The First Miracle (series: Harmony of the Gospels)
by John Lowe
Harmony of the Gospels
Cana of Galilee
(4) The First Miracle
In the eleventh verse of this chapter, it says, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus.” From this, we know that this was His first miracle.
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the Marriage. (John2:1-2)
Many Bible teachers believe that Mary was there because she was related to the bride, groom or to one of the family members. This is superstition, but it could be true. The Lord Jesus and His disciples were also invited. It is usually said that the event being described took place in the year AD 27, probably in late February or early March. The location is in the city of Cana, in Galilee.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. (John 2:3)
In Jesus' day, wine was a staple article of diet. However, drunkenness was looked down on. To be drunk in public was a disgrace. A wedding was a religious occasion and there would have been no thought of drunkenness being connected with it.
This wedding is a picture of another wedding that is coming. Jesus began His ministry at a wedding and He will end it at another wedding. At the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the Church will be presented to Him as a bride.
This is Jesus' first miracle. Moses' first miracle was to turn water into blood. Jesus turned water into wine. Moses gave the law, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. What a contrast!
What did Mary mean by her statement? There are several possibilities. It could have been a gentle hint for Jesus and His disciples to move on. It could have been a suggestion for Him to occupy the guests with a discourse. I don’t believe that either explanation is correct, given the context. I believe Mary was saying, “This is the time to perform a miracle.” This was a poor family. They just didn’t have enough refreshments to go around. It was very embarrassing for them to run out of wine.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? My hour is not yet come. (John 2:4)
His hour did come. The resurrection proved that He was the Son of God and it also proved His virgin birth. That was important to Mary because I am sure that she, at some point, told the disciples and others of the events that surrounded His birth. He was virgin-born, but she could not prove it, until He rose from the dead, so until that occurred she lived in a shadow of doubt. Perhaps she thought that if He performed a miracle at the wedding, it would demonstrate who He was and help clear her name.
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (John 2:5)
This would be good advice for you and me. We should do what Jesus has commanded us to do through the word of God. Nothing would be wrong with that.
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they were filled up to the brim. (John 2:6-7)
The water pots held 20-30 gallons. They were used in ceremonial cleansing, but this was a poor family so they were probably old and chipped. They may have been pushed to the side and covered in hopes that the guests would not notice them.
And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bear it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew); the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (John 2:8-10)
Here is something wonderful. He took empty water pots and had them filled with water. As they were ladled out a miracle took place. When they took the water and served it to the guests, it became wine. In some respects, we are like those water pots. When Jesus wants to use us He will fill us with the water of the word of God. He wants us to ladle it out. When we ladle it out, the water gets to those that it is destined for, it becomes wine, and it is changed by the power and action of the Holy Spirit. We are told, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) The Holy Spirit takes the word of God and performs a miracle in the life of an individual.