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John 2:9-11 NIV
9 The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
November 18, 2010The wine steward did not know who supplied the additional wine. He presumed it came from the bridegroom. Mary knew the truth. Readers of the story get the picture. So did the servants and possibly the disciples. Soon everyone would become aware of what had happened, but when the wine steward tasted the water turned into wine, he was not told, so how could he know the source.
Actually the emphasis in the story is not on who knew what. The focus is upon the new wine that is so much better than the old. That's the message. There must be more here than initially meets the eye.
In fact, according to some students of our holy scriptures, the wine steward addressed his question to the wrong bridegroom. The Gospel writer, John, is also named as the author of the final book of the Bible, Revelation. In that book, John identified Jesus as a bridegroom, and his church as his bride.
Symbolic language comes natural for John, as we learned in his first chapter. Are we now to understand this whole episode at the wedding feast in Cana as carrying a bigger message that has to do with the identity of Jesus and his relationship with God and with humankind?
In the Old Testament God's desire was that, "I will be their God and they will be my people." Is John upping that imagery to suggest that the relationship God desires with us is like that of a groom with his new wife. And the atmosphere surrounding that wedding, that union, is akin to the wine of gladness. Not just any old wine, but new wine better than anything you have ever tasted before!
The joy of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the joy of his Church (those who believe and follow the path Jesus laid out for us) is like water that has been turned into aged wine at the word of Jesus. The joy of the groom and the joy of the bride is full to overflowing in abundance.
More journal entries
November 16, 2010We miss the mark when we do not know whom to thank for the wine. For all the good gifts we receive daily, for the special gifts at the celebratory times of our lives, God is the source of all things good.
We benefit from God's miracles every day--rain, sun, germination, ripening, harvest, fermentation--but, like the steward, don't recognize the Source from whom it comes. God turns water into wine all around us everyday. And what do we do? We credit ourselves or another humans. But for those with eyes to see, all good gifts come from our Father in heaven.
April 8, 1982If the God of Israel had never preformed miracles, would the people of Israel have believed and obeyed the laws of Moses? Would people be impressed with Jesus today if it were not for the miracles recorded in the Gospels.
Miracle is a difficult word to define. Waking up in the morning, being alive, making it through a difficult day, watching children or plants grow and survive, making new friends and being remembered by old ones, knowing that God cares for me--in a sense these are all miracles. But they are so common. Everyone experiences them so we usually don't see these things as miracles; we take them for granted and are ungrateful.
A "real" miracle is something out of the ordinary that doesn't happen to everyone else. It makes me special, picks me out of a crowd and bestows a specially designed blessing.
There are signs of God's presence and power all around me, in the common, ordinary events of life. I need to acknowledge them, actively look for them, and be grateful.
November 13, 2001By this miracle Jesus showed his "glory". He demonstrated by his good works that he was from God. The disciples believed. They already believed and were following him. So what is it that they believed after seeing this miracle?
What made this miracle ok. Jesus did not turn stones to bread when the devil tempted him. How did he distinguish between situations when such a miracle would be good and when it would have been hurtful or inappropriate or irresponsible?
November 19, 2010The disciples saw the glory of Jesus and put their faith in him. They had an epiphany. Like Simeon when he held the infant Jesus in his arms, and the Magi at the manger, like John the Baptist when he saw the white dove and declared "Look! The Lamb of God", so now those who were following Jesus glimpsed the true identity and knew in their hearts that this was the one they had been looking for, the one sent from God.
Whether you think of it as a quiet happening or a spectacular one, this first miracle was an epiphany, a "sign" revealing God's presence and power in and through Jesus.
November 13, 2001This is more than a miracle story. As we proceed through the chapters of this Gospel we will see that John likes to tell us a simple, ordinary, believable story, and then use that story to teach us some spiritual truth.
Suppose Israel was God's vineyard as portrayed at several places in the Old Testament, and also in several of parables that are recorded in the other three Gospels. Suppose the old wine, like the 6 jars that held the ceremonial water for the rituals of hand washing, represents the Law of Moses, and the new wine represents the grace of our loving Savior. Suppose the old covenant with Israel is like water and the new covenant of Jesus is new wine. And that God has saved the best for last. Or that the glory of God displayed to Moses was like water compared to the glory of God as revealed in God's son and our Savior.
The disciples, as they pondered this event, saw the glory of God in the life and deeds of Jesus. Nathanael probably watched angels going up and down that stairway to heaven!
And this was only the beginning, the first miraculous sign performed at a wedding in the little obscure town of Cana in Galilee.
November 18, 2010If we wanted to say what the Gospel of John is about we could put it very succinctly: the glory of Jesus. John 1:14 says, " . . . We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
In the current text, Jesus revealed his glory in his first miraculous sign, and the disciples believed, their faith took a mighty leap.
There will be a whole sequence of events in which something new and better is happening and Jesus will make his glory known. Toward the end of the Gospel we will notice that the glory of God is mysteriously associated with sacrificial suffering. After witnessing this miracle at the wedding in Cana, we must conclude that with God, the best is always and forever, still to come.
Something new and better. Actually John doesn't call them miracles, he uses the word "sign". A sign, a revelation of God, a moment that points to the glory and goodness of God. This is something I want to understand better as I proceed.