In Today’s message we find our Lord Jesus still in Galilee. Chapter 1 ended with the calling of Nathaniel as a disciple. The outline of this passage is basically three things,
1. the mother’s request,
2. the miracle and
3. the confirmation of the miracle.
1. The Mother’s request
John 2:1-12 (ESVST)
1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.
Still in Galilee, Jesus and his disciples attend a wedding in Cana. Cana is a town or place in Galilee. Cana of Galilee is mentioned four times in the gospel of John (2:1, 11; 4:46; 21:2) and nowhere else in Scripture. It was in the highlands of Galilee, as one had to go “down” from there to Capernaum, but opinions differ as to its exact location. It may have been at Kefr Kenna, about five miles (eight km.) NE of Nazareth, or at Khirbet Kana, a little farther north.John tells us that Jesus’s mother Mary was also there. Now the reason why Jesus went was because he was invited.
3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “ Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “ Do whatever he tells you.”
Well, as can be expected at a wedding, there was wine and because this wine ran out, it meas people were drinking this wine and were enjoying it. Clearly it was not or BOB or BOW or bring your own wine because when the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother came to Jesus to tell him that the wine is finished. Why did Mary tell Jesus that there is no wine? Many will like to believe that (and I used to believe this as well) Jesus enjoyed his wine and was going to be angry if there was none. However during those times, to run out of wine at a wedding was a social mistake that would become the subject of jokes for years; the host was responsible to provide his guests with adequate wine for seven days.
The women’s quarters were near the place where the wine was stored; thus Mary learns of the shortage of wine before word reaches Jesus and the other men. Her words probably suggest that he should do something; guests were to help defray the expense of the wedding with their gifts, and it seems that their friend needs some extra gifts now. So, just like any mother would do, she realized that the host needed help and who better to ask for help than his son.
Jesus was clearly not impressed with his mother’s request. The phrase “woman” that Jesus used to refer to his mother was not a polite word to use to refer to one’s mother. There are all sorts of explanations why Jesus did this. I believe that Jesus was aware that Mary knows he can do miracles and Mary wanted Jesus to do one now and help with the wine. Why I say Mary knew, remember that in the gospel of Luke, before Jesus had called his disciples, he had already done a few miracles including the rebuking of demons and the healing of many. So, I believe that Mary knew Jesus could do miracles, after all she was his mother.
To me this is the reason why Jesus responded to her so harshly when he said, woman, what has this to do with me (other translations say us). At this point what Mary did, was no different in my view to what the devil did when he was trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. Remember the devil said to him to change rocks into bread, remember? And Jesus rebuked the devil. I believe that this is a similar issue and Jesus likewise, was rebuking his mother. The lesson here is to not use the powers that God has given you for personal and worldly gain. This is my view and only my view.
I also believe that this discussion between Jesus and his mother was more than just a one liner. I believe they discussed for a while and then Jesus eventually agreed. Why I say this is because, Jesus was very clear that his hour had not come but yet at a the end of that, his mother tells the servants to do what he says. So, I believe that there was a lengthy discussion between Jesus and his mother regarding this which lead to Jesus agreeing to help and the mother telling the servants to do what Jesus says. It only makes sense this way. Again, this is only my view.
2. The Miracle
6 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.
Now, after Mary told the servants to do what Jesus says, Jesus told them to fill six stone water jars with water. They filled them completely full, up to the brim. He then said to them to draw some out and take it to the master of feast. 1 gallon is 3.78 liters meaning a total of 680.4 liters of wine. Jesus did not tell them that he was making wine at all unless they overhead Jesus and his mother discuss earlier.
3. The confirmation of the miracle
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.”
When the master of the feast tasted the water that had now become wine, he called the bridegroom and said, normally the good wine comes out first then the bad when all are drunk but you bring the good when all are drunk. He did not know where the wine came from but the servants knew.
11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
The miracles that he did at Cana, made his disciples to believe in him. These miracles showed his power and glory.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Father thank you for sharing your word and please give us the wisdom to understand and spread it as you would want us to. In Jesus name, amen.