The turning point
Water that turned into wine.
With Peter Veysie
Sunday 22nd August 2021
8am and 10am
I really enjoy weddings and take it very seriously to prepare a couple for their special day. I tell the story of how early weddings might have been and the symbolic significance of the veil the virgins lamp and young woman’s rights, the bridal chamber, the hour and the time only known by the father and the wedding blessing both physical and spiritual and then the wedding feast – food wine and a dance.
The third day!!!
In this story the first thing that we see is that it’s on the third day that the wedding is taking place in Cana. It is the first of seven signs in the book of John of Jesus being the Messiah !!
In John’s gospel he refers to the third day many a time as a day of significance and obviously also the resurrection, the ultimate celebration of life and hope in Jesus (John 21)
There is also some deep significance in the fact that the wedding is happening in Cana as it is a town in the area of where Jesus and his family were from and it seems to be a family affair because Mary his mother is involved in insuring that there was enough wine. Nathaneal who was from Cana said “can anything good come out of Nazareth with a deep sense of knowing the town and the challenges around it in early history.
The new disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When we were staying on the Kibbutz Ayalet Hachachar we were also invited to a wedding of a family marrying their son or daughter on the kibbutz. It was common practise to invite the community to join in.
The wine had run out and Mary was concerned that they had no more wine. This may seem to be something that should have not been Jesus’s problem, however we know that wine had huge symbolism in Jewish custom as a symbol of blessing and God’s provision and it should definitely not be running out. It was symbolic of God’s abundant blessing and at Shabbat meals they still say this prayer: We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. It also shows that Mary’s mother had something to do with the arrangements of the wedding otherwise she would not have had to worry about the wine. It could have been a relative of the family although we do not know.
- Why do you involve me ? My time has not yet come.
In John’s Gospel we hear Jesus say at the wedding of Cana and several other times, ‘My time’ or ‘My Hour’ has not yet come. (John 2:4, John 7:6, John 7:30). No one knew yet what Jesus was going to do and even though Mary is Jesus’ mother and trusts in Him, she is still human and does not know everything that is going to happen.
Jesus is letting Mary and others know it is just the beginning, not everything will happen at once.
The conversion of water into wine is sufficient for the moment, helping the married couple. The disciples start to believe in Him.
The conversion of wine into His blood will happen later when it is His hour.
My Hour Has Come
Later in his ministry, after the final entry into Jerusalem, Jesus finally mentions his hour has come…
23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
At the wedding of Cana, Jesus knew His hour would be coming, but later. Mary was human and didn’t know, so Jesus is letting her know what she needs to know for that moment, and for us to see a glimpse of His Divine nature.
It may seem quite rude for Jesus to refer to his mother as woman as opposed to mother ema but this was a way of honouring her and declaring that she was speaking powerfully and prophetically about the nature of His life.
When the Feast of Tabernacles was approaching, Jesus’ brothers tried to encourage him to go to Judea and act publicly so he could show himself to the world, but Jesus said, “My time is not yet here.” He eventually did go to the feast in a not-so-public way, and while he taught in the temple, the leaders desired to seize him, but, “No man laid his hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” (John 7:30) A few days later he was again teaching in the temple, and the crowd was enraged by his claims, yet still, “No one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.” (John 8:20)
About three days before he was crucified, Jesus was in the temple and some Greeks sought him out. Jesus said to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal…Now my soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:23-27) The time and hour Jesus so often referred to was when he would shed his blood so that many could receive cleansing and truly satisfy the thirst of their hearts.
The sandwich – Nicodemus and the woman at the well and the great Word declaration of John
The wedding feast
- Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
2.a. The purification stone jars.
Stone jars were cut out of stone and used for purification rites because they were clean and not porous and would not hold any infectious disease. They were cut out of a single stone – the stone the builders have rejected has become the capstone.
The water jars were used for ceremonial purposes [hygiene, washing of the hands and the feet of the guests] and they were empty.
Six large stone water jars were sitting there which were used for ceremonial washing. He told the servants to fill these with water, and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them to draw some out and take it to the headwaiter, and they did so. The headwaiter did not know where it had come from, and when he tasted it he was so impressed that he called the bridegroom 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.” (John 2:10)
Clay jars versus stone jars.
2.b. Water into wine – the miracle!!
Not only were the jars changed in their function [water into wine]; BUT the jars were EMPTY and Jesus filled them. The fact that Jesus instructed the servants to “Fill the jars with water” means to me that the jars were empty. Jesus made use of the jar” to fill it with what was expected [water] = yet when his instructions are followed [Draw some out]; the miracle of change happens! My illustration !!!
- The turning point for us.
John then writes [11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.] The impact of this event was immediate in the lives of some that were there.
There is a powerful turning point for the disciples as they literally saw the Lord’s and believed and followed him sacrificing everything else.
There is a turning point for you and me today as we consider the turning for the disciples and also for Jesus. We can either continue as we are or literally make a radical turn and commit our lives to being the hands and feet of Jesus serving Him and loving Him in every possible way.
My prayer is that your lives will not be the same and that you will if necessary haver a turning point in your own life as you serve the Lord.