Flashback Episode — The Wedding Miracle: John 2:1-12

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In our last episode, we started talking about Jesus’ famous first-miracle at the wedding of Cana. However, our last episode focused on the faith of those present before and after the miracle, and not on the miracle itself. For this episode, we’ll look again at this miracle, but focus in on another huge idea we can learn from it.

Let’s read the whole passage surrounding this miracle then dive into what we can discover from it. Our passage is found in John’s gospel, chapter 2, and we will read it from the New American Standard Bible translation. Starting in verse 1, John tells us that:

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.

While the faith of Mary and the disciples is very present in this passage, there was faith present among the servants too. I probably should have pulled this detail out last week when putting that episode together.

However, what really stands out to me is that the bridegroom receives credit for something he had no direct part in. It’s a little humoring that we don’t have any response from the bridegroom himself, and it’s possible the bridegroom was speechless not having known exactly what happened. John points out that only the servants, and the early disciples, knew where the wine came from, and that it was merely water minutes before.

But what really stands out in my mind when reading this is the statement the headwaiter tells the bridegroom. In verse 10, the headwaiter tells the bridegroom, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.

This statement is as profound in the headwaiter’s eyes as it is symbolic in our own. Too many people alive today think that what we see in this life is all there is to see. Culture pressures people to live by the philosophy “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”—which is ultimately a recipe for living hopeless lives. The implication is that we have the good in life first, but then it just goes downhill from here. The implication is also that there is nothing to look forward to after death. The implication in the headwaiter’s statement is that after those present eat and drink freely, then those involved don’t realize that the quality of their drink is poorer than before, and in a symbolic sense, their lives begin to slide downhill as well.

But the symbolic counter-cultural message here is that Jesus flips this idea upside down. When Jesus is involved, what we thought was good wine served first is really poorer quality because what comes next is infinitely better. While those living without Jesus live hopeless lives believing that times are good then worse, when we live with Jesus, we can face the good and bad times in this life knowing that the best is still to come.

However, this isn’t the only amazing thing that stands out in my mind with this miracle and what it foreshadows.

When discovering that this miracle was Jesus’ first miracle, we see that it was at a wedding, and Jesus is responsible for resupplying the wine. Once you see this parallel, it is hard to unsee it, because during the last supper, Jesus parallels the wine with His blood which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins, and Jesus promises to wait to drink it until the great wedding feast when the church comes as a bride to meet Jesus, her groom.

At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and the very first miracle designed to prompt people to pay attention, Jesus is at a wedding feast, and in my mind’s eye, the first thing the church will do when we have been joined with Jesus Christ is have a great wedding feast celebrating Jesus’ sacrifice and His victory for all of us!

Both the truth we see in the headwaiter’s statement and the truth we see foreshadowed in Jesus’ presence at a wedding point us to look forward to what God is preparing for us. While this life has its ups and downs, and its positives and negatives, when we live with God, we have hope. We look forward to the wedding feast, and we look forward to our future, eternal life with God forever!

As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with:

Always intentionally seek God first and remember that with whatever we face in this life, our future with Jesus will be better than our life in our current sin-filled world.

Also, be sure to intentionally pray and study the Bible for yourself and grow personally closer to Jesus each and every day. Don’t assume or take for granted what the Bible teaches. Choose to study God’s truth out for yourself to discover what He wants you to learn from His Story and His plan of redemption.

And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, chicken out of, or abandon where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him!

Flashback Episode: Year of Miracles – Episode 3: When Jesus turns water into wine as His first miracle, discover how this event foreshadows what we can look forward to when this life is over.

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