Why Did Jesus Change Water into Wine?
Tom: Our topic for this segment is the Gospel of Salvation, and we’ve been going through the Gospel of John, and one of the reasons we’re going through this book—I keep mentioning it, but I think it’s worthwhile—here is a gospel that spells out, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus is the Christ, is the Messiah, and if you’re going to come to Christ, if you’re going to have salvation, you have to know who Jesus is. And a great book for those of you—maybe there are some out there who never really read the Bible. We keep encouraging that, but if you have to start someplace, Dave, this is…what could be a better place to start?
Dave: There might be a little confusion, Tom. We’re reading the Gospel of John, and then we talk about the gospel of salvation…
Dave: The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, of course, were written by these men, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They’re called the Gospel. Gospel means “Good News.” They are basically about the life of Jesus, and He’s the Savior. This is how salvation comes. But the Gospel, which Paul says is “the power of God unto salvation” is very clear. He gives it to us: 1 Corinthians 15: “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; that He was buried and that He rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.”
So, the Gospel is very precise. It’s very brief: we’re sinners…
Tom: A child could understand it.
Dave: Yeah. We’re separated from God by sin. God himself came to this earth, became a man to pay the penalty that His own infinite justice required for our sins. He died for our sins. He paid that penalty—not just the physical sufferings, but what He endured—that His own infinite justice required in punishment for sin, which is eternal separation from God. And because He’s God, He could endure that on the cross. He rose from the dead; He’s alive.
This is the gospel in a capsule, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, each give us the gospel in a broader perspective because they’re telling of the birth, the life, death, of Christ, His resurrection, His teachings, and so forth. So what you were saying is that when it comes to the specifics of how to be saved, to be reconciled to God, to be born again, the gospel of John is really clearer than the other three. I would agree with that.
Tom: Yeah. Plus, Dave, as you know, and I’m sure many of our listeners, we’re not talking about here a system of religion that gets you from one place to another—from a relatively okay place, which some people may be thinking, to a good place, which is heaven. It has to do with a personal relationship with, incredibly, the God of the universe, Jesus Christ.
Tom: So, we want to get to know Him better, and this is why we’re going through these verses. Chapter 2 of the Gospel of John: “And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto them, They have no wine.
“And Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour has not yet come.
“And His mother sayeth unto the servants, Whatsoever He sayeth unto you, do it.”
Now, Dave, this is an interesting insight into, well, first of all the Lord’s relationship with His physical mother.
Dave: Mm-hmm. Well, first of all, maybe we ought to deal with “and the third day.” It’s telling us these events are happening in sequence—really, one day after the other. So, we went back to chapter one, and it says, “The day after,” verse 35, [John] stood; and then it says, verse 43, “the day following,” so that’s the day after that one. And now this is the third day. So I would take it that these events are happening one day after another. This is not something that’s spread out over a long period of time. Why it tells us that, well, I think it’s indicating that Jesus had gathered these disciples rather quickly. They’re going with Him (and we don’t know how many of His disciples went with Him), but Jesus—He’s a guest! Isn’t that amazing! Someone invited Him to a wedding, and of course, it has often been said, “Jesus is the essential guest at every wedding.” If you haven’t invited Jesus there, then this thing isn’t going to turn out right.
But here He is. His mother is there. You get the impression it was a family friend [getting married]. Jesus grew up in Nazareth there in Galilee. He must have been a wonderful, wonderful person to know, to be acquainted with. These people counted Him among their friends, invited Him to this wedding. And this is not told—this story is not told in any of the other gospels. In fact, most of what goes on in John is not recorded in the other three gospels.
So, they’re out of wine. Hmm. Heavy drinkers, I guess. Or maybe there were more people who…
Tom: Yeah, I would think they just…
Dave: Too many people showed up.
Tom: Well, Jesus brought … (laughing) I don’t know if they were on the “invited” list, but He brought His disciples…
Dave: He brought a few. And they’ve run out of wine. Now, you get the impression that Mary—first of all, Jesus, when He grew up in that home, she heard His rhythmic breathing at night with the other children. There were other children. Mary did not continue to be a virgin. It very clearly says that “Joseph knew her not until she brought forth her firstborn.” Not her “only-born,” her first born. He had brothers and sisters, and they’re named for us. And He grew up in this family, and she knows—the Angel came to her. She knows that she was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, when He was born. But that’s pretty hard to understand. She knows that this is the Messiah.
But after while Jesus grows up. When Mary says, “Jesus, take the bucket here and go to the well and get some water,” Jesus didn’t say, “Wait a minute! Who do you think you’re ordering around? I’m the Creator of this Universe!”
So, He lived so humbly. He became a man, He humbled Himself, that after while, even Mary begins to refer to Joseph as His father, which she knows he’s not, but that’s the way you talk in the family: “Your father and I have sought you, sorrowing. What were you doing?” (You know, He’s twelve years old.)
“Don’t you realize I should be about my Father’s business?”
And scripture says, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Tom: So He was very different as a…on the one hand, wonderful, but still, year around His perfect holiness.
Dave: Right. But enough has happened…. On the one hand, it says, “This is the first miracle that He did.” Well, it’s the beginning of miracles of His ministry. But I get the impression, reading between the lines, that Jesus, maybe He did a few miracles at home. Certainly things that caused her to believe He could solve this problem. Otherwise, why does she turn to Him, and say, “Jesus, they don’t have any wine.”
She says, “Whatever He says, you do it.”
Now, that’s the real Mary of the Bible, in contrast—we’ve talked a bit about it—to the Mary who appears, supposedly, apparitions. and she comes, bringing her peace plan; she comes, drawing people to her; she comes, this Mary of the apparitions, says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” and they talk about how wonderful her “presence” is.
No! Mary is not omnipresent. She’s not omnipotent. She’s not omniscient. She doesn’t know everything. But she draws people to herself. You could hardly find a shrine in this world dedicated to Jesus. There are thousands dedicated to “Mary,” who’s appearing over and over, drawing people to herself.
But here, she says, “Whatever He says, you do it.” That’s what the real Mary would do. She would direct us to Jesus Christ.
Tom: Dave, just insert this: Those who may be objecting to what you’re saying, there are less than ninety verses about Mary in the Bible. We would encourage you to read those verses, and really get a true picture of who Mary was, what she did.
Dave: Mm-hmm. Yeah. She’s in heaven now, in the presence of the Lord. Anyway, Tom, I don’t know. You’re watching the time over there—I don’t know how much time we have left even to get into this, but they do pour out water. He [Jesus] just says, “Pour the water out,” and they fill these water pots to the dim with water, and then He says, “Give it to the governor of the feast,” who’s in charge of this wedding here. And they pour it out in faith, and what do you know? It turns out to be the best wine that he has ever tasted. He says, “Most places, they give you the best wine first. Then when you’ve well drunk, they give you something inferior. But you’ve kept the best to the last.”
So this was a miracle that Jesus did. It’s sort of the beginning of His ministry, and I think it has some beautiful lessons for us. Wine brings joy, and so forth. His blessing upon this marriage, and so forth.
Tom: Well, let’s conclude with verse 11, Dave. “The beginning of miracles did Jesus in Canaan of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory and His disciples believed on Him.”