“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants,
Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (John 2:1-11).
Seventy years after Jesus was crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, John, picked up a pen to record the memories he had. In the advanced years of his life, the early years were sharp, vivid, and crystal clear. It seemed like only yesterday that John had met the Master and walked with Him to a little village in Cana of Galilee.
The mother of Jesus was there. Looking back across the decades, the old apostle had to smile. He remembered that no sooner had Jesus arrived with His new disciples than Mary presented Him with a problem. “Son, they have no wine.”
That was all she said, “They have no wine”, but it was enough to summarize the seriousness of the situation. For a Jewish feast wine was an essential part. “Without wine,” said the Rabbis, “there is no joy.”
Of course, drunkenness was forbidden, and strong wine was diluted—two parts wine, three parts water. Still, failure to provide adequately for guests was a great social embarrassment. Acting in some official capacity, Mary simply did not want anything to mar the joyous occasion. So far everything had been perfect.
The wedding ceremony had already taken place late in the evening of a Wednesday according to Jewish law. The young couple had been conducted to the new home in a torch light parade. Once inside their new home the young couple was treated by the guests like a king and queen, and were actually addressed as such. Their word was law and their every request was granted.
For people whose life was filled with hardship and sorrow, such joyous occasions were important and Jesus shared in the events. The Son of Man came eating and drinking. For all Christians C.H. Spurgeon said, “I command cheerfulness to all who would win souls; not levity and frothiness, but a general happy spirit. There are more flies caught with honey than with vinegar, and there will be more souls led to heaven by a man who wears heaven in his face than by one who bears tortuous in his looks.”
While the guests enjoyed themselves Mary took note of an impending social crisis and shared that with Jesus. She did not tell Him to do something. She simply let the need be known. And Jesus responded, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.”
In His response, the Lord was in no way saying something disrespectful. The word “woman” can better be translated “lady”. Moreover, Mary sensed immediately that Jesus was willing to help her, for she went to the servants and instructed them, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”
John remembered clearly what happened next. Inside the house near the banqueting couches were six water pots of stone. Those large water pots contained from 18-27 gallons apiece. The Jews used the water in the vessels for washing.
When coming into the house the Jews would wash the dust from their feet, and before they ate the Jews would wash their hands by pouring water over their hands.
Jesus saw the large water pots of stone and said very quietly to the servants, “Fill the water pots with water.” John remembered that the servants filled the vessels all the way to the brim so that the water was in danger of splashing out over the sides. Jesus gave
His second command, “Draw our now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.” The governor of the feast was really the steward who was in charge of all the arrangements.
Today, he would be the same as the chief waiter in a nice restaurant. When the governor received the fresh wine supply he openly expressed surprise and spoke to the bridegroom saying, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10). The governor did not know but the servants knew what had happened. The water had been turned into wine.
This changing of the water into the wine was the initial miracle that Jesus performed with two important results.
First, His glory was manifested. Who saw the glory of Christ? Not everyone, but only a select few, which included Mary, the servants, and the disciples. That is still the same today. Not everyone has seen, or will see the glory of Christ. Some will see the example of Christ, but not His divine excellencies. Others will see the goodness of Jesus, but not His glory. Spiritual eyes are blinded and must be made to see spiritual truths. The church does well to pray and plead,
“Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
For those who have come to faith we see the glory of Christ manifested, and we want others to see Jesus too. Like the woman of Samaria our hearts are anxious to say, “Come and see a man who told me all things ever I did. Is this not the Christ?”
Second, the turning of water into wine caused His disciples to believe in Him. Up to this moment the disciples known as Peter, John, James, Philip, Andrew, and Nathaniel simply knew that Jesus was different than any other person they had ever met. Now they believed He really was the Son of God. The difference is important.
There have been many individuals who were distinct from others in their generation.
William Shakespeare was a literary genius and inspired the imagination of millions.
Charles Lindberg climbed into a relatively small aircraft and flew across the Atlantic Ocean as “The Lone Eagle” in his plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis.”
Napoleon Bonaparte was a unique figure in war and peace.
History is filled with individuals who were different than others but Jesus alone remains the unique Son of God.
Now, there are a number of precious spiritual truths in this passage and we want you to observe each one.
First, Christ honors the institution of marriage. When this young couple got married they invited Jesus Christ. In reality no marriage is complete without the presence and blessing of Christ. Countless couples have doomed their marriage to failure because they did not consider Christ to be the centrality of their lives, and to cement the bands of love in Him. But when Christ is invited, He comes.
Second, Christ helps those in need. No matter how small or how great the need, Christ is there with infinite resources. Even in the socially embarrassing moments help is on the way. When Mary had a problem, she went to Jesus.
It is heartbreaking to see people running from one program to the next, taking a pill and then another, talking to one psychologist and then another and another when they should be crying out to Jesus. Christ is still the only hope for the world, and the only One with ultimate solutions to the deepest problems of the world.
Third, the love of Christ is manifested by the power of Christ. Love always moves to help. It is possible to help someone in need based upon selfish interest or simple obligation. But Christ helps because of His great love.
Now, there are seven simple words in this narrative which will change your life forever. The words are stated by Mary to the servant in John 2:5. “His mother said unto the servants, ‘Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.'” Every word is important.
Consider first, the need for complete obedience to the commands of Christ. Mary did not say to the servants, “I want you to listen to the counsel of my Son, and then do what you think is best.”
No! “Whatsoever He says to do, do it.” One reason why so many people leave the church in frustration and disillusionment is because of impartial obedience. One reason why so many church members harbor secret hostility to pastors, the Bible, and ultimately against God, is because of a fundamental unwillingness to obey Christ. When that happens, there is tragedy for
obedience to all that Jesus commands will change your life forever. Abraham obeyed and a child of promise was born.
Moses obeyed and the nation of Israel came into existence.
Paul obeyed and evangelized the world for Christ.
Consider second, the Person who is to be obeyed. Mary said to the servants, ‘Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” There are many voices today trying to tell people what to do. In the area of politics, the Democratic party wants people to do one thing, the Republican party wants people to do something else. Independents want the people to do yet another thing. In medicine, science, and self-help programs, everyone is claiming to be the one to follow. Sooner or later all decide on a role model for we all follow someone. Sometimes individuals are followed blindly and without a fair questioning of others.
No doubt, there could have been a number of solutions to solving the wine problem at the marriage of Cana.
The servants could have been instructed to go buy more wine.
They might have been told to go borrow wine from a rich source in Nazareth.
The guests could have been offered another beverage. But Mary wisely made it simple for the servants. They did not have to labor for the solution. “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”
Jesus Christ, when He is obeyed will change your life forever.
Observe next from the verse the method of instruction. “Whatsoever He saith”. God’s people are still guided through the Word of God. There is a need to read again the Words of Christ as the Word of God.
Knowledge of this book the Bible will change your life forever. That is one reason I exhort God’s people to come to the Bible studies. How can people obey what the Lord says if they do not hear what He has said?
The text also teaches the personal relationship involved. Jesus speaks unto individuals. A.W. Tozer wrote a book with the title, God Speaks to the Man who Cares.
Here is truth that will change your life forever. The Creator is willing to talk to the creature. But who is willing to obey?
When Jesus is listened to, and obeyed, His glory will be made manifest and faith will increase. These are the spiritual realities the Church should long to see in society.
The Church should want to see people seeking solutions from Jesus.
The Church should want to see people listening to Jesus.
The Church should want to see people obeying the Lord so the glory of Christ will be made manifest in the midst of hearts and homes.
Hear now these words that will change your life, forever.