The Wedding at Cana = John 2
Bible Background: John refers to Jesus’ miracles as “signs”, that point to who he is, and that point to what more is to come! This is the “first” of many “signs”, and it’s a delightful one! Remember throughout scripture, a feast is a sure sign of God’s blessing and God’s providing, and a wedding feast in particular is like a glimpse of heaven’s joy!
Digging Deeper: 1. Cana is a village not far from Nazareth, where Jesus grows up. This seems like a wedding Jesus attends as a family member. A wedding celebration in that culture would last several days. It would be quite an embarrassment to run out of wine for your guests!
2. This is one of only two places where “the mother of Jesus” is mentioned, and not by name. (The other mention is at the foot of the cross.) Mary sees a need, and gives Jesus a nudge. His response sounds a bit odd to us, but Mary has full confidence that Jesus will ‘save the day’. She tells the servants “do whatever he tells you!”
3. For Jesus to say “my hour has not yet come” is a recurring theme in John. On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus will say “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” John is introducing the real Jesus to his audience, quickly and with some caution, as in: “You’ll only have a full understanding of Jesus when you see him on the cross and raised from the dead. He’s more than a miracle worker-although this is a very ‘neat’ miracle!”
4. The six, large water jugs are for the Jewish purification (ritual washing) acts. They hold ordinary water that has a special use. Jesus performs this miracle while drawing zero attention to himself. He lets the wedding host take credit for the abundance of really good wine! John might be hinting that the ‘old’ Jewish traditions (like purifications rules/rituals) can take a back seat to the ‘new’ things God is doing in Jesus.
5. What things in life remind you of God’s “abundance”? How is God’s grace an example of “abundance?” How do we celebrate and share the abundance God has showered on our lives? So often, our culture sees either “scarcity” or “abundance”, like “We can’t possibly afford to provide childcare for every family” or “We really must provide…..” How does our faith inform our views on public policy issues?