This passage is The Wedding at Cana. I find it interesting that Jesus’ first miracle takes place at wedding party and His ultimate miracle is all about a wedding feast. He is our Bridegroom and we are His bride. Every part of Jesus’ ministry had meaning to it. It looks like it is just something He did as a favor for His mother but it is deeper than that. Verses 1-5 read,
“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
“On the third day,” brings to mind that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The dawn of His ministry begins with a reference to the dusk of His ministry and the dawn of a new age.
I just want to note that the disciples that Jesus had called were with Him still, enough so that when Jesus got an invite to the wedding the men with Him were also included. But something unusual happened at this wedding, the wine ran out. That shouldn’t have happened and it was a big deal. Why did it run out? Had the party run longer than anticipated? Were Jesus and His friends among so many extra guests that there was not enough? We don’t know. But it wasn’t just something minor. Running out of wine would bring shame to the groom’s family, and show that the groom was going to be unable to provide for his bride.
But Mary noticed the problem. So she went to her son, God’s Son. Jesus responds with a question, “What does this have to do with me?” and adds a statement that we can understand but likely Mary didn’t, “My hour has not yet come.” His words remind us of His hour, His crucifixion and resurrection. We read these words now, as He knew we would when He spoke them so we can look at this in light of His entire ministry, His Salvation, grace, and power. We see the end of His earthly ministry at the very beginning of it. He knew the end, when He began.
Mary had made this request of her son and she knew He could help the situation. She knew He wouldn’t let this family, their friends suffer humiliation and shame. They had no more wine but God could provide it and she trusted Him and His mercy to provide it. She didn’t know how, I doubt she imagined he would provide the way He did. She didn’t beg Jesus, she trusted He would do whatever He thought was right and so she told the servants to obey Him.
Verses 6-9 tell the next part of the story.
“Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew),”
Jesus not only provided the wine for the feast, He provided it abundantly. He provided between 120-180 gallons of wine. That is more wine than they probably started off with! An average bottle of wine today is 750 ml. There are roughly 5 bottles of wine in a gallon. That makes 120 gallons of wine about 600 bottles of wine! 900 if it was 180 gallons. This wedding feast was not going to run out of wine. Jesus had provided lavishly.
He took jars used for ritual purification of the body and filled them with perfect and plentiful wine. When Jesus died and rose again, the ritual of purification would no longer be necessary.
When the master of the feast tasted the wine he was floored. He couldn’t believe how good it was. Verse 10 reads,
“and said to him, “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.”
Now instead of being dishonored by his lack of ability to give the bride what she needed, the groom was honored, not because of anything he did, but by the gift of wine that Jesus gave him. And Jesus gift turned it around, the okay wine had been served first, and the best wine last. When we arrive at our wedding feast with The Bridegroom Jesus, all we knew before will be dim in comparison to the brilliance and perfection of eternity. What we know now is tainted and flawed, but when we are celebrating with Jesus it will all be perfect, no more sin, no more tears, and no more illness. It will be perfect and wonderful.
Jesus gift of wine at the wedding, saved the feast and it saved the honor of the groom and his family. It was more than enough for the party and every guest could drink their fill and still there would be enough. Jesus gift of His blood on the cross saved whoever will accept it. It saved us and it is more than enough to save us. Anyone who wants salvation can have it. His sacrifice was sufficient to save you. You don’t have to keep going back for more, His mercy doesn’t run out. His grace isn’t partial but complete and perfect.
Mary asked her son to do something, she believed and left it to Him. Do you believe that Jesus can do what you ask of Him? Do you believe that Jesus can save you, restore your honor so you can commune with God? Then let Him. Do you believe that Jesus can bring you through whatever it is you are suffering? He can, let Him. Leave it to Him and let Him do it His way, not yours.