Jesus tuned water into wine at the wedding of Cana. The Bible says this was the first miracle Jesus performed in his ministry. We may wonder why that is. There are many possible reasons. One is that this miracle enabled the wedding guests to continue celebrating. Another is that it is a foreshadowing of the Lord’s Supper at the end of this ministry. A third reason is that the miracle reveals the transformation of his people through his presence.
Jesus’ mother Mary plays a large role in the events surrounding this miracle. She tells her son, “They have no more wine.” She makes the problem known to Jesus. She recognizes that help is needed and she realizes that it is Jesus who can help to solve the situation. She later tells the servants standing by, “Do whatever he tells you.” She lets these lowly workers know that Jesus is the one they should listen to.
A wedding is a celebration and the wine is a symbol of the celebration. So when the wine is gone, the celebration comes to an end. Mary and Jesus both recognize that this is not a good place to be. Jesus desires that the people there celebrate some more. The marriage feast is a symbol of the feast of heaven, where the Groom, Christ, weds the Bride, the Church. There the feast’s celebration will last forever. In Cana, the celebration continues when Christ provides more wine. In our lives Christ wants us to live in celebration of him and with him. Let us remember this truth as we read this passage.
The wine poured out at the table of the wedding party from the jugs of water was called “the best.” But this best of wine would be overtaken by even better wine at the Lord’s table the night before his death. This wine which the disciples drank was the very blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of all their sins. Like the wine of Cana, the wine at the Lord’s Supper brought celebration, but a deeper celebration that would bring everlasting joy through the removal of sins. The first wine poured at Cana flowed through Christ’s ministry to the Lord’s Supper’s wine. And it is this wine that flows to each one of us when we partake of the bread and wine of Holy Communion in our gathering as God’s people. This very best of wine enters into each one of us through Christ as it did at Cana, but in a richer, more abundant way.
The water that became wine came from 12 jugs. It is these jugs that represent the 12 tribes of Israel, which symbolize the people of God. The change from water into wine, therefore, represents the transformation of God’s people into richer, fuller, more vibrant followers of the Almighty, because of Christ’s presence flowing through us. We are no longer ordinary, normal, average people like plain old water. We are special, chosen, extraordinary people invigorated by the life of Christ within us. We no longer have nothing to do. We have purpose and meaning and a goal—to be with Christ and live for him.