Notes on John 2:1-11, Jesus Turns Water into Wine

John 2:1-10
Jesus mother and some servants

1. In this conversation what did Jesus say or do?
2. In this conversation what did the words or actions of Jesus explain to us about the Father?

‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:1 ¬? On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus‚Äô mother was there,
•    John 2:2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
•    John 2:3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:4 ¬? ‚ÄúDear woman, why do you involve me?‚Äù Jesus replied. ‚ÄúMy time has not yet come.‚Äù
‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:5 ¬? His mother said to the servants, ‚ÄúDo whatever he tells you.‚Äù
‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:6 ¬? Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:7 ¬? Jesus said to the servants, ‚ÄúFill the jars with water‚Äù; so they filled them to the brim.
‚Ä¢¬†¬†¬† John 2:8 ¬? Then he told them, ‚ÄúNow draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.‚Äù ¬? They did so,
•    John 2:9 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
•    John 2:10 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.”

<<<20080410>>>
NT Wright said there was a rabbinical saying “Where there is no wine, there is no joy”

The water was the stuff they used for ceremonial washings. They would wash their feet when they arrived, then wash their hands between every course of the meal. They would have to go and fetch this water and bring it for the guests. It was the water that made them clean to eat and clean to participate with the others. Jesus takes that water and turns it into wine. SO THEN WHAT? Now they can’t wash themselves! Now they can’t go on with the feast until the servants bring more water! Jesus is NUTS! Put this with what He said about it’s not what goes IN to a man that makes him clean or unclean. It’s like Jesus pushes aside this hand-washing business because we need some wine in here now! I love it. Jesus takes religion and turns it on its ear.

At the time, if a wedding host didn’t serve the guests the right way, they could take legal action against the host! So here is a person who is about to be punished under the law, and doesn’t even know it, and Jesus rescues them. How much stuff have I been rescued from without even knowing it? So here Jesus brings freedom from the curse of the Law, and so begins His ministry.

http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1304

<<<20080411>>>
John doesn’t focus on the amount of wine (which was huge, over 630 bottles in today’s measurements!) or the fact that there was no more water, but this was done:
John 2:11 ¬? This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

1. In this conversation what did Jesus say or do?
o    He talked to Mary with respect, even though he was about to show His superiority.
o    He went to a wedding with His disciples! We can’t miss that! Even the most ordinary events were good for taking the disciples along to teach them. It wasn’t “I’m going to a wedding today, so you guys can go off and do whatever.” Because Jesus was ALWAYS looking to bring the Father glory.
o    He had someone else ‘perform’ the miracle. The servants got the water, the servants scooped out the wine, the head waiter tasted it and made the comment to the groom. No where in this did Jesus draw attention to himself.
o    He used the servants to do it. He didn’t have his disciples do it. They, no doubt, saw the whole thing, but when Mary said, “Do whatever he tells you” they certainly obeyed her. Can you imagine the one poor guy that took the first scoop of water up to the head waiter? That would be a leap of faith right there!
•    “You idiot! We are out of wine and you’re asking me to drink the water of cleansing? Get out of my kitchen!”
o    Jesus asked them to do something that was not typically done. You wouldn’t serve up this water to drink. You wouldn’t fuss over cleansing water then the wine has gone dry – “There are more important things to worry about than water refills, we’re out of wine” (ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but they were somewhat in a tizzy over being out of wine.)
•    We have to address this cryptic statement by Jesus. “Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” Jesus says that, but then gets involved. There are several places in the Gospels where Jesus is hesitant at first to do whatever people are asking, but then He does it. It doesn’t seem like in His character he is waiting for them to ‘ask the right way’ or something like that. I don’t want to say that He changes His mind, because it says in several places that God does NOT change His mind, so how does this fit?
•    He is talking about something else. Mary says they have no more wine and He’s talking about some other thing, like the Samaritan woman at the well, “If you knew who you were talking to, you would ask for water and He would give it to you.” But then He goes ahead and does the material thing.
•    This isn’t the big deal. The big deal that is “His Time” is not fixing their wine problem or beginning His miracles,
•    All of this bring up a question for me: Why DID Mary tell Jesus “they have no more wine” and put the servants at His service?
2. In this conversation what did the words or actions of Jesus explain to us about the Father?
o    The Father attends weddings
o    The Father is always looking to reveal His glory, even at a party
o    The Father listens and cares about the things we need, and can fix our shortfalls in unexpected ways.
o    The Father doesn’t always use things for what we see as their intended purpose (there were containers for wine there, but He didn’t refill those)
o    The Father chooses joy (symbol: wine) over religion (symbol: holy water)
o    The Father entrusts us with things that can be used wisely or lead to harm (the waiter says people usually get drunk on the good wine)
o    The Father uses others in the process of revealing His glory.
o    The Father gives simple instructions a few steps at a time. (fill this with water, draw some out, take it to this guy, instead of: you’re going to go fill these things up with water and when you come back it will be the best wine the waiter has ever tasted)
o    The Father has something to teach us beyond what we see in our circumstances (Jesus’ cryptic remark to His mother)
o    The Father wants to reveal His glory, beginning with the servants in the side room. His time has not yet come to stand up at the wedding feast, but until then He’ll be in the back with the servants.
o    The Father sometimes gives an answer that seems like a “No” but is really pulling us along into perseverance. (Jesus said “why do you concern me?” but Mary didn’t leave Him alone. Put this near the persistent widow and unjust judge parables.)

  • Greg

    I have often wished we could see His face when He answered His mother! Was He engaging in gentle joking with her? She clearly knew he would act looking at her words to others. And it sounds to me like that kind of son and mother exchange. This is one of the places where we have the words but not the face, and it leaves me wondering about the possible twinkle in His eye or grin on His face! Possibly then the Father also gently teases and jokes with us! In my experience, He does. peace