Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
09/15/16 – 572 – Jesus and the Wedding at Cana
I guess I’m a bit dense sometimes. This is another of those stories that I thought I knew, but really had been glossing over some pretty big details. This is the story of Jesus’ first miracle (that we know of, anyway). For example, I missed the fact that Jesus had already begun calling his disciples when this occurred. John mentions 6 of them in Chapter One, and verse 2 below tells us that they were all invited to this event.
Why is this important? Simply because to me, the picture of a rabbi leading a half dozen disciples performing a miracle would be somehow more powerful, more credible than an anecdote about a young Jesus and His mom. It would have been more closely studied and examined by His students if no one else. Besides, we all know how important wedding pictures are, right?
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Another detail I hadn’t ever really noticd was the sheer amount if wine we’re talking about here – somewhere between 120 and 180 gallons! Why do you suppose that would be important? Well, it would be one thing to produce a bottle of wine from your robes or somewhere. But to change that much water – filled by so many witnesses – without the help of others, is saying something clearly as well. Even though Jesus protested, He did what He was asked, in a way that left no reasonable doubt as to what had happened.
One thing I found curious was that Jesus protested, saying “My hour has not yet come.” Yet He went ahead and did what His mother asked. I wonder if that was really the main reason He did it, That is, just because it was Mary who asked Him. I don’t think anyone else could have persuaded Him if He was not ready to reveal Himself. I kind of wonder if He would have done it for anyone else, and what the original plan was to reveal Himself as the Messiah.
This is a very brief story, as are many of the New Testament pieces, yet there are still many questions to be asked and lessons to be learned from it. I believe one is that Jesus is flexible in many ways. It is us – His followers – who become so rigid, so set in our ways, that we’re unwilling to sing a new song or pray a new kind of prayer. Or sometimes, even sit in a different pew.
Let’s pray today that God would make us flexible as well. Strong in our faith, but not so rigid that we’ll break if someone asks us to bend a little.