It was once recommended that I read the book of John, where seven of the miracles that Jesus did were recorded, and write down my thoughts. Jesus did numerous miracles, yet John chose seven to write about. Neil Cole challenges us to read these miracles and ask some basic questions.
1. What does this story say to you about people?
2. What does this story say to you about Jesus?
3. What does this story have to say about you?
4. Who needs to hear this story?
So, I take up the challenge, with the first miracle found in the second chapter.
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 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.
Wow. The bible makes it clear in the 11th verse, that these signs and miracles revealed his glory. And, for His first miracle, he turned water into wine for a party! Before moving forward, I would like to address a common misconception. Some churches would teach that Jesus turned the water into grape juice, and not wine, par se. Yet, take a look at verse 10. The statement about bringing out the cheaper, lower quality wine does not make sense unless you consider it in the light of people drinking fermented beverages and, by extension, become less critical about what they drank as they went along. And no one really talks about guests drinking too much ‘grape juicy’ at a party…they certainly DO discuss people having too much alcohol.
With that said, I find it incredibly fascinating that Jesus chose to turn water into wine for a party as the mean in which he firsts reveals His glory to others. Could you imagine the Pharisees’ faces after they were told this transpired? Recently, I heard of a hard working pastor who was kicked from his denomination for drinking one beer in a bar as a way to reach out to the un-lost who could be found aplenty in such establishments. I wonder what those churches would do if Jesus worked among their number performing these types of miracles?
Many think that living the Christian life means living a very boring life filled with rules and regulations. Yet, Jesus tosses the book out of the window with his first miracle alone. Many believe that God does not care about our happiness or well being, yet Jesus does this miracle at the request of His mother despite his statement “My hour has not yet come.” Now, please do not misunderstand me. I do not believe that the bible condones a drunken lifestyle or that God places our happiness above His own glory at any time. I simply offer the idea that the opposite, that God requires a lifestyle completely without alcohol and/or happiness, is also just as wrong.
What does this miracle say to you?