This encounter takes place right after Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael to be His disciples.
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
Jesus and the disciples that He has already called, are invited to this marriage in Cana. What happens next?
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
- They ran out of wine and Jesus’ mother turns to Jesus and says what? “They have no wine.”
- In other words, she wanted Jesus (her son) to do something about it. I guess she must have known already that He could perform miracles and maybe she thought this was His chance to show that He was the Messiah or the Son of God! To perform a miracle. Or, maybe it was a close friend or relative and she wanted to help.
- Nonetheless, her intention on telling Jesus was clear. She wanted Him to do something about it.
You see, Mary had kept these secrets in her heart for many years and maybe she thought this was the time for Jesus to reveal Himself.
- Luke 2:15-19
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
- Mary had known since His birth that this was the Messiah. Actually, it was before His birth that she knew this already when the angel came and communicated all this to her.
- So she had been holding all this in her heart and now, she thought, was the PERFECT time to let everyone know. Especially when everyone was in need.
But what is Jesus’ response to Mary, his mother?
- John 2:4
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
- What does Jesus say? Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.
- Yes, it sounds rude in our modern day, but Jesus was actually being respectful and talking to his mother according to the customs of His time. He still honored His mother.
- But then He says, “What have I to do with thee?”
- First He had to answer the insinuation that His mother was making Uh Jesus, they have no wine. Perform a miracle and help them! But He says what? What have I to do with thee? Meaning, this situation has nothing to do with the reason as to why I came to this earth.
- Jesus didn’t come to earth to put on a show and do some sort of miracle to tickle people’s fancy. He came with a high and holy purpose. And it just showed that even His own mother had misunderstood His mission. The claims of God are above ties of human relationship. We have to make sure that no earthly attraction turns our feet from the path which God Himself wants us to walk.
- Mine hour is not yet come. This is not the time nor the place nor the event.
- Jesus had to make sure that He was about His Father’s business. That was always His focus from a young age. When at the age of 12, the parents brought Jesus to Jerusalem and lost Him for a day. When they found Him again, His reply to them was this:
- Luke 2:48-49
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
- Even from a young age He was learning to do the will of God and not use His gifts for selfish purposes. So Jesus replies to Mary – Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.
If you were Mary, what would you be thinking?
- This is not the time for me to perform any miracle or show to the world who I am. Basically you’re thinking what? Jesus isn’t going to help right? It’s not my time, this is not why I am here. But look at what happens next!
- John 2:5
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
- What?? It’s like she didn’t even hear Jesus at all and what He said!
- Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour is not yet come. And then she turns to the servants and says, “Whatever He says to you do it.”
- It’s almost as if she had utmost faith that He was going to help no matter what! Presumption? Not so. More faith.
- Jesus would ultimately reward the faith of His mother. Not because that was His mother, but because of her belief in Him.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
So the water is turned into wine. Water is poured in, and wine is drawn out by the servants to bring to the people. This miracle has significance in regards to its application to us today.
- The water, it represents baptism.
- John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- Romans 6:3
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
- Baptism into His death. So not just for us to be baptized, but also Christ’s baptism.
- John 3:5
- And the wine, it represents His blood.
- Luke 22,17-18, 20
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
- It is the sacrifice of Christ, the blood that would be shed for each and everyone one of us.
- Luke 22,17-18, 20
- How I look at it, this is representative of the ministry of Christ on earth. It would start at His baptism and end at His death.
- It was by His word that the water would be turned into wine. So throughout His ministry, Jesus was always pointing us back to His word and what He had spoken. Helping us understand the power of His word. It would be through the word that the great plan of salvation would be unveiled to all of us.
Who was it that bore the waterpots to the feast though? It wasn’t Jesus. It was the servants – when Jesus told them not only to fill the water pots full of water, but also draw out as well.
- So the blessing of the wine for the wedding feast would be brought out by human hands. And so today, the gospel has in and of itself power. But it must be brought out to the whole world by human hands. We have to be the messenger of the blessings that God has left for us today.
- But before that could happen, the servants would have to believe it right? You see, Jesus tells them to fill the waterpots with water. The servants know that it is water. But then Jesus tells them to bring it out after that. Did they taste it? Could they see that it is red already? They had to believe and have faith that it has been changed already!
I just want to pause here and address the issue of Jesus turning water into wine. Many people point to this saying that Jesus turned water into fermented wine, alcoholic wine. So we tell others and ourselves that it is OK to drink beer, and alcohol and other spirits. But before we do that, let’s look at a few facts.
Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it…
- First we have to make it clear that whenever the word wine is used in the Bible, it is not always referring to alcoholic wine like what we are used to today. So just because the word wine is used in John 2, it doesn’t mean it is alcohol.
Jesus’ blood is represented as that wine in the communion – His blood cleanses us from all sin! So it can’t be the fermented wine that causes people to get drunk. The Bible itself condemns it:
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Jesus was the spotless lamb of God so the blood had to be pure as well.
The amount of wine that Jesus made from water would have been enough to send people to hospital!
- John 2:6
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
- 6 waterpots.
- 2-3 firkins apiece. 1 firkin is approximately 40 liters.
- So at minimum, Jesus made 6 waterpots x 2 firkins x 40 liters. That is equal to 480 liters of wine.
- At maximum, 6 x 3 x 40 = 720 liters.
- If it is an average then it is 600 liters! Jesus made 600 liters of wine!
- If that was alcoholic, that would have sent all the guests to the hospital. We know that wine has a higher alcoholic content than other liquors right? Good one, Jesus performing His first miracle made enough to hurt people rather than to be a blessing to them. That just does not sound right.
- Moreover, at what point did the servants bring this wine out? When was it that Jesus turned the water into wine?
- John 2:10
And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
- They brought it out at the end when men have well drunk already. If they had been drinking already, this new batch of wine that Jesus made, if it was alcohol, would have sent the people to their graves!
- Jesus did not come to hurt men’s lives but to be a blessing. He didn’t make alcoholic wine but simply grape juice of which the Bible also calls wine.
In verse 10, there is uttered there a very important truth:
- Every man at the beginning sets forth good wine and leave the worst for last. So with the world and all that it offers. It seems pleasurable at the beginning, but all that excitement and mirth ends with weariness and disgust. It doesn’t deal with the root of our problems or fill the void in our hearts.
- But Christ is opposite. Every day with Jesus only gets sweeter and sweeter. He declares to those that are open to Him:
- John 1:50
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
- If you believe, you will see even greater miracles! There are greater miracles that Christ will reveal to us than when we first followed and from when we first believed in Him!
- He says, you haven’t seen anything yet!
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
- This is the first miracle that Jesus performed on this earth when He started His ministry. The Bible says He manifested His glory and as a result the disciples believed on Him. The miracle was performed also for the sake of strengthening the faith of the newly called disciples. The disciples would encounter many and great temptations to unbelief. They would look to the religious leaders of their time of their acceptance of Christ, only to see Him rejected, maligned, betrayed and ultimately crucified.
- So Jesus knew that every opportunity He had to strengthen their faith was paramount. They would declare His wonderful works to many people, only to be amazed and bitterly disappointed by the unbelief, the deep-seated prejudice and the enmity to Jesus displayed by the priests and rabbis. But it would be these early miracles from Jesus that would strengthen the disciples to stand against this opposition and hold on to Christ and continue to believe that He was the Messiah.
Also, Jesus graced this wedding feast with His presence, just as He performed the first wedding back in the very beginning between Adam and Eve. He showed the importance of social interaction. Sure we are at the end of times. Some people believe that we even shouldn’t get married. And I don’t wish to get into such a debate.
- If Christ has laid that conviction upon you to remain single, wonderful! But there is nothing wrong with attending such social gatherings. Christ would eat and laugh with the sinners to the point that people thought he was drunk. They called Him a winebibber! But Christ would use these occasions to even then turn people’s hearts to heavenly things.
Lastly remember, this miracle was a result also of the faith that Mary had in Jesus. Even though she misunderstood His mission at that point, the simple faith that she had in Him was rewarded.
- So with the simple faith that we have today, if we have faith as the grain of a mustard seed, though it start small, as it starts to grow, our understanding and comprehension of God’s work will only grow as well and strengthen our faith too and overflow to be a great blessing to others.
- Mary’s simple faith overflowed to be a blessing to every person who attended that wedding feast that day. So it can be with us as well. Faith not only for blessings for ourselves, but a faith that will shine out and be a blessing to the whole earth. You are the light and the salt of the earth.
Let’s be that blessing today!