Jesus Turns Water into Wine {John 2}

3:12 AM

By Angie Benjamin

Today's reading
John 2:1-11

Weddings in Israel during this time period were huge events. Often celebrations would last a week or longer. Whole villages would be invited. Cana is in the region of Galilee, about 12 miles west of the Sea of Galilee and about 15 miles east of the Mediterranean Sea. Also Jesus’ mother was invited. She seems to have a quite important role in the wedding. Perhaps she was a one of the people organizing the wedding or a helper to prepare food or drink or one of the coordinators.

It was probably the wedding of a relative, hence the invitation to Jesus as well, and it was customary for the disciples of a rabbi to go everywhere he went. Notice Jesus isn’t a celebrity figure that is too high up to invite. He is not separate from the people, someone to be looked up to and respected, but not to spend time with or develop a relationship with. He was a people person. He was not distant. He was close. You could talk to Him. You could develop a relationship with Him. He was someone you wanted to come to your party or wedding. John 15:15. He calls us His friends. He was friendly to the people around Him. The key point is that He was and is approachable. He did His ministry among the common people. He came as a servant.

 Jesus was a people person. He spent time with the common people and was simply a friend (see His relationship to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus). His ministry was among real people at a real event in a real location. We should make ourselves friendly. Be the kind of person that others will consider you are pleasant to be around. Can you also imagine what a blessing for that couple to have the Saviour Himself there to honour their marriage!

Mary didn’t command Jesus what she do. But she did imply that she would like Jesus to help with the situation. She obviously knew He had some miraculous power. Probably she had witnessed Jesus doing miracles before so had the confidence to ask Him to help. If anyone should have known Jesus’ ability to do miracles it should have been Mary.

Jesus was not being disrespectful when He said, “woman” (the same word used when he greeted Mary Magdalene after resurrecting and his mother when He talked to her from the cross). It was a common way to respectfully address women at the time. We know Jesus never would have done any sin. That does not mean that it is OK for us to address women like this today! Cultural standards have changed and it would no longer be a respectful way of address. If you try it I am sure you will find that out. We shouldn’t always copy what we see taking place in the Bible because it was happening in a different culture and context. We need to find the principles and apply them in today’s world.

“My hour has not yet come” (Matthew 26:45). The hour sometimes refers to Jesus beginning public ministry. It would be like saying the “hour of his revealing”. Other times it refers to His death or His second coming. Here it probably refers to His beginning public ministry and revealing Himself to the world as the Messiah.

Mary had supreme confidence in Jesus. She knew Jesus was able to solve the problem. Though she was His mother, you can see her submissiveness. She didn’t tell Him what to do or take control. She brought the matter to His attention, told the servants (probably the ones helping with the wedding) to obey Him, and then left it to His discretion.

Jesus was goal oriented. He was intent on His purpose. He viewed everything in light of it. When Mary came to Him about the lack of wine Jesus commented that His hour had “not yet come”. He came to “seek and to save” that which was lost (Luke 19:10). That was His goal. That was His calling. If anything would distract from that or not be useful towards that goal He would not do it. We also need to be goal oriented. When we are asked to do something, we should consider if it fits in with our goals or not. So set a goal or goals for your life (biblically) and then set your mind to pursue those in all of your activities.

JOHN 2:6-7  6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.

They are not described simply as "some" waterpots. They are made o "stone". There are "six" of them. And they are big enough to hold "twenty or thirty gallons a piece." (John 2:6) Such visual precision on numbers, size and composition are evidences of the Gospels being eyewitness accounts.

Jesus didn’t do things halfway. The pots were filled up to the brim. When He did miracles He didn’t leave any room for doubt. He did them wholeheartedly. God is and pours out His blessings abundantly. See Ephesians 1:6-8. God is never stingy. Don’t be afraid to ask big things of God, even miracles. Don’t have low expectations. God wants to lavish His blessings on us.

We see here also that Jesus is above time and time restraints. Even if He used grape juice it would need a long period of time for the juice to ferment and become wine. However, He turned this water to wine immediately. There was no lapse in time. None was required. (Can’t God do the same with Creation?) Jesus simply wills it to happen. He doesn’t stand over it and recite some “magic” words. He doesn’t ask to taste it first to check and make sure that it “worked”. He confidently tells them to draw it and take it to the headwaiter.

Jesus supplies the absolute best. In an instant He could create wine far tastier than the best (for a wedding) that man could make. Notice that the headwaiter is surprised because it is recognizably better than the other wine. And he didn’t know it came from Christ. Therefore if someone is truly objective they will recognize that the things from God are better. Because he didn’t know it came from Christ it shows even more clearly that the wine Jesus made was better than the other Jesus did His work completely. The miracle wasn’t half-hearted. It shows how God treats people, richly. His blessings are abundant. They are full. They are better than anything man can produce. We need to do our absolute best for God (Colossians 3:23). Also we need to recognize that God gives the absolute best. Don’t settle for something merely “good”. You can only receive the best for your life from God.
Jesus was humble and a servant. His goal wasn’t to exalt Himself. Likewise our goal should be to help others. Do not seek honour in this world. A true servant is one who serves in the background. Do not do works of service so that others will see and praise you. If you do that will be your reward. Do them for God (Matthew 6:4) and He will reward you. 1 Peter 5:6 says to humble yourselves “under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time”

This story shows the humble heart of a servant Jesus had, His love and care towards people, His amazing and unlimited power and as well as an important lesson to all of us:

Sometimes what God asks us does not make sense. The servants wondered why Jesus asked them to fill pots with water when it was the wine that ran out...but they obeyed- and they witnessed Jesus' first miracle. Even though we might not understand why God asks us to do something, let us heed to Mar's advice and do whatever God tells us to do. 

There is blessing in obedience.

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