John 2:1-5 Jesus goes to Cana in Galilee, It is halfway between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean sea. Mary and Jesus and his disciples have all been invited to attend, it was likely that the whole town was invited. The typical wedding celebration was not like our celebrations that are a wedding followed by a reception of a few hours and everyone goes home. These weddings were typically several days to a week long.
A problem takes place several days into this feast, the stores of wine have been depleted. Mary, we do not know why she is involved, brings the issue to Jesus’ attention. His reply “Woman” is a term of respect, nevertheless Jesus says this is not my issue and it’s not my time.
Yet his mother continues to rely upon him and she tells the servants to do whatever he says to do.
John 2:6-11 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. (7) Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. (8) And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. (9) When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom (10) and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (11) This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
There were six stone water jars there that each held 30 gallons. They were there for the Jewish rites of purification. 180 Gallons maximum capacity.
Exodus 30:18 commanded and 40:30 obeyed, a basin was set in front of the tabernacle for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering to serve.
By Jesus time the tradition of the Jews was that everyone should wash this way Mar 7:1-5. All the faithful were expected to be ceremonially clean before they feasted together.
So Jesus had them fill the jars and they did, to the brim. Then a miracle took place. The water was turned into wine. And not just any wine, it was taken to the master and determined to be the best wine. This kind of got the groom in a bit of trouble, it was thought he had been holding out.
1- Jesus did this, his first sign with a purpose: to manifest his glory. His glory is certainly seen in the power over the physical elements to accomplish this miracle. This is an amazing thing.
2-His glory is manifest in being the the kind of God who lavishes his good things upon us. who redeems the nothing and makes it great.
3- I think the height of his glory is shown here more subtly. In His first Miracle Jesus gives a picture of the battleground he will be facing throughout his public ministry and declares the hope of the gospel. The Jews, in fact all religion approaches God, seeking to know how we might be purified. The Jews of that day washed with water, Muslims today still wash the same way. Hindus go by the droves to the Ganges river to be purified, but water only washes away the dirt. Remember on the night before his arrest Jesus was washing the dirt off the feet of the apostles and made reference to a Spiritual cleansing that actually makes one’s soul clean. Jesus has given a picture of this here, a better purification has come, and it is not brought in water, but in wine…which Jesus uses on that night to point to as a participation in his blood.
The old is passing away with it’s water jars, and Jesus blood is ushering in the new.
The disciples believed in Him. Do you? Are you still approaching God on the basis of your religious activity or have you come to the cleansing that is available only in Jesus Christ?