We are here: Cana, the place of Jesus’ first miracle. Cana is a village in Galilee about twelve miles west of the Sea of Galilee, and it was in this very place Jesus performed his first recorded miracle, turning water into wine while attending a wedding. Later in Jesus’ ministry, a royal official came to Cana to ask Jesus to heal his son, who was sick in Capernaum. Jesus healed the man’s son. The apostle Nathanael also came from Cana. Today there are two churches commemorating Jesus’ first miracle, a beautiful Greek orthodox church and a peaceful Franciscan church.
Pastor Wendell taught from John 2:1-11 about the wedding at Cana and the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry. By Jewish and cultural custom, it was an embarrassment for the hosts of any wedding to run out of wine. The celebrations often lasted several days—sometimes as long as a week, with many speeches and feasts. In fact, according to Bible.org, “if the hosts ran out of food or wine, charges could be pressed and litigation could result.” No vino was a very serious offense. There are a few things to note here:
- The mother of Jesus asks for Jesus to respond. He asked a question in verse four: “Why do you involve me?” The timing of this miracle is notable. Scripture says Jesus’ “time had not yet come.” It wasn’t on the Father’s timetable for Jesus to reveal his ministry. However, Jesus allowed the Holy Spirit to direct him accordingly, as he heeded his mother’s request.
- The miracle was not on Jesus’ schedule for signs and wonders, yet he was willing to take responsibility. Yet in the latter part of John 2:4, he says, “My time has not yet come.” This miracle was not on Jesus’ radar; he just did it for the love of his mother. Mary trusted in him. We might feel the same way when Jesus answers our requests. It might sound something like this: “God really loved me, as he blessed me.” Intimacy and friendship with Jesus does give us benefits. When we walk in an intimate love relationship with Jesus, we can ask whatever is on our hearts. If according to God’s will, it will come to pass. For more on prayer and miracles go to my blog post “Turn on the Power“.
- The miracle was performed to illustrate victory over dead religion in verse 7: “Fill the jars with water.” Jesus chose water in water pots that had been used for purification, part of the religious system of that day. These were for ceremonial washing, so the water was unclean. Think of the “non-potable water” in an airplane; it’s not reused, but it is unfit for drinking. The water in the water pots had been used for purification and cleansing, so it wouldn’t even be considered something to drink.
- The miracle minimized Jesus’ miracle-working ministry yet manifested his glory because to this day the gospel of John says, “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifest His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” The wine represents joy. He came to replace the dead religion with joy, flooding over other all other paths to God and triumphing all dead religions.
“Lord, fill my life with the new wine, the joy you promise. I desire to pursue a greater intimacy with you, God. I choose to be done with playing church, with religion, and with politics. Fill me with your new wine—the joy of the Lord, through the power of your Holy Spirit.”
See you tomorrow for our next stop: Mount of Beatitudes.