The First Sign: Jesus Turns Water Into Wine (John 2:1-11)
My wife and I know what it is like to get married on a limited budget. When we became engaged, Jeannette and I both contributed to the purchase of her engagement ring. When we got married, we had to stop and cash one of the checks given to us as a wedding gift in order to pay for our room that night. The second night of our honeymoon was spent on the living room couch of my former roommate’s parents’ house in Eastern Washington. If you think that’s bad, our third night was spent at a state park. Jeannette slept in one seat of the car, and I slept in the other. The next night was a little better; we stayed with Karl and Martha Lind, our friends in Portland, Oregon.
John 2:1-11 (King James Version)
1And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9When 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,
10And 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.
11This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
King James Version (KJV)
Some of you may remember the story I have told about staying in their son David’s room, since he had moved away from home. John, the older brother, still lived at home. We were awakened in the morning to the sound of a booming voice over the intercom announcing: “Breakfast will be served in the dining room in ten minutes!” The voice sounded so dignified, so formal, but I knew it was John. Before he could even take his finger off the intercom button, we heard a huge crash and the breaking of glass. It literally sounded as though every dish in the cupboard had fallen and broken on the floor. This thunderous crash was quickly followed by a bellowing voice that I knew was Karl’s: “John!”
Getting married on a limited budget is not easy. It was not easy when Jeannette and I married, and it may not have been easy for some of you. Neither does it seem to have been easy for this unnamed couple whose wedding Jesus, His mother, and His disciples attend in Cana of Galilee. The story of the wedding at Cana of Galilee is found only in John’s Gospel. It is on this occasion that our Lord performs His first demonstration of power. It is no mere miracle; it is a sign, a miracle with a message. Let us listen carefully to the words of this text to learn what the Spirit of God intends to teach us from this wedding miracle.