“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” John 2:1-11 ESV.
The first miracle of Jesus as recorded by John. It is very significant that Jesus’ first public appearance, and His first miracle, occurred at a wedding. That should be a ringing endorsement of the importance of that God-given institution in our lives.
Notice that Jesus does not take credit here for the miracle. Apparently the servants knew, but no one else did. It was important not to dishonor the families involved in the wedding, or the guests. Jesus also was able to honor his mothers request and at the same time avoid performing miracles publicly showing His power before His time had come. And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
He makes this wedding better than before. “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” These feasts would go on for a week, very often the hosts would water down the wine as the week went on to make it last. As the week went on, the guests are less in tune to the decreasing quality of the wine flowing.
Much more than just filling a need, Jesus turned an embarrassment into a blessing. The groom, instead of having to endure a public shaming for running out of wine, is instead publicly honored for his over the top hospitality.
But more than anything else, this is really a miracle-as-parable. The feast must go on. If the wine is gone, the party is over at this wedding. But Jesus keeps the party going, because the celebration must not end. So many people think we must withdraw from the world and abstain from all worldly pleasures in order to be “spiritual”, or in touch with God. But Jesus ministers around the table, turns water into wine, gives us the Lord’s supper and says “….”This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”” Luke 22:19 ESV.
He gives us the church as a table, not the church as a temple. He’s inclusive, not exclusive. All are invited to his never ending feast. Sometimes we feel like we are too late, we feel like we’ve missed the party, but the feast goes on and there is always room for more at the table of the Lord.
If you feel like you’re late to the party, just know that we are ALL late to the the party. It’s been going on for 2000 years now, there’s just nothing we can do about it, this is when we were born. Come to the table, bring your stale, brackish, dirty water. Because Jesus is waiting to turn even your murky water into the sweetest wine.
The feast must go on.