I absolutely love this passage. It’s Jesus’ first miracle that could not have been at a better place, a wedding. And Jewish weddings were amazing. There was no such thing as a honeymoon, instead the couple kept open house for a week. They were treated like royalty, dressing in fancy clothes, crowns on their heads., and whatever they asked for, they received. Evidently, there were more guests than expected because we see that the wine ran out and there was fear that the celebration was going to end before it should have. Enter Jesus, stage left, to turn water into wine.
But the mystery is not in the drink, but instead at the conversation surrounding it. Mary, mother of Jesus has requested that Jesus turn the water into wine. Yet, Jesus, God made flesh, has said that “My hour has not yet come.” Read the passage below:
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and 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 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
It’s amazing, the family dynamics in complete enmeshment with our theology. Is Mary allowed to tell God the Son what to do? When Jesus said it is not my time, is He caving into her wished or, and this might be heresy at it’s worst, was He wrong? I love the complexity of such a simple miracle. Yet, Mary was not disrespectful, instead telling the services “Do whatever he tells you” and left it in the hands of her son. And how much more faith does she have to know that He will be able to do something that He has not yet shown He can do. It’s not like she can say, “Jesus, you walked on water, of course you can make more wine.” Instead, she believed every word the angel told her and trusted in the power of Jesus, knowing He would come through.
In the end, we find that this example is actually Christ fulfilling one of the Ten Commandments and in the process continuing not to sin. The first miracle has been done, the party can go on, and Jesus’ ministry has just begun.