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Monday, February 27

John 2:1-11 (NIV)

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 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 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.”

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.


The Gospel author (who I’ll refer to as John) describes Jesus’ first miracle – transforming water to wine at a wedding at the request of his mother.  John portrays Jesus as initially reluctant, telling his mother, “My hour has not yet come.”  To me, Jesus means that he feels it’s too soon to perform a public miracle revealing his divinity, which will lead inexorably to his crucifixion and resurrection – what John calls Jesus’ “glorification.”  John doesn’t explain why Jesus changes his mind, but I imagine Jesus pauses to reflect and seek God’s guidance, and then realizes that, in fact, it’s not too soon.

In the final verse, John writes that, through this first “sign,” Jesus gives his disciples a glimpse of his divinity sufficient to convince them to “believe in him,” and also “reveals his glory,” thereby launching his public ministry and beginning in earnest his journey to the cross. 

John’s account of this miracle includes many symbols identified by readers and scholars, such as the groom (representing Jesus?), the bride (mankind?), the stone jars used for Jewish purification rites (the Old Covenant with the Israelites?), filling them to the brim with water (fulfillment of the Old Covenant?), the wine (the creation of a New Covenant superseding the Old, or the blood of Jesus to be shed on the cross?), and the abundance of fine quality wine (God’s extravagant love for us?).  Through this sign, John foretells Jesus’ sacrifice of his life to secure for us a new relationship with God based on love and grace.


God, open my heart and mind to the abundance of Your grace and love.  As You changed water to wine, help change me, that I will realize the fullness of life through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bill Cassels

Further ResourcesVideo:

YouTube Video: Private Showing of The Wedding Feast at Cana at the Louvre: HERE “Enjoy a private showing with Tom Scott as he uncovers the fascinating history behind the Louvre’s largest painting, The Wedding Feast at Cana. Tom takes you through the painting’s ups and downs including its origin in 1563, its brush with Napoleon’s forces and its numerous restorations.”

Painting: The Wedding Feast at Cana (1563) by Paolo Veronese – HERE. This webpage allows zooming in on portions of the painting.

Film: Film Segment from Jesus Film Project – HERE

YouTube Video: Johnny Cash singing, “He Turned the Water Into Wine” at San Quentin – HERE

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