"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)
In these verses John records the first known miracle of Jesus. It takes place at a wedding in the city of Cana. And it’s important to know that weddings in this culture were a very special event. In fact, they usually lasted an entire week and the celebration was a significant social occasion. Even more so for the host, who had the responsibility to keep everyone well fed and entertained.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, must have shared this responsibility of hosting as she comes to Him with an urgent concern – they are out of wine! This is no small issue. It was the main drink of the meal and an insult for the host not to be able to provide for the guests. Not to mention, this family was not wealthy. Therefore, they couldn’t go out and just buy more wine. Mary knew they needed a miracle. Mary knew they needed Jesus.
But Jesus had a dilemma of his own. There was a specific time in his ministry where he would reveal his true identity to the world. A time where everyone could see that he is the promised Messiah - But this was not that time.
Yet, he loved Mary, and his desire was to help her in her time of need. And so He did. His newly chosen disciples watched Jesus take 6 stone jars used for ceremonial washing. These are large jars kept at the house of the host, so that as the guests come in with dirty feet from walking in sandals all day, they could use this water to wash as they entered the house.
Now, the instructions Jesus gave the servants of the house was not abnormal. He simply told them to fill the jars with water. But then he told them to dip into the jar… and when they did, the servants did not find water, they found wine. And not just any wine, but the very finest wine. The servants could not explain what they saw, but they knew it was a miracle.
Nothing Jesus ever did was random. He always had a purpose. Perhaps this miracle was used to build faith in his disciples, because when they witnessed what he did, John says, “they put their faith in him”. And the use of ceremonial washing jars was no accident either. Jesus came to make people clean. The Jews believed the water cleansed not only their feet but made them right before God according to the Law of Moses. In this way, they believed they were purified – inside and out.
Now Jesus uses these same jars and gives them something, not to cleanse the outside of their body, but instead, something new. Something unexpected. Something no one else in that room could give them.
This miracle would be a sign of what is to come. A glimpse of the reality that the Savior of the world has come to purify us from our dirty, sinful lives in a miraculous way that no one expected or could ever do on their own. He sees our problem, he understands that we need a miracle and he provides a way that only he can provide. Jesus understands that we need a miracle and only he can give us what we need. Like his disciples, may we witness the miraculous life of Jesus and “put our faith in him.”