THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS
The first miracle Jesus performed was at a marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, a small village about four miles from Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. Mary, the mother of Jesus was here, and Jesus and a number of His disciples were in attendance. Whether Mary was there as a relative or an invited guest is not indicated. Jesus and His disciples had been invited to attend. It is significant that Jesus and His disciples were there and honored a wedding and marriage feast with their presence. Marriage is the last relic of paradise left among men, and Jesus chose to honor it with His first miracle. Marriage was His Father's ordinance, for it was God who brought Eve to Adam. Jesus attended this wedding and gave His blessing there that we may know that our family life is under His care.
The first thing that grabs our attention is that something went wrong at this wedding, and it greatly embarrassed the bride and the groom. Young people plan for months and sometimes years for the day of their wedding, and that is one event that they donot want in any way to go wrong. Nothing is more embarrassing than for something to go wrong at a wedding. Unfortunately, many embarrassments often occur at weddings ceremonies, and I have performed at several embarrassing ceremonies. At my first marriage, it was time to exchange rings. I said to the groom, “Will you please give me the ring.” The best man had it, and he had short stubby fingers and could not retrieve the ring out of his shirt pocket. I looked at him and waited; I looked at the couple and waited; I looked at the audience and waited. . I don't remember how long it took, but he finally got the ring out of his pocket. I wondered if we might have to fake it and act like he was putting a ring on her finger. Then one of the wedding rings was dropped, and got down on the floor looking for it. In one marriage the bridegroom came to the church building and forgot to bring the bow tie that went with his Tux. When the time drew near for the wedding, he and his father in law were out on the street on Glenoaks Blvd in Glendale, California looking for a tie. Shortly after the wedding started, the recording machine went out completely, and we had no music for wedding march.
Something very embarrassing happened at this marriage feast attended by Jesus, Mary, His disciples and many guests. Apparently more guest attended than was expected, and they ran out of wine. In those days, they didn't use punch; they used wine. Times haven't changed much; now they use champagne, and that's an embarrassing situation for non-drinkers. In that day and time, it was a most embarrassing situation to run ut of wine. It was embarrassing to the bride and groom, the family and the guests. Those who hosted the feast were probably people of slender means.
The wine would not have been exhausted if they had been rich. Jesus came along in just the pinch of time. The mother of Jesus, sensing the family's feelings, sought to alleviate the problem by making an appeal to Jesus. When they ran out of wine Mary said to Jesus, “They have no wine.” She would never have made a statement like that if she didn't think Jesus could do something about it. This assumes the fact that very early in the ministry of Jesus she knew that He had supernatural powers. We are not told how she found out, but she knew. She also knew knew He used this power to remove the distress of others.
However, Jesus gave a surprising response to her request by saying, ”Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” Even though His hour had not come, she knew it would come. In addressing her as, “woman, ” He was not using a term of disrespect. It was equivalent to saying, “Dear woman, what have I to do with you? My time is not yet come.” What He meant by these words was, “Leave the matter to Me; let me handle it in my own way.” Furthermore, His hour had not come. Some think these words meant that the time to begin His miraculous display of power to the world had not yet come. Others think it meant it wasn't time yet at the feast to do what He was going to do. He
intended to wait till the supply of wine was completely exhausted so that the greatness of the miracle could not be doubted or explained away by scoffers who do not believe in miracles. Probably both explanations are true. Beyond all dispute, Jesus did give Mary a mild rebuke on this occasion, and with kindness He shuts out all interference on the part of Mary. This corrects the superstitious belief that Mary is now in heaven and can intercede for us with Her Son, and she has the authority to move Him to action as she did at this wedding. Millions of superstitious people pray to Mary, believing that she can and will intercede for them even as she did in Cana of Galilee. She made a mistake, and she received a mild rebuke. He made it clear that He will decide what wonders He would l perform and when He would l perform them. Nevertheless, Mary informed the servants to do whatever He said to do.
Secondly, let's behold this miracle Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee that the apostle John said was “the beginning of His signs.” It was the beginning of vast multitude of miracles He would perform in the next three years. Jesus told the servants to fill the six water pots located there, and each pot would hold some twenty gallons, depending on their size. These water were used for purification ceremonies practiced in the Jewish religion. He then directed the servants to serve the wine to the ruler of the feast, the man in charge of refreshments. Now whether the miracle took place in all the water pots instantly or turned to wine as the servants
carried it to the people is not revealed.. The significant matter is that the ruler was delighted by the sweet taste of the wine. He had not yet learned of the miracle, but he was delighted with the excellent quality of f the wine. Nevertheless, he was perplexed and unable to understand why the quality of the wine was so superior to the wine he was previously drinking. Normally on such occasions, the ruler said, the good wine is served first, and then if that runs out the old wine is served. But on this occasion the family served the good wine last. Nature does not in an instant turn water into wine, and if such a thing happens it must be by the direct hand of the Lord. It is true there are processes by which the dewdrop enters the berry of the grape and is gradually, with the help of secret processes, turned into juice. But by what power could water be taken from water pots and be transmitted into wine in the pots or changed into wine while being carried to the table. None but God Himself could do this, and since Jesus did this it displayed His deity and divine nature.
All we know about this wine is that it was good wine, and we have no knowledge to comment on the nature of this wine. The ruler of the feast simply commented that it was good wine, and he knew it was wine and not a soft drink of some kind. Some have the audacity to question the wisdom of Jesus to create an alcoholic drink. Whatever the nature of this wine. let no man dare question the wisdom and morality of Jesus in performing this miracle. God had permitted Israel to drink wine for the past 1500 years The Old Testament does not forbid the drinking of wine, and the New Testament does not forbid the drinking of wine, but. drunkenness is condemned under both the law of Moses and the law of Christ. The use of wine was a universal vice of the human race long before the time Noah. God allowed its use, but He never approved of it. I think it was one of those pleasures that He knew would be unwise to deny the human race. Why should anyone question Jesus in creating wine when God allowed Israel to use it under the law of Moses? There are many warnings about the dangers of drinking wine in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Ephesians 5:18 says to Christians, “Do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation.” Paul advised Timothy in I Timothy 5:23, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.” If indeed it is a sin to drink any quantity wine, Paul advised Timothy to sin.
As a Christian I do not drink any kind of alcoholic drinks. Alcohol addiction and drunkenness have become such a curse in America, the wisest Christians us their Christian liberty to abstain from wine, beer and related drinks. Moreover, many Christians are offended when other
Christians indulge these dangerous beverages. We judge that the Lord would approve of our avoiding the use of drinks, which, in these days, offends our brothers and sisters in Christ. But this does not give us the right to make a law where God has not made a law. Those who choose to use alcohol must accept the responsibility that goes with it. That responsibility simply stated is this, “There will be no drunkards in heaven.” Is it worth the risk?