John 2:1-12 The Wedding at Cana

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. [b] Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” 11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. 12 After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.

Many of us certainly recognize this to be the beginning of Jesus ministry – his debut as the Messiah and his first of many signs and miracles that he performs over the next three years. And it certainly seems to be a fun, lighthearted miracle to start with. Jesus, his mother, and his disciples are attending a wedding. Along with other members of the community, friends, and family, they are celebrating the covenant of marriage and there is food, wine, music, and lots of festivities. And when the wine runs out Jesus simply turns the water into wine and the party continues! Who wouldn’t want Jesus at their celebration after this? And think about Mary – “Son, we are out wine. Would you please do something about that?” Talk about favorite child status.

As cool as it is, it gets even better. There is some absolutely beautiful meaning to this seemingly lighthearted, celebratory miracle Jesus performs at Cana.   First, let’s think about Mary. She is the one who instigates the entire process. Mary knows of the promises given to her regarding Jesus but we are unsure what she has witnessed up until this point in Jesus life. Has he done miracles or signs at home that are not recorded? We will never know. Regardless, Mary steps forward and creates an atmosphere of expectancy. She recognizes a need and she goes to the one who can provide for that need. And even after Jesus’ initial rebuttal, she presses in and tells the servants to do as he says. She is not willing to give up. This atmosphere of expectancy and persistence Mary creates is something we should all take note of.

Secondly, the tangible miracle Jesus performs is both cringe-worthy and delightful. Those six pots were probably not empty pots just sitting there. They were enormous pots for people coming into the house to cleanse themselves. The environment there is dusty & dirty so before you entered the house you must clean up…ceremonial washing they like to call it. So the water contained in them was pretty nasty. The servants were instructed to fill them up even more – not empty them out, clean the pots and then fill them. Just top them off. So nasty. But as we all know how the miracle turns out, Jesus turns this nasty, murky, dirty water into the BEST wine that the wedding-goers have ever tasted.

Lastly, I would not want to be the servant instructed to carry the water to the master of the ceremonies. The water was not yet wine until it was poured out for the master. Imagine what was going through the servant’s mind as he brought this dirty water over to the table. It must have been terrifying to say the least. But the servant had to step out in faith. He took a risk. He had to get involved in the miracle and Jesus made it all happen that way. Jesus could have turned the water into wine in the big pots but he chose to include the servant in the miracle. Jesus performs the tangible miracle but it is happening in the hands of the servant.

Are you waiting on God to show up for some kind of miracle or sign? Stop waiting. He is ready. It is up to you to step out in faith and take the risk. Grab that glass of dirty water and take it to the table and expect God to turn into the BEST wine.

Prayer: Dear God, why am I waiting? Why do I lack expectancy and persistence? Help me to see that you are ready & willing to take my sins, inaction, prayers, concerns, needs, and wants and turn them into something beautiful. Help me have the courage and faith to step out and take the risk. Help me be bold enough to take the first step. Help me see that you want me to be just as involved in the miracle as You are. Thank you for loving me so much that I can be a part of glorifying You here on earth.  Amen.

Nicole Grunsky