He Really Is The Messiah
Read John 2:1-12 (ESV)
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 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), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 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.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers[b] and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
What does Jesus’ first miracle teach us about Him?
If you’ve ever hosted a large social event, then you know just how stressful feeding a crowd can be. What if you don’t have enough for everyone? On the other hand, it’s so expensive. You don’t want to overbuy! It’s a hard thing to get right. But you definitely want to get it right because getting it wrong is so embarrassing.
Running out of refreshments before a party is over is still a major faux pas in our day and age. But many Bible commentators point out that in Jesus’ day, running out meant that you could be fined or face a lawsuit. In their culture, it was the groom and his family’s responsibility to pay all of the expenses of the wedding ceremony and banquet. If they failed at their responsibilities, the bride’s family would have grounds to sue! Did I mention that the wedding festivities could last as long as a week?
So, at this wedding in Cana, more was at stake than just trying to save face. Jesus’ mother, Mary, must have been a close friend or relative of the couple, perhaps she was even helping in some capacity because she knew that the wine had run out and she was concerned enough about it to approach Jesus with the problem.
Now, to our modern ears, Jesus’ response may seem disrespectful to his mother. I know better than to address my wife or mom as “woman.” But in that time and in that culture, this wasn’t regarded as an insult. It was a polite way to address someone. Still, it doesn’t indicate a close familial relationship. Why didn’t he call her “Mother”? Well, this may signal a change in the dynamics of their relationship. Jesus’ response reminded Mary that He wasn’t just her son. He was her Lord and Savior. He was the Messiah. And His earthly ministry was just getting started.
In fact, what Jesus did next is the first time we see Jesus perform a miracle. Miracles attested to the deity of Christ. Who else can turn water into wine but God? This was a sign that He was the Messiah! But this amazing transformation of water to wine didn’t steal the show. Instead, it seems that the wedding guests didn’t even realize they’d been out of wine! They thought the hosts had just saved the best for last!
But the servants, Mary, and Jesus’ disciples witnessed what Jesus had done. Jesus had met a need but He’d done so much more than just save the groom’s family from financial, legal, and social issues. It displayed His greatness, glory, and power as well as His ability to mercifully provide for His people out of His overwhelming abundance. His first miracle corroborated what the disciples had heard John the Baptist say about Jesus. This was confirmation for them that He really is the Messiah! He didn’t have to say it. He proved it.
Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your provision, Your mercy, and Your great and awesome power. You didn’t leave us in doubt as to whether the claim that You were the Messiah was true. You proved it. And I believe. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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