When Jesus taught us how to pray, the last thing he prayed was, For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. (Matt 6:13)
The first miracle Jesus performed, when he turned water into wine, fulfilled that prayer:
His kingdom commenced
His power portrayed
His glory revealed
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 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 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.”
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. (John 2: 1-11)
His Kingdom Commenced
This may have been a family wedding, which would explain how Jesus and Mary were there. Mary seems to have been involved in the arrangements.
Mary takes the initiative, but she doesn’t dictate to him. She had been told by the angel before his birth who he would be. She knew about the Kingdom. She already has faith in his power.
Jesus is guided by his heavenly Father not his mother. He says, “My time is not yet come.” All his ministry is in the light of the cross.
Mary’s focus is utterly on God, as shown in her song after the angel’s visit (Luke 1:46-55).
His Power Portrayed
This was Jesus’ first miraculous sign. He demonstrated his power over nature.
John comments on the sign by following it with the story of the cleansing of temple (John 2:13-17).
The water jars held water for the guests to wash. The roads were dry and dusty. Turned into wine, this was too much wine for a simple wedding – indicative of the abundance of grace.
New wine is also a symbol of the abundance of God’s blessings:
In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house and will water the valley of acacias. (Joel 3:18)
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills. (Amos 9:13)
His Glory Revealed
John comments at the end of the story, He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. (John 2:11)
God’s promise of restoration is symbolised by marriage:
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:4-5)
Jesus himself is the good wine kept back until now:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus fulfilled his life work of revealing God’s grace. The miracle at Cana symbolises the generous outpouring of God’s grace.
Do you have a place in his kingdom? Do you experience his power in your life? Has his glory been revealed to you?