This section of scripture is interesting for a number of reasons. It is a well known piece of scripture as many have discussed it, written about it and there are even songs about it. This is described as the first of the miracles that Jesus performed by the Apostle John, and it is when He turned the water into wine.
The Wedding Feast
Jesus with his family and his disciples were invited to the wedding feast in Cana in Galilee. They all attended and during the course of the wedding feast, the organizers of the feast ran out of wine. Now if you have ever tried to organize a big event like a wedding feast, you will know how easy it can be to get the numbers wrong. Clearly the master of the feast or the bridegroom, who was apparently responsible for the wine, did exactly that, and they did not have enough wine.
Turning Water into Wine
Somehow Mary the mother of Jesus discovered they had run out of wine and she came to Jesus saying as much. The response Jesus made to his mother was quite interesting. He said, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (verse 4). And Mary’s response was equally unusual for she said to the servants at the feast, “Do whatever he tells you.” (verse 5)
Jesus then performed the miracle that most people know quite well. He told the servant to fill six stone jars with water, draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. When they took the water it had become wine.
When the master of the feast tasted the water now turned to wine, he complimented the bridegroom saying “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (Verse 10)
Things We Can Learn
As I was thinking over this teaching I realized there are quite a few lessons in these few words, some obvious and others less so. These are my thoughts and if you have any others you would like to add, please share them with me.
1. Is it OK to have a drink?
First, the fact that the Lord turned the water into wine is clear evidence that the Lord did not consider drinking wine to be a sin. Some past practices in some churches have made it so, especially in the times of the puritans, but this was certainly not the stance the Lord took. Personally, I am a non-drinker and made that decision many years ago. I felt that wisdom dictated for me that it would always be better to be in full control of my senses and not under the influence of any forms of intoxication.
But as I said, this is not the Lords stance. There are most certainly many warnings about drunkenness, and that is considered quite a problem in the bible, but to have a drink is not a problem.
2. All Good Things are from the Lord
A second point that struck me was in the comments made by the master of the feast. Not only did the Lord make the wine, he made the very best quality of wine. Certainly anything made by the Lord you would expect to be top quality, but it raises a good point that he did not skimp on the provision of what was needed in the circumstance. To put it simply, the wedding feast needed wine. Jesus gave them wine, but not the poor stuff, which he could have got away with as the master of the feast indicated normally happened, but he gave them the very best wine.
3. Transformation from Evil to Good
The third point that struck me was that there is an analogy in this teaching. We are like the wine and the water in this teaching. In Revelation 17:15 we see people referred to as waters for it says, “And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.” As this section continues down we see, “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)
Now if you consider these two scriptures in Revelation as well as the event where Jesus turned the water into wine, we see an interesting similarity. In both cases the Lord took out of the common waters something or someone and turned it/them into something very, very good. In the same way too God the Father has taken us from our common past to change us into something very good, for he is transforming us into the image of his son, Jesus Christ our Saviour.
4. The Lords Compassion
Fourth and finally, I saw in this teaching something interesting in the words that Jesus spoke to Mary, his mother. He said to her in verse 4, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? ” The truth is, it had nothing to do with him. He was a guest at the wedding, not part of the wedding party and not the master of the wedding feast. It had nothing to do with him at all.
Many people today would look at this and say, “Not my problem!” And they would just walk away. Jesus could have done the same as it truly was not his problem. But then we see that he had compassion on the wedding, for the sake of the guests, the master of the feast and the wedding party, and he helped them out in their time of need.
This is the same principle that we see later in the parable of the good Samaritan. The two religious men walked passed the man who had been beaten and robbed and basically said, “Not my problem.” But the message from Jesus shown in the good Samaritan is that if you have the means and are in a position to help, then do so. The good Samaritan had the means and did what he could, just as Jesus had the means to overcome the problem of no wine at the marriage feast, and he did. The principle of compassion comes through in both stories.
So what are your thoughts on this matter? Please comment below and add to the conversation.
(Photo sourced from www.sxc.hu/ taken by: Edwin Pijpe)
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