JESUS GIVES US THE NEW WINE OF THE KINGDOM
“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me, but if you do not believe Me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.” – John 14:11 –
A time of celebration… a wedding feast… is taking place in Cana, a small town in Galilee. Jesus, His family and His disciples are all invited. It may be the wedding of close friends or perhaps one of His disciples… as Nathanael’s hometown is Cana.
A traditional Jewish wedding in biblical times takes place over the course of a week. The families of the bride and groom provide a grand feast with wine in abundance for all the guests. In a culture where hospitality is of great importance, to run out of wine would bring dishonor for the host families.
Just such a problem arises at this wedding feast… the wine has run out. Jesus’ mother Mary points out this dilemma to her son.
“’Woman, why do you involve Me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’” – John 2:4
The apostle John includes Mary’s interaction with Jesus in his gospel for a reason. Jesus addresses His mother Mary with highest respect in the word “Woman”… the same way He addresses her at the cross when He lovingly gives her into John’s care (John 19:26).
When Jesus seems to rebuff her comment, His intent appears to be a deference and obedience to the will of His heavenly Father rather than His earthly mother. It will be His timing not hers. It will be His to act and hers to wait in faith. So He desires of us. We ask of Him and wait trustingly for Him to act in His omniscient wisdom and timing in answer to our prayers.
“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’” – John 2:5
Mary is perhaps the one person who truly understands her son’s divine identity and purpose. For the angel Gabriel had shared with her the prophesied role of Jesus as the holy Son of God… the Messiah… the Son of the Most High.
Over the years, Mary has treasured all the signs and affirmations of His divinity in her heart (Luke 2:19). What she tells the servants is true for us today. As followers of Christ, we are to listen and obey His words.
At the feast, there are six large stone jars that the people are using for ceremonial cleansing according to Jewish custom. Each jar holds close to thirty gallons. When Jesus tells the servants to fill the jars with water, they fill them to the brim. Then He asks them to draw out some for the banquet host to taste.
“The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine… Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first… but you have saved the best till now.’” – John 2:9-10
The host is unaware of the miracle that has just taken place. Yet the servants know… as do Jesus’ disciples and Mary. Jesus proves His mastery over time by creating at once a finely aged wine. Amazed at the quality of the wine, the host inquires as to why the best has been saved for last.
This is the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry. He provides the best of wine in abundance, the stone jars filled to the brim, for the wedding feast. Jesus, our Creator, our Provider, pours His Spirit into us… providing for us always His best in overflowing abundance.
Jesus miraculously turns water into wine. The water used for the Jewish way of ceremonial cleansing is replaced by the new wine of the kingdom. Jesus laid down His life to give us this pure wine. The spotless blood of the Lamb washes away the sins of all.
Miracles are the supernatural touch of God upon His natural world. We look to His supernatural touch in our lives. Just as Jesus transforms ordinary water into the best of wine, so He miraculously transforms our ordinary selves into the best reflection of Himself.
“What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which He revealed His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” – John 2:11
All of Jesus’ acts over His lifetime have meaning and purpose. The signs and miracles He displays during His public ministry shine a spotlight upon His Messianic role as Lord and King. His glory is made manifest through His supernatural acts. The faith of the disciples is kindled by this first of many miracles as they come to believe that Jesus is truly the promised Messiah.
“Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” – Revelation 19:9
Jesus’ miracle at Cana foreshadows the wedding feast of the Lamb where the Church, the bride of Christ, will one day celebrate in the presence of Jesus, our King and Bridegroom. All believers will rejoice at the bounty of the Lord (Jeremiah 31:12)… all who have been made holy by His blood. There will be fine wine… a biblical symbol of joy… like the water turned wine in Cana. This glorious event will be a time of blessings and joy (Isaiah 25:6).