1 ¶ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 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, 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. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Jesus’ first reported miracle in the gospel of John is turning water into wine at a marriage celebration in Cana, in Galilee. See it spelled with a K in Joshua 19:28. Christ started performing miracles far from the hubbub of Jerusalem in an obscure place, thereby, as Matthew Henry pointed out, not seeking the approval of men, celebrity status. His miracles are for the common folk, not performed in a palace or place of government. Jesus probably knew these people personally as His mother was also present. As this first miracle is at a wedding we can see the importance Christ places on marriage and a hint of what it will represent.
Three days is a very important period of time, prophetically, in the Bible as any study of that phrase will show. However, such a reflection upon the significance of three days is beyond the scope of this study. We can think of the three days between Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and the promise of the marriage of Christ and His bride, the church, spoken of by Paul (2Corinthians 11:2) and by John in Revelation (Revelation 19). Jesus presents, at first, no intention of performing a miracle but one is requested of Him by his mother, who has probably seen all sorts of amazing things in her time on earth with Him. His mother gives a timeless order that reverberates throughout history, even though it is ignored more than acted upon.
“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”
Jesus’ mother ignored His protestation that it was not the time yet for Him to reveal His glory and Jesus did not refuse to perform a miracle publicly, the nature of which Mary may have seen quite often privately. He responds with the somewhat harsh, “Woman, what have I to do with thee,” but that is the beginning and end of any rebuke. Jesus did not refuse to perform the miracle. There is a lesson here in the example set by God in the flesh of a commandment given to the Jews by Moses and to we Christians by Paul.
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
As opposed to just making it happen, Jesus required the servants to prepare the scene with large pots full of water. This certainly made what was about to happen more remarkable as no one could accuse Him of any sort of sleight of hand and underscores how God uses men to fulfill His plans, even if only in part.
Also, notice that Jesus offers the best things last. Worldly philosophies promise benefits in life; health, wealth, pleasure, and status, but nothing after that. Christ offers the best thing at the end, the best wine, so to speak, in a life forever with God.
The disciples believed on Him, seeing this miracle. Israel was born in great signs and wonders.
Deuteronomy 26:8 And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
The Jews required signs, something above and outside the natural events, to believe, while the Gentiles (Greeks) were more impressed with wisdom.
1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
Later, Jesus will admonish Thomas for requiring visible proof of Christ’s resurrection rather than relying on faith in God’s words.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”