A Wedding Miracle (John 2:1-11)

A miracle is defined as a supernatural act of God that cannot be explained through human reasoning. Many of us has experienced miracles throughout our lifetime. The development of a human being starting with conception is a miracle. The changes of the seasons and the sustaining of life is a miracle. Salvation itself is a miracle. Having our sin debt paid by the blood of Jesus is certainly a supernatural act of God that is beyond our full comprehension. Miracles certainly do happen today.

In John chapter two we find the account of the very first miracle that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry. The purpose of the miracles of Jesus, as recorded in the scriptures, are to bring glory to God and to reveal who Jesus is.

A wedding miracle explained. Let us take a moment to study our text and wrap our minds around this first public earthly miracle of Jesus.

VERSE 1-3: The wedding that Mary and Jesus attended must have been that of a close friend or relative. The wedding is taking place in Galilee. The account of this miracle is an historical account. John mentions that the wedding was on the third day in a specific place. Both of these details gives proof to the fact that this is an historical event and not just a story or parable. According to the text, it is apparent that Mary had some involvement in the planning and oversight of this special occasion. The fact that they had run out of wine could prove to be a major problem. The Holman New Testament Commentary says, “Running out of wine represented a social disaster much greater in the first century than it would today. Disgrace, humiliation, insult—all these and more would be brought upon the family with such carelessness as to allow this to happen. Wedding celebrations in that day sometimes lasted nearly a week, so the wine supply was a major consideration.”[1] D.A. Carson writes, “A wedding celebration could last as long as a week, and the financial responsibility lay with the groom (cf. 2:9–10). To run out of supplies would be a dreadful embarrassment in a ‘shame’ culture; there is some evidence it could also lay the groom open to a lawsuit from aggrieved relatives of the bride.”[2] When it comes to the use of wine, one should not get hung up. Drinking of wine was a common practice in Jesus’ day due to the contamination of drinking water. Many Bible scholars will also argue that the wine in Jesus’ day was probably not as intoxicating as wine that is drunk today. As a matter of fact, wine in the ancient world was diluted with water to between one-third and one-tenth of its fermented strength, something less strong than American beer. Undiluted wine, about the strength of wine today, was viewed as ‘strong drink’, and earned much more disapprobation.[3] Throughout scripture we see a clear principle that we should abstain from substances that may take control of the mind and body. Instead of being drunk with wine, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The fact that Mary came to Jesus for a solution to the problem is a testimony to her belief that Jesus truly is the very Son of God.

VERSE 4: In verse 4, Jesus responds to Mary by telling her that His time has not yet come. What did Jesus mean by this? It appears that Jesus is rebuking Mary for asking Him to intervene. It was not that Jesus was rebuking her, rather, He was reminding her that He was to follow the will of God the Father and not that of earthly men. As the handbook on the Gospel of John points out, “the time and the manner in which the Son would reveal his glory to the world was determined by God the Father and not by any earthly person, not even Jesus’ mother.”[4]

VERSE 5: Mary seems to understand what Jesus was saying in verse four and apparently surrenders to whatever Jesus says. Therefore, she tells the servants to simply do what Jesus says to do. It is unclear whether or not Mary believed that Jesus would perform a miracle. However, she knew it was not her call and she needed to leave the matter in Jesus’ hands.

VERSE 6-7: Jesus tells the servants to fill the water pots with water. “The combined capacity of the water pots was about 150 gallons. Reckoning a half-pint to a glass, these vessels would contain about 2,400 servings of wine—certainly enough to supply a large number of people for several days. In quality and quantity the new-made wine more than satisfied the needs and taste of those who attended the feast.”[5]

VERSE 8-10: The servants are then instructed to draw some of the water and take it the head of the feast. Somewhere between the kitchen and the banquet hall, the water turned to wine. When the head of the feast tasted the wine, he was amazed at the taste. It tasted better than the first serving. It tasted better than any wine he had ever had before.

VERSE 11: This miracle was the first of many miracles that Jesus would perform during His earthly ministry. The purpose of these miracles was to reveal who He is and to draw people to believe on Him.

Principles learned from the wedding miracle. As we consider this passage, we must now consider what spiritual significance does this historical account have. There are many principles that we can learn from this account that is applicable to us today.

Do what Jesus says (v. 5). Mary tells the servants to do what Jesus says. So often we try to do things our way. We try to fix life’s problems on our own. Mary knew that there was nothing she could do. But, she also knew the Jesus could do anything. In life, we must learn to surrender all to Jesus. Life would be so much better for us if we would simply obey the teachings of Jesus. If we would follow His example and live according to His Word, then many of the problems we face in life can be avoided.

Keep your water pots full (v. 7). Jesus tells the servants to fill the water pots with water. They fill the water pots to the brim. Jesus can do miraculous things in your life, but you must be willing to do your part. When it comes to serving the Lord, you will get out of it proportional to what you put into it. The more seeds you plant, the more fruit you will bear. What you reap is what you sow. We can pray and pray that God would bless our lives and our church. We can pray that our children would grow up to love and serve the Lord. But, are we investing in our children by teaching them the Word of God? We can pray and pray that God would save our lost friend or love one. But, do we share the Gospel with them and show them the love of Christ by the way we live? We can pray and pray that the church would grow. But, do we do all that needs to be done to make our church cohesive for growth? Think about it. Your Sunday School class will only go as far as your willing to take it. The youth ministry and children’s ministry will only go as far as we are willing to invest in it. Our ministry to families will only go as far as we are willing to minister to families. Our outreach to the community will bring fruit according to the quality of our ministry. My friend, keep your water pots full. Give 110% in all you do for the glory of God!

Jesus always has your best in mind (v. 9-10). Anything that Jesus makes has got to be good! The wine that Jesus makes is the best wine that anyone has ever tasted. You see, God wants to bless you. He desires to give you good things. He desires to give you the best. Look at what the Bible says in Matthew 7:7-11. Just as a father desires to give good things to his children, our heavenly Father desires to bless us. Now, what He knows is best for us may not always be what we think is best. God does not always give us what we want, but He always does what is best for us.

Everything is for His glory (v. 11). The purpose of the Jesus’ miracles is for His glory. This is also the purpose for everything we do in life. This is why it is so important that we do our best in everything that we do. Are you bringing Jesus glory in your home? Are you bringing Jesus glory in your education? Are you bringing Jesus glory in your career and in your work place? Are you bringing Jesus glory in your ministry and in your church? Everything is for His glory!

You must believe (v. 11). When the disciples saw what Jesus did, they believed on Him. The reason His glory must be manifested is so that others may believe on Jesus. What about you? Have you believed on the Lord Jesus? Has there been a time in your life when you said no to yourself and yes to Jesus? Jesus is the answer. He is the miracle worker. He can work miracles in your life, if you would just believe on Him.

 

[1] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 29). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 169). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.

[3] Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 169). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.

[4] Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of John (p. 57). New York: United Bible Societies.

[5] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 30). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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