The Wedding at Cana

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

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A Wedding in Cana of Galilee

A Jewish wedding ceremony involved a large, long celebration. All week long the couple wore their wedding gown and robe and entertained guests. Everyone was expected to participate and celebrate with the couple in their new found happiness.

To care for the guests, careful planning was needed. Running out of wine meant more than embarrassment; it violated the strong unwritten rules of hospitality.

  1. Mary Everything seems to point to Mary as having a key part in the marriage. Running out of wine would be considered a shame to the family. So here we are, the wine was already gone and days of celebration yet to come.

It’s a personal crisis – not a life-or-death situation! It’s one family; it’s Mary’s friends – and they were about to be humiliated. Mary did what any mother might do. She asked her Son for help. Did He have a solution?

It’s a prayer.

I know it’s not called a prayer here; it’s not phrased as a prayer. But she’s asking Jesus for something, for help! Don’t you do that? I sure do! And when I do, it’s called prayer! “They have no more wine.”

 Some prayers are short.

  1. Jesus Jesus was a sociable person. He liked being with people – and people liked Him! His ministry would be focused on people and their needs: were they hungry, hurting, or humiliated? Jesus came to console, protect, and rescue such as these.

III.  Obedience  Mary was a believer! She was a disciple before Jesus even called disciples! She knew to expect something from this Son to whom she gave birth. She’s been waiting for the next part of the story to unfold! She doesn’t tell Jesus what to do, she only arouses His awareness with a need!

So after prompting the servants, Mary steps into the background. But let’s be sure we hear this: Do whatever He tells you!  Let those words roll around your frontal lobe awhile. It would be wise for all of us to obey what she said!

Ultimately, Jesus has a deeper concern than just meeting the social need of the wedding family. He has come to meet man’s need for spiritual purification and inner cleansing. This He would do when His time would come – on the cross! But here, in John 2, He has the opportunity to reveal His creative power with the first of many signs and wonders!

And of course, it’s the Best Wine! Dilly, dilly! Whatever He does, He does perfectly! He does it best – and He does what’s best for you!

  1. Wine  Many have wondered why Jesus would "waste" His powers performing a miracle providing wine for a wedding feast, a party. It’s almost scandalous, isn’t it?

You might be reminded of the story of the drunken coal miner who was converted and became a vocal witness for Christ. One of his friends tried to trap him by asking, "Don’t you know that Jesus turned water into wine?"

"I certainly do!" the believer replied. "In my home, He has turned wine into furniture, decent clothes, and food for my children!”

  1. Miracles  The Gospel of John tells us that only a few knew about this miracle. Not the host family nor the bride and groom. Not even the master of ceremonies knew from where this wine came. The servants who prepared the water jars knew; as did Mary and His few disciples. Our reading ends revealing another purpose for this miracle: When the disciples saw the miracle, they believed in Him. The miracle demonstrated Jesus' power – in order to awaken faith!

It was God’s plan that the signs and wonders would form faith in their lives – and in yours as well!

  1. If It Matters to You  Let me share some of Max Lucado’s insights over this text. (He Still Moves Stones) The inaugural miracle is motivated – not by tragedy or famine or moral collapse – but by concern for friends who are in a bind.

And if you’re someone who has ever been embarrassed, you like this very much. Why? Because this miracle tells you that what matters to you matters to God.

 You probably think that’s true when it comes to the big stuff. When it comes to major-league difficulties like death, disease, sin, and disaster – you know God cares.

But what about the smaller things? What about grouchy bosses or canceled flights or lost dogs? Do these matter to God?

 I mean, He’s got a universe to run. He’s got planets to keep balanced and presidents and kings to watch over. He’s got wars to worry with and famines to fix ...and a hundred other prayers from people who are really suffering!

Who am I to tell Him about my flower beds that aren’t producing blossoms?

            You ask, “Who am I...?”

            Glad you asked!

You are God’s child! See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children! (1 John 3:1) You see, if something is important to you, it’s important to the Father – your heavenly Father!

Why did Jesus change the water into wine? To impress the crowd? No, they didn’t even know what He had done. Was it get the wedding master’s approval? Nope.

So what moved Jesus to perform this, His first miracle that we know of?

Friends were about to be embarrassed. What bothered them bothered Him.

So go ahead and tell God what hurts. Talk to Him. He won’t turn you away. He won’t think it’s silly. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Rev. Kevin Lantz
Steele Memorial UMC
Barboursville WV

They Have No More Wine!

 “They have no more wine!” How often on your faith journey, your walk with God did you run out of wine? Perhaps it happened when you received the news that a close friend has died, or a loved one, diagnosed with an incurable disease is in the fight of their life or perhaps it was when a flood raged through your town taking everything in its path. A time when we look at our own glass of wine and ask the question; is my glass half full or is it half-empty, only to realize my glass is empty. Lives are shattered, the jars stand empty and dry and the words of Mary echo in your head, “They have no more wine.”

But, it is the third day, the day of resurrection and a day of new life. God turned water into wine, filled our glasses to the brim, and our transformation begins. It is intoxicating!

We are filled with the life of God, filled with the blood of Christ and under the influence of the Holy Spirit. God pours himself into our empty glass every day, replenishing us and our lives are changed and transformed.

Each one of us could tell a story about the day the wine ran out. Some stories are from the past but some stories are actually happening today. Open your hearts to God and let him fill your glass to the full and drink him in.

The miracle begins when the wine runs out. “They have no more wine”, but not for long.

Pastor Judy Pysell
Richwood Charge

A Divine Encounter

The gospel of John is different than the other gospels. In the first chapter John opens with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John’s bold opening sets the tone for a gospel that will explore and proclaim the deep theological meaning of the incarnation.  John’s first chapter begins with creation, moves quickly into John the Baptist’s prophecy about the messiah, the baptism of Jesus, and into the call of the disciples.  The stage is set.

In today’s text “The Wedding at Cana” we have Jesus’ first ministry taking place.  Jesus, his mother, and his disciples have been invited to a wedding.  The wine runs out and then we have the encounter between Jesus and Mary.  Mary is concerned over the human crisis, the wedding celebration is about to be cut short.  This is a tragedy for the family.  She approaches Jesus and simply says, “They have no more wine”.  Jesus response, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”

I think it is important to pay attention to “firsts”.  John doesn’t concern himself with retelling the forty day wilderness encounter between Jesus and Satan.  In the first chapter, Jesus was defined as the “Word”, so no need for the encounter. In the second chapter, John begins with Jesus’ first action, a miracle at a wedding.  And Jesus begins with a question.  Let’s look at the question and the deeper theological meaning John is revealing about Jesus.  “

Woman”, sounds like an awkward way to address your mother, but what John is really doing is defining Jesus’ “human nature”,  (fully divine / fully human).  Jesus is not just the “Word”, he is also the “son of man” (or maybe more correctly the “son of woman”).  The question continues, “what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” The answer to the question is not given in words, it is given in deeds.  Mary says to the servants, “do whatever he asks”.  The miracle happens.  Jesus is revealed.

I invite you to ask the question in a slightly different way.  If we substitute “church” for “woman” I think we can begin to grasp the significance of the event.  I also invite you to substitute our/your own “crises” in the place of wine that has run out.  It goes something like this, “Church, what has this ‘______ crisis’ to do with you and me?”  If we follow in the footsteps of Jesus we take action because our identity is all wrapped up in him.  Can we sit idly by while our friends and families deal with opioid addiction?  Can we sit idly by as foster families are desperately needed?  Can we sit idly by when …..?  We are his disciples. What happens when we take action?  Jesus is revealed.

Seeds of hope enter into the world.  Lives are changed.  How do we take action?  “Do whatever he asks….”  Let us submit ourselves to whatever he asks and watch as he is revealed.

Rev. Tim Conrad
St. Matthew UMC
Weston, WV