About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Changes Water Into Wine (ch. 2:1-11)
I will continue to note, we are still in the period of Jesus' ministry
prior to John the Baptist's death. The
two events in this chapter are not mentioned in the other three gospels.
John is filling in the blanks that the other gospel writers did
not write about.
this section, beginning at verse 1, John tells the event about Jesus and
His disciples being invited to a wedding at Cana in
verse 1 we note that Jesusí mother Mary was at the wedding.
Verse 2 tells us that Jesus and His disciples were also at the
have no Biblical record of Jesusí father Joseph being alive during the
three years of Jesusí ministry. Why
did John say Mary was at the wedding but there is no mention of Joseph
being there? We donít know
for sure. Many people
believe that Joseph was not alive at the time.
He was probably much older than Mary when they were married.
like to comment on the town on
this in mind, you might well except what kind of wedding party took
place here. It was probably
far from your nice Christian gathering.
There was most likely some rough and tough drinkers at this
party, and drink they did.
else you might want to consider is the practice of Jewish men in those
days. When their wives gave
birth, the husband really wanted a male baby to carry on the family
line. This was very
important to these men. If a
girl baby was born, the custom was to fill a barrow of wine and put it
away. Theyíd do this every
year until the girl was married. Girls
in these days could have been married as early as 13, 14, or 15.
So, by the time the wedding day came the father could have had
maybe 15 or more of these large barrows of wine to drink.
It is clear that there was a lot of drinking at these weddings.
is interesting to note that Jesus did not think He should not attend the
party because of this drinking in excess.
feasts in these days were huge events normally lasting for at least
seven days. There would be a
lot of eating and drinking during these seven days.
A wedding was a huge family and village event.
verse 3 Mary tells Jesus that the wine had run out.
There was no wine left. We
might well be near the end of the seven days at this point since all of
the wine had been drunk.
verse 4 Jesus said, "Woman, why do you involve me?"
This may sound crude and harsh to our western ears, but this was
simply the way those of eastern people groups spoke back then.
The same is often true today.
It's not that Jesus was being harsh with His mother.
It was simply a common expression of the day.
that Jesus does not call Mary mother, but woman.
Jesus is now in His earthly ministry as the Son of God, the
Messiah of Israel. For this
reason He now begins to call His mother woman.
Yes, she is still His earthly mother, but Jesus being the Son of
God takes priority and Mary being a woman is more appropriate to the Son
of God than she being His mother. She
was like any other woman in one respect.
She needed salvation and would find it in the same way as anyone
else, yet, we still see Jesusí affection towards His mother during His
earthly ministry. You may remember that while on the cross Jesus asked
John to take care of Mary for Him (John 19:26 - 27).
If you read that passage you will also note that Jesus calls Mary
woman. In that we learn that
Jesus proclaimed John to be the son of Mary.
Biologically speaking, of course he wasn't her son.
You might say that Mary became the adopted mother of John and
that it was now John's responsibility to look after his adopted mother.
So, Jesus still loved His earthly mother, even though He calls
her woman. The point is that
Jesus can't play favorites. God
can't play favorites.
tells Mary "that His time has not yet come."
What time is He speaking about?
I am not quite sure of the answer.
One suggestion is that it is too early in the ministry of Jesus
to start performing miracles. This event might have taken place before
His temptation with the devil and before His inauguration address at the
synagogue. Some suggest that
the hour He was speaking about was His death, but I donít see the
relevance between His death and Maryís request for help.
Another reason for Jesus' statement here might be
that He viewed His ministry beginning at Jerusalem at the Passover that
we will see in the next section of John 2.
In John 2:26 we note that Jesus did many miracles.
If He did many miracles in
donít believe we have the whole conversation between Jesus and Mary.
Jesus has just told Mary that His time had not yet come, and now
we see Mary telling the servants to do as Jesus tells them to do.
It is clear that Jesus agrees to help out but we donít see Him
saying this to Mary.
Mary was a forceful woman or else she was at least in part in charge of
this wedding since she seems responsible for the wine.
I can't begin to get into Mary's head at this point.
Did she expect Jesus to go and buy some wine?
Did she expect Him to do a miracle?
We don't even know if Mary understood if Jesus could actually do
a miracle. He had not
performed any miracle yet. All
that we know is that for one reason or another, Mary believed that Jesus
had the ability to get some more wine.
verse 5 Mary simply told the servants of the wedding to do whatever
Jesus asked them to do. Again,
Mary seems to be the one in charge here.
ago I heard the well known Pentecostal preacher, David Du Plessis,
comment on the fact that Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus
told them to do. When
speaking to Catholics who esteem Mary much higher than Protestants one
can say, "We always do what Mary tells us to do, and the last thing
she has told us to do is to do whatever Jesus tells us to do."
So, in obeying Jesus, we are in turn obeying Mary, which should
make our Catholic friends happy.
verse 6 John states that there were six stone jars that could hold up to
twenty to thirty gallons of water. That's
120 to 180 gallons. These
jars were ceremonial jars. The
Law of Moses and the Rabbinical laws taught that Jews were to wash many
things, including one's face and hands, utensils, cups, and many other
things, not to be physically clean, but ceremonially clean.
This is what these jars were used for.
These jars were probably not used for the wine for the wedding.
verse 7 Jesus told the servants to fill the jars up with water.
The servants did as they were told and filled them to the brim,
all the way to the top. That's
120 to 180 gallons of water.
verses 8 and 9 Jesus then told the servants to draw some of the water
out of a jar and take it to the man in charge of the wedding.
Iím sure the servants were totally blown away when they saw
wine and not water. .
the master of the banquet drank some of this wine he was surprised.
As verses 9 and 10 state, though he did not know where the wine
had come from, he certainly knew it was wine.
The point that the master of the feast makes is that most people
bring out the good wine at the beginning of the feast, then, when
everyone has drank a lot, he brings out the cheap wine.
Why would people do this? It
is simple. It is because you
want to impress people with good wine when they are in a state to
appreciate it. When people
have had a lot to drink and are somewhat influenced by the wine, there
is no use wasting good wine on drunken people.
the question is, "Was this wine that Jesus made, real wine, or
grape juice?" It was
real wine. If it was not
real wine, but only grape juice, the master of the feast would not have
been so impressed. He called
it good wine and wine it was. There
is no way around this.
the Greek word translated as "wine" here is the word
implies fermentation. When
Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, "Donít get drunk with wine,"
"oinos" is the Greek word used there, as it is here.
One can't get drunk by drinking grape juice.
They can, however, get drunk by drinking "oinos" as
Paul says in Ephesians 5:18. There's
no way around it. The Greek
word "oinos" is used both in Ephesians 5:18 and here.
Jesus turned the water into real wine.
It's an abuse of Scripture to say differently.
Bible says a fair amount about wine.
There are many examples of the misuse of wine.
That being said, nowhere in the Bible does it tell us not to
drink wine. It only says not
to get drunk with wine. Wine
is a gift from God that makes our hearts happy according to Psalm 104:14
and 15. That's another
passage you can't neglect in your study of wine.
29:40 and Leviticus 23:13 tell us that wine was used in ceremonial
Deuteronomy 14:26 the Law of Moses stated that one could actually cell
an animal and buy wine to bring to the yearly ceremonial festival.
The Law of Moses permitted the drinking of wine.
Matthew 11:19 Jesus is accused of being a drunkard.
Someone cannot make that accusation if you were just drinking
grape juice. Besides, in the
climate of that part of the world, grape juice begins to ferment within
course, in 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul tells Timothy to drink some wine for his
stomach problems. Some might
suggest that the wine was medicine.
Medicine or not, it was wine.
verse 11 John says that this miracle was the first miracle Jesus
performed. This miracle
"revealed His glory," John says, and, it helped His disciples
put their faith, or trust, in Him. The
supernatural things that Jesus did expressed the glory and radiance of
God that was found in Him. These
miracles in turn produced faith in people.
This faith means that they put their trust in Him.
As time went on the disciples would put more and more trust in
me, it's amazing, especially in our Evangelical world, that the first
miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine, and, it wasn't just
one bottle of wine. It could
have well been 180 gallons of wine.