The First Sign

We’re going through the New Testament and trying to come to a deeper understanding of the knowledge of the Trinity. We just recently finished the prologue of John so now we’re going to go through the book and hit some highlights and there are definitely a lot more of them. John has been referred to as a gospel of signs so we’re going to be looking at the first of those signs in John 2 tonight.

1On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”

 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

 8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

   They did so, 9and 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 10and 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.”

 11This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

What was this miracle saying about Jesus?

The wedding in Jewish culture was a very festive event even celebrating the consumation of the new marriage. They would often last for a week and it was the time to show off. The honor of the host was at stake and if he failed to deliver, it would be a huge embarrassment to him and the community. In fact, if it wasn’t done appropriately, a family could face legal repercussions. 

Thus, what was at stake for the Master of Ceremonies was the way he would be seen in the community from then on. If he failed, he would be liable to legal action and he could be sure he would not get such a position again. Any number of things could lead to a crisis.

Such as running out of wine.

Which is exactly what happened.

Now Jesus’s mother asks him to help out. What is used? Stone jars. Not just any stone jars. These jars would have contained water that would have been used for ritual purification purposes. Most houses would only be able to hold one. This place has six. Most of them were borrowed probably, but this indicates that there was an incredibly large crowd there so the threat of shame is even greater.

In doing this miracle, it is more than just providing a drink. Jesus is taking the water used for the old system of purification and turning it to wine, a drink symbolizing joy. He is saying that the kingdom of God is coming and is replacing the old with the new. There is no longer need for purification water. Let’s enjoy the fruit of the kingdom!

And who is bringing the kingdom? Jesus is announcing by this it is arriving in his person.

The kingdom of God is centered on God’s rule over his people taking place through the actions of Christ.

We shall continue tomorrow going to the next portion in John to touch.

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