved the best till last. Now that is an endorsement!
John tells us that Jesus performed these miracles, not because His mother asked Him to, nor to show off in front of the crowd, but to demonstrate to His disciples that He was indeed the Messiah. And John tells us that His disciples believed.
May our spiritual eyes and ears and taste be opened to the miracles happening around us each day, as the Lord confirms His goodness and abundance and care for us. And let us respond in faith and worship, believing that He is sufficient to supply all our needs on this earth and into eternity beyond.