This is a companion piece to my work going on at: theHeartSeekerblog.wordpress.com…
“(Turning water into wine), the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:11)
The Bible tells us that turning water into wine was Jesus’ very first miracle. John called it a “sign” – not just an event that was impossible… but an event that was proof of Who Jesus was – God with us!
Just for educational purposes, it is important to note a few facts about this first miracle…
* This was an orthodox Pharisee wedding reception – as evidenced by the “stone water pots” mentioned, and their purpose was for ceremonial hand cleansing (an emphasis of the Pharisees).
* The pots were about 2-3 liters apiece. Many English translations wrongly describe the water pots as 20-30 gallons apiece. But this size would be nearly impossible to carry (made of stone, and filled with 160/240 pounds of water!). Archaeologists have found many of these stone water pots (from this time period) in various digs to verify their size.
* To run out of wine at a wedding celebration is a profound embarrassment – that reflects very unfavorably on the host (and all in charge!).
* Also, most English translations give the appearance that Jesus is annoyed and (quite frankly) rude to His mother – when she asked Him to do something about the fact that the party had no more wine. Actually, given her authority over the servants, Mary was apparently in a position of responsibility which merited Jesus’ more respectful response of (something like): “My lady, this is not my concern – but of those who are higher on the guest list than I.”
* After some discussion (Moms do have a way with their kids), Mary commands the servants to do “whatever He tells you.” Jesus tells the servants to fill the pots to the rim (according to Talmudic tradition) and then draw out some water and take it to the master of the feast (most always the Head Rabbi of the community).
* Upon tasting the water-turned-into wine, the master of the feast declares it superior to anything they have been drinking up to this point. He comments on how curious (borderline offensive) this is…
What do we learn from this first miraculous sign?
Jesus has power over nature – and the ability to take the common and make it extraordinary. We learn that drinking alcohol is not wrong or immoral (in spite of what some churches may teach) and all things given by God are for our enjoyment (in their proper context and within limits). We learn that Jesus cares about people, first and foremost – even when their own mistakes may deserve their just rewards.
And most importantly, we see that Jesus’ disciples made the connection between Jesus and Who He really was. Up to this point, Jesus was just the Teacher, the professed “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world,” the One Whom John the Baptist had declared to be worthy of their time and attention. This was the first real evidence that Jesus was more than just a man – that He could do things that could only be attributed to God.
It was the first time, but not the last time, Jesus would offer such convincing proof…