Is your wedding ring just another ring or does it mean more than that?
Is wine important? It might be important at a party, you wouldn’t want it to run out half way through. But what if it was a wedding party? How embarrassing would that be? Suppose you came from a culture that placed a huge emphasis on hospitality. If the wine ran out you would be shamed in front of the whole neighbourhood. When Jesus turned water into wine he saved the whole family from that shame, but even that was not the real significance of his action.
The story of this, Jesus’ first miracle, is in John 2:1-11. John uses the miracle to show more about Jesus, not just the miracle. Not everyone at the wedding was aware of the miracle. Jesus didn’t make a big show of it, he taught some important things, but just to a few people.
In verse 4 Jesus says to his mother, ‘My time is not yet come.’
Jesus wants us to think about what is his time, that will come? Jesus didn’t do this miracle to help Mary out. He was teaching Mary and the disciples and those who were in on it. How do we react when Jesus doesn’t do what we ask him to do?
Mary tells the servants to do what he tells them, confident he will do the right thing.
In verse 10 the master of the feast says, ‘You have saved the best till last.’
How many miracles have you missed this week? Are we looking with the eye of faith? God is at work but we miss it.
Jesus wants to say something about who he is. The best is yet to come.
Verse 11 ‘This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.’
This echoes a messianic prophecy:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. (Amos 9:13-14)
Jesus is saying ‘I am the Messiah’
This reveals the glory of Jesus. To the Jews only God had glory. Jesus is the Saviour and will come again.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 11:40)
We will share in his glory
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:29-31)
The disciples put their faith in him, so as we read this we can put our faith in him.
Don’t lose your expectation
Don’t lose your perspective
Don’t lose your faith
[Adapted from a sermon by Pete Orphan at Pantygwydr Baptist Church]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk