John 2:1-11 THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS
Previous texts gave a record of the first disciples of Jesus.
This text today is a record of His first miracle.
The word, wine, in this verse means "The juice of grapes"
without reference to whether it is fermented or unfermented.
Even if this speaks of fermented wine, it could not be the kind
of strong liquor known as wine today which has extra sugar added
for extra alcohol. Jesus would not have attended a drunken
party. Especially, He would not have furnished the liquor to
help them get drunk.
I. Jesus and His disciples attending a wedding
V. 1, "And the third day there was a marriage in
town located just NE of
became a disciple of Jesus. John says that a marriage took place
but it was customary in
seven to fourteen days.
John says that the mother of Jesus was there. He does not
say that she came with Jesus, but that she was there. You will
note that he makes no mention of Joseph. The last time Joseph is
mentioned in Scripture was when Jesus was carried to the temple
at twelve years of age. It is believed that Joseph died before
the public ministry of Jesus began. It would seem that if he
were alive at the time of this marriage he would have been
mentioned. It is especially noticeable that he was not mentioned
as being at the crucifixion of Jesus.
John says that this marriage took place on the third day. It
appears that John means that the marriage took place on the third
day after Nathanael became a disciple of Jesus.
V. 2, "And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the
marriage." Jesus has now returned from
identification by John the Baptist as the Christ. He now has
first disciples. No doubt the news has
John the Baptist has identified Jesus as the Christ and that
Nathanael, who lived there in Cana, is now one of several
John says that Jesus and His disciples were invited to this
wedding. John does not tell us whether or not the number of
disciples was limited to Andrew, Simon Peter, John, James and
Philip whether or not all of the 12 have now become disciples.
All we know is that Mary, the mother of Jesus was there and that
Jesus and His disciples, however many they may have been at this
time, were there. I have an idea that all 12 may have been
there, but I have no way of knowing for sure.
II. Jesus called upon by His mother to supply wine at the
V. 3, "And when they wanted wine..." That is, they had run
out of wine. Their supply had all been used up. This tells us
that the marriage feast has now been in progress for several
days. They surely would not run out on the first day. It is
highly unlikely that they would run out until sometime toward the
end of the feast. This was getting down toward the very end of
the feast. It would be an embarrassment to the bridegroom, who
was to furnish supplies for the whole occasion.
(V. 3), "...the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no
wine." Mary, the mother of Jesus, learned that the supply of
wine had run out. She was very sympathetic toward the bridegroom
and all his guests. She took it upon herself to tell Jesus about
the need in hopes that He might do something about it as a favor
to her. For many years she had carried within her heart the
knowledge that Jesus is the Christ without saying anything about
it publicly. Apparently she had never called upon Him to use His
supernatural powers to do favors for her. But now that Jesus had
been publicly named by John the Baptist as the Christ and since
her host was faced with an embarrassing situation, she thought
she might prevail upon her Son and get Him to help these people.
She did not directly ask Him to perform a miracle, but she did
strongly imply that she wanted Him to do so.
V. 4, "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with
thee? mine hour is not yet come." Jesus was somewhat disturbed
by Mary's request. It is true that she was His mother, but that
did not give her the right to exercise control of His ministry
and manipulate Him into performing a miracle before the scheduled
time for His miracles. It is true that the performance of a
miracle would catch the attention of a lot of people and convince
some that He is the Christ, but it would also draw earlier
opposition to Him from the scribes and Pharisees.
So what Jesus did was to honor His mother by going ahead and
granting her request, but He also gave her to understand that she
was not to interfere again in His ministry and try to control
what He would or would not do. He did not even tell her that He
would grant this request. He just waited, knowing that she would
pursue the matter further.
III. The performance of the miracle
V. 5, "His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he
saith unto you, do it." Mary did not call the bridegroom and
inform him that Jesus would provide him with a new supply of
wine. Nor did she tell the ruler of the feast, who was in charge
of supplies. She found some servants nearby and said to them,
"Do you see that man right there. Whatever he tells you to do,
you do it." Mary had every confidence that Jesus could do what
she wanted and she had every confidence that He would do what she
wanted. She was right, of course.
V. 6, "And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after
the manner of the purifying of the Jews..." These waiter pots
were not located with the wine pots. Rather they were located at
an area which would be convenient for guests to use in the
frequent ceremonial washings that the Jews had at meals. All
Jews washed before and after meals and the Pharisees washed
several times before eating. Besides that, water would be needed
for washing utensils and, in all probability, to wash the feet of
A lot of water would be needed and these six pots would hold
a lot of water. (V. 6), "...containing two or three firkins
apiece." A firkin was a measurement equal to about 8 or 9
gallons. This made a total of somewhere about 100 to 120 gallons
V. 7, "Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water.
And they filled them up to the brim." I have an idea that these
servants did not really understand what was about to take place.
They were not accustomed to being given reasons for the things
they were told to do. They just obeyed orders. The bridegroom
expected them to take care of his guests. Mary had told them to
do whatever Jesus said do and they did it.
V. 8, "And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto
the governor of the feast. And they bare it." Now before I talk
about the meaning of this verse, let me call your attention to
something. Jesus never touched the waterpots. So far as we can
tell by the record, He never even went near them. There is no
way that the servants could suspect Him of pulling some kind of
trickery. He still did not go near the waterpots in order to
have some of the wine carried to the governor of the feast for
him to taste. He just gave orders to the servants and they
obeyed His orders.
The governor of the feast was the man in charge of serving
the guests. That is, he gave the orders and servants did the
work. He, of course, knew that their supply of wine had run out,
but until now, he had no way of knowing that there was a new
supply. He would assume that the bridegroom had this new supply
It was also his responsibility to taste all drinks and sample
all food that was served see if it was suitable to serve to the
guests. When he tasted this new supply of wine, he was amazed.
It was so much better than he had expected. He did not know that
this wine had been miraculously supplied by Jesus. As mentioned
earlier, he assumed that the bridegroom had order in a new
V. 9-10, "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." Any
host would normally serve his very best at the first. Then, if
that was not sufficient, he would use an inferior product as a
last resort. But the director of the feast thought the
bridegroom had deliberately saved the best until last. He must
have been pleased, but he was surprised.
Up to this point, there were not many people who knew that a
miracle had taken place. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew. She
had maneuvered the whole event. Jesus knew. He performed the
miracle. The servants knew. They were the ones who refilled the
water pots with water. They were also the ones who carried a
sample of the new wine to the governor of the feast. But pretty
soon everybody at the feast would know. The servants would tell
the governor of the feast. The governor of the feast would tell
the bridegroom and the news would spread throughout this large
crowd of people.
IV. Jesus glorified
V. 11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in
first miracle which Jesus performed. This beginning of miracles
was somewhat of a forecast of miracles yet to come. John said
that it manifest or demonstrated His glory. It demonstrated the
kind of power that He possesses. Later He would heal all manner
of sickness. He would cast out demon spirits! He would walk on
the sea! He would calm the storm! He would feed a multitude
with five loaves and two fishes! He would even raise the dead
to life again!
But all of this is still just a small demonstration of the
great power that He possesses. Some day in the not too distant
future He will call for the dead bodies of all the saved who has
will come forth. The saved who are living at that time will be
caught up together with them and go up to meet the Lord in the
air. After spending a relatively short time in the air Jesus
will bring the saved back to earth in their glorified bodies and
He will establish His throne in
will rule for a thousand years. After the millennium is over He
will sit upon a Great White Throne and judge the unsaved. Then
He will take this old sin cursed world and from it He will make a
new heaven and earth. He will bring the Holy City New Jerusalem
down from Heaven and make it His headquarters on the new earth.
Yes, my friends, the glory of Jesus was demonstrated by that
is a great deal more yet to come.
V. The disciples strengthened in their faith
(V. 11), "...and his disciples believed on him." Now this
does not mean that they believed for their first time. Not at
all. They first believed in Him under the preaching of John the
Baptist who said that the Christ would come after him. They
believed in Him even before they learned that He is the Christ.
John the Baptist was the one who had informed them that Jesus is
the Christ, and they believed John. They had believed to the
extent that they had become His disciples. But now their belief
in Him was stronger than ever. This miracle strengthened their
belief that He really is the Christ. They became more convinced
than ever that He really is the Son of God --- that He really is
the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, the Savior
Do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of God? Have you ever turned to Him and called upon Him and
asked Him to save your soul? Have you trusted Him to save you
and keep you out of hell? Have you trusted Jesus to take you to
heaven? If not, will you call upon Him right now and ask Him to
Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Nathanael
believed to the extent that they were baptized at the hands of
John the Baptist. Have you ever been baptized as an expression
of your faith in Jesus? If not, will you come forward now and
present yourself as a candidate for baptism?
Those men stepped out and became followers of Jesus. Will
you come forward and present yourself as a follower of Jesus?