John 2:1-11  The first manifestation of the Glory of Jesus.

Introduction:  Why did John by inspiration of God record this the first miracle of Jesus?  He recorded these words that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that believing we might have life through His name.

          In this text Jesus turns water into wine.  Lest you should misunderstand I want you to know that I am a teetotaler.  I do not believe that it pleases God nor does it bring honor and glory to His holy name for men to use alcohol as a beverage (1 Cor. 10:31).  I believe that alcohol may have medicinal applications which are desirable and even necessary (1 Tim. 5:23).  Drunkenness is condemned by God in His holy word (Eph 5:18).  The best way to avoid drunkenness is to avoid the use of alcohol all together.  Therefore I do not drink alcoholic beverages.  I believe that Jesus turned this water into wine.  The word wine in the Greek is used for both fresh grape juice and fermented grape juice.  There is the possibility that Jesus turned this water into fresh grape juice but based upon Luke 5:39 which states that old wine is the best tasting wine I believe Jesus made fermented grape juice.  The fermentation process takes much time.  This miracle is made that much more amazing in that He instantaneously turned water into fermented wine.  The argument that Jesus would not contribute to the drunkenness of those at this marriage supper and thus would not have made fermented wine is not valid.   This was the home of a Pharisee (see verse 6).  These people were very godly people and would not get drunk.  The misuse of wine was not tolerated at this house.  The church covenant states that we will abstain from the sale and use of alcohol as a beverage.  I believe that this is a scripturally based practice and should be continued.  The people of Jesus’ day had only one way to preserve grape juice.  They allowed it to ferment.  Its alcohol content was very little compared to the commercially made wines of today.  They had a wine in Jesus’ day which is called sweet wine (acts 2:13) which had extra sugar added to it which made it have a greater alcohol content.  This would cause one to become inebriated more quickly than with common wine.  This is not the wine which Jesus made on this occasion.  It was the old wine which was good and pleasant to the taste.   

John 2:1  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

John 2:2  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

     There are at least three possibilities for which day this was.  First it could have been the third days since the Priests and Levites had questioned John.  Second it could have been the third day of the wedding feast.  Samson put forth his riddle on the first day of a seven day wedding feast.  The third possibility is that this is the third day after Jesus came to Galilee.  The latter is the one which I believe to be the case.  Jesus had gathered five followers and returned to Galilee.  Nathanael is from the city of Cana and I am sure he desired to introduce Jesus to his family and friends there.  Remember that this city is some ten miles north of Nazareth where Mary the mother of Jesus lived.  The mother of Jesus was in Cana to attend the wedding.  Remember also that she has always been a faithful, Godly woman.  Her family and friends would also be Godly people. 


John 2:3  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

John 2:4  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

          This wedding supper was going well until a problem arose.  The ran out of wine.  This would have been an embarrassment to the family for they should have known how many were invited and how much wine they would need.  Some have said that they had not planned for the extra five men which Jesus brought.  The verse says that Jesus was invited and also his disciples.  I believe they knew how many were going to be at the supper but just simply under estimated how much wine they would need.  They should not be too hard on themselves for it is in the plan of Jesus to use this occasion to manifest His Glory.

          Mary shows her concern for the family by telling Jesus about the problem.  Perhaps she expected Jesus to do something about this problem.  Perhaps she expected a miracle.  Maybe she just wanted him to go and get them some more wine.  She expected him to do something.

          Jesus responds to her in what seems like a rebuke.  It seems almost disrespectful the way it is worded in our King James Bible.  We know that Jesus never sinned.  His words are the words of the Father for Jesus came only speaking the words which the father gave him to speak.  The phrase “What have I to do with thee” needs to be put in words which will help us to better understand the meaning.  Jesus is saying to his mother that this problem does not concern them.  It is not their place, nor their marriage supper.  They are but guests at this marriage supper.  Jesus goes on to say “Mine hour is not yet come”.  Here Jesus speaks as a prophet.  This wedding is not His wedding.  This marriage supper is not His marriage supper.  There will come a time when He will have a bride and He will have a marriage supper but this is not that time.  On the day He is crucified He will institute a supper which will commemorate His death until He comes.  One day His Glory bride will make herself ready and there will be a marriage supper of the Lamb.  Today is not that day.  These first followers of Jesus get a hint from Him what will happen in the future.

          Jesus does not mean by anything He said in this verse that He will not help them with this problem.  Mary did not take what Jesus said as indicating He would not help them but instead instructs the servants to do what He said.


John 2:5  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do [it].

          The words of Mary to the servants ought to abide always with us.  Whatsoever He saith unto you, Do it!  Jesus will later say “if you love me keep my commandments”.  There is no better way than the Lord’s way.  We need to hold tight to the truth and be obedient to His every command!

John 2:6  And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

John 2:7  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:8  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare [it].

          It is here in verse six that we find out something about the people who are holding this marriage supper.  The water pots were used for washing.  Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees on one occasion concerning the reason His disciples did not wash before they ate.  The Pharisees did a ceremonial washing before each meal.  They would wash from the elbows to the finger tips in a ceremony which they thought help to keep them ceremonially clean.  The ones attending this marriage supper were provided water sufficient to perform this ceremonial washing.  Jesus will turn these pots which were used in this show of religion into a demonstration of His Glory. 

          The servants are instructed to fill the pots with water.  These pots are made of stone and thus are very heavy.  All together this would amount to between 10 and 14 gallons of water.  They filled them to the brim.  The water could be clearly seen in the mouth of each pot.  Jesus then instructs them to draw out and take a cup to the governor of the feast.  They do so without hesitation.  They did not question Jesus concerning His instructions.  They simply did as they were told.  When we follow His instructions we may expect success.


John 2:9  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,

John 2:10  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.

          The servants bring the glass of water to the ruler of the feast.  He takes one swallow of this water and the servants watch his reaction.  He is puzzled.  Is he puzzled as to why they have brought him water in stead of wine?  He calls for the bridegroom.  He begins to exclaim over the contents of this cup that it is the good wine.  The servants are amazed for they know what has happened.  These servants have seen a manifestation of the Glory of Jesus Christ.


John 2:11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

                   This is the first of many miracles which Jesus will perform in the course of the next three and a half years.  The purpose of each of these miracles will be the same.  These works of Jesus testify as to who He is.  This is the Christ, the Son of God.  The purpose of this miracle was accomplished in that the disciples believed on Him.  We too may see through the Word of God the works of Jesus and know for a certainty that Jesus is indeed the Savior of men, the very Son of God. 

                   Why did Jesus choose this miracle to be His first?  Jesus knew what these five men needed to see in order to cement their belief in Him as the Christ.  Nathanael had seen his proof.  The others had heard the testimony of John and believed that Jesus was the Christ.  These men will forsake all to follow Jesus and they will need assurance from Jesus. Following Him will not be easy.  It will require every ounce of faith they have and every encouragement Jesus will give.


Conclusion:  Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.  Changing water into wine is an amazing miracle indeed.  It is a thing that can only be done by Jesus.  Cleansing a lost sinner of his sin is also a thing that only Jesus can do.  If He can turn water into wine He can forgive you of your sin and what’s more He has promised that all who will repent of sin and come asking for salvation He will save.  Want you trust Him now.