Wedding at Cana
Now as we know in the time of Jesus weddings were week-long festivals. banquets would be prepared for many guests and the week would be spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Often the whole town was invited and everyone would come. To accommodate many people careful planning was needed and to run out of wine was more than embarrassing: it broke the strong written laws of hospitality. Running out of wine brought shame, it says we don’t care about you, it insults the guests by saying you’ve already drunk too much, it says we are too poor to buy more.
So what makes this wedding any different.
When you look at the text it is actually Mary who is the key, John mentions Mary first and follows on that Jesus and his disciples were also guests. Mary’s presence takes precedence. So is Mary Key to this to this event.
Mary is the one who notices that the wine is running out. women’s intuition she sees the muttering and shuffling among the servants. So she mentions it to Jesus only to receive the reply “dear mother that’s not our problem, my time has yet to come”
But as we know Mary it’s not put off by this and she orders the servants to do what ever Jesus tells them today. I want to take you back to to the Christmas story trying to Mary as young girl in a conversation with the angel. Mary is told.” He will be great and will be called a son of the most high. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever: his kingdom will never end.
Mary questions as to how this will happen she is told,the holy spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the son of God.
Mary has known all along that Jesus was born to be special. And perhaps she knows that this was actually the time for Jesus to actually show the person he was born to be the son of the most high.
For Mary perhaps she may have expected it to be made clearer earlier who was especially after the episode and at this Jerusalem Temple when he was only 12, no doubt she had been waiting and wondering for this to happen for him to show his hand so to speak. To show the the messiah written about in Jewish texts was actually present as a guest at the wedding.
I think the key is Jesus’ baptism, we don’t know if Mary was there and witnessed the dove and the voice saying “this is my son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased”
The holy spirit came upon Mary and now it was on Jesus
The holy spirit had descended to Jesus and rested and stayed with him. This is the starting point of Jesus’s ministry after years of working as a carpenter. The prophesies had been fulfilled. As we say all things come about in Gods time.
This was the time.
But did Mary expect a miracle, I don’t know, perhaps she was sure this was the time. Tradition says that Joseph was dead, so she properly was used to asking for her sons help in all situations. Something all mothers do!!! My son would defog say I do!!!!
Jesus does eventually show his hand, in a big way. He doesn’t just go and find a couple of full wineskins from somewhere. No!
He approaches the servants and instructs the servants to fill the six large ceremonial jars usually used for ritual washing to the brim with water. I should imagine that the servants were rather confused because the washing was long past. However, they did as Jesus said. Now as we know the ceremonial jars contains 20 to 30 gallons of water so the need for six would indicate a large gathering. So maybe an important family, the embarrassment of running out of wine would have been unthinkable.
The water becomes wine, not just a mediocre wine, it was the best. Which in itself bought astonishment because at a wedding the best was served first and as time went on the quality of the wine would diminish.
This miracle signalled change in order. It is often said of this passage that it Signals the beginning of a new era, which it does in more ways than one, because it signalled the start of Jesus’s ministry and the time when he would leave his home and Mary. He would no longer be there.
Mary had to let go of her son, Jesus. He was not on this earth solely for her, he was and is here for us all if we want him.
Many questions come from this passage,
Is there something you are holding close that you need to let go of?
Maybe God is asking you to do something, asking you to step out in faith that letting go will be ok.
New wine is a symbol for the coming of the kingdom, the new order, and in this new wine we are saved.
Verse 11 says
“What Jesus did here in Cana of galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory and his disciple believed”
We believe in the new wine, the new order and when we share in this wine shortly, we must remember Mary for whom this wedding signalled the what we know now as the beginning of the end