This is part 4 of 49 parts video series covering the Gospel of John. In this part, Jesus performed his first sign by turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana.
John 2:1-12 (GNT)
JOHN 2: 1-12 (GNT)
The Wedding in Cana
Two days later there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine had given out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They are out of wine.”
4 “You must not tell me what to do,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 Jesus’ mother then told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 The Jews have rules about ritual washing, and for this purpose six stone water jars were there, each one large enough to hold between twenty and thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill these jars with water.” They filled them to the brim, 8 and then he told them, “Now draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast.” They took him the water, 9 which now had turned into wine, and he tasted it. He did not know where this wine had come from (but, of course, the servants who had drawn out the water knew); so he called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone else serves the best wine first, and after the guests have drunk a lot, he serves the ordinary wine. But you have kept the best wine until now!”
11 Jesus performed this first miracle in Cana in Galilee; there he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this, Jesus and his mother, brothers, and disciples went to Capernaum and stayed there a few days.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
a. Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding: This is the first of many stories suggesting that Jesus was always welcome among those having a good time. Jesus didn’t spoil the good time.
b. They ran out of wine: This was a major social faux pas. “To fail in providing adequately for the guests would involve social disgrace. In the closely knit communities of Jesus’ day such an error would never be forgotten, and would haunt the newly married couple all their lives.” (Tenney)
i. Additionally, wine was a rabbinical symbol of joy. Therefore “to run out of wine would almost have been the equivalent of admitting that neither the guests nor the bride and groom were happy.” (Boice)
c. They have no wine: Why did Mary ask Jesus to do something? Mary was no doubt earnestly anticipating Jesus’ day of demonstration, for it would be a day of vindication for her. Yet she would not force the issue, leaving the matter with Jesus.
d. Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? Jesus refers to His mother with a term of respect, but He does not call her “mother.” Jesus wanted to emphasize that there was a different relationship with her now.
e. Whatever He says to you, do it: The recorded words of Mary are few. However, it is good to pay attention to her words that are recorded, because they consistently glorify Jesus, not Mary herself. If only we would obey Mary’s direction, whatever He says to you, do it.
i. To deliberately go through Mary to get to Jesus is to regard Jesus as hardhearted, and Mary as tenderhearted. This concept “is totally alien from the Bible. It comes from mother-son ideas prevalent in pagan religions.” (Barnhouse)
f. Some traditions say that this was John’s wedding, and he left his bride at the altar after seeing this miracle. It’s a pleasant, but an unlikely story.
i. Mormons take this idea an absurd step further declaring this is Jesus’wedding. Of course, this is against the plain meaning of this passage and all of the gospel records of the life of Jesus.
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
a. Six waterpots of stone: Jesus began this miracle by using what was at hand. He could have supplied more wine any number of ways, but He started with what was there.
b. According to the manner of purification of the Jews: The waterpots are connected with the system of Law, because they were used in ceremonial purification.
c. Fill the waterpots with water: The servants under the direction of Jesus were in a unique place of blessing for this miracle. Jesus wanted the cooperation of men in this miracle. He could have filled the pots Himself, or just as easily created the liquid in the pots. But He knew that if the servants shared in the work, then they also shared in the blessing.
i. The servants did not do the miracle. Their efforts alone were completely insufficient. But because of their obedience to Jesus, they shared in the joy of the miracle.
ii. The servants were especially blessed because they obeyed without question, and to the fullest (they filled them up to the brim). This means that the miracle would be fulfilled in the greatest measure possible. If they were lazy and only filled the waterpots half full, there would have only been half as much wine.
d. Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast: This took faith on behalf of the servants. Imagine how angry the master of the feast would be if they brought him water to taste! Yet in faith, they obeyed the word of Jesus.
e. You have kept the good wine until now! When Jesus made wine, it was good wine. It doesn’t mean that it had a particularly high alcohol content, but that it was well-made wine.
i. Some go to great lengths to show that what Jesus made here was really grape juice. While some find that line of thinking convincing, it is not the opinion of the author. Good wine is good wine, not good grape juice. It is true that wine in that day, as commonly served, had a much lower content of alcohol than modern wine. But it was still wine.
f. This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee: This beginning of signsin the Gospel of John is a miracle of conversion, from the old ways of law, ceremony and purification to the new life of Jesus.
i. How did Jesus actually do miracles? He did them in many different ways. Here, Jesus did not say a word or blink an eye. He merely exercised His will and the miracle was done.
ii. Moses turned water into blood, showing that the Law results in death (Exodus 7:17-21). But Jesus’ first miracle turned water into wine, showing the gladness and joy of His new work. This acts out what John said in John 1:17: For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
iii. We could say that the water is like a relationship with God under the Old Covenant, and the wine is like a relationship with God under the New Covenant.
· The wine was after the water, and the New Covenant is after the Old Covenant.
· The wine was from the water, and the New Covenant is from the Old Covenant
· The wine was and better than the water; and the New Covenant is betterthan the Old Covenant.
g. Manifested His glory: According to John 2:1, this miracle happened on the third day. John is hinting at the idea that Jesus shows forth His glory on the third day, and that His disciples believe in Him when they see His glory.
h. His disciples believed in Him: Of course they believed before, but now their belief was deepened and re-expressed. This is typical in our Christian lives. God does something great in our lives, and we believe in Him all over again.
Commentary by Enduring Word
About the Gospel of John. The gospel of John was written to persuade people to believe in Jesus (20:30-31). The opening verses declare that Jesus is God, stressing His unique relationship with God the Father. The book focuses on seven of Jesus’ signs (miracles), to show his divinity. Jesus called people to believe in him, promising eternal life. He proved he could give life by raising Lazarus (ch.11) and by his own death and resurrection. John features Christ’s seven “I am” statements, his encounters with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, his upper room teachings and washing of disciple’s feet (chs. 13-16, and his high priestly prayer (ch. 17. It includes the most well-known summary of the gospel (3:16).