Devotion on Notable Firsts of Bible (Jesus’ 1st Miracle at Cana of Galilee), 8 October 1015 Anno Domini
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. (John 2:1-11)
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of all things – the Beginning of Creation and the end thereof. It is no coincidence that the first institution of God at Eden was the Institution of Marriage (Gen 2:21-24); and the first miracle Jesus wrought was at a Wedding in Cana of Galilee. The miracles of Jesus were to emblazon upon our minds who He was, and what was His purpose in establishing His Church. The Church is very much related to that first institution in Eden, and it is considered the second Institution of God, though a type and figure of the very first.
The marriage covenant involves a solemn on the part of both parties to the marriage to remain faithful and subject to one another until death does them part. That is also the covenant entered into between Christ and His Bride, the Church; except rather than parting the parties to that covenant, death simply seals and perpetuates that great marriage of the Lamb and His Bride.
The beautiful wedding ceremony of the Book of Common Prayer – so beautiful that most traditional churches use it – opens with these words:
“DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commended of
Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.”
The above paragraph is the opening introduction to the Wedding Ceremony in the Book of Common Prayer. Then follows a solemnly serious charge to the two who are betrothed:
“I REQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that if any persons are joined together otherwise than as God’s Word doth allow, their marriage is not lawful.”
The charge follows explicitly the counsel of Holy Scripture concerning God’s will and moral law for the institution of marriage. This means that Marriage is for life. It is a serious entering into an estate in which both are to love and cherish one another for as long as they live. The Scriptures are very clear in condemning any plurality of marriages, or unlawful so-called marriage between persons of the same sex. That which God has ordained from the beginning (marriage between one woman and one man) cannot be abrogated by any manmade governors or sitting legislatures. If a minister conducts marriages of perversion, he is immediately disqualified as a minister of the Living God.
This passage fron St. John 2 under study is directly related in every marriage ceremony I have ever witnessed or conducted!
In my view, this phrase: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, Is the most beautiful of all the Bible to me. When we look at John 1:1, see how it correlates to the beginning verse in Genesis: “In the beginning….” John 1 and Genesis 1 refer to beginnings.
Now look at John 2 and Genesis 2: both refer to the institution of the first marriage, and every lawful marriage to follow:
Gen 2: 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This is the first relationship God ordained for man – marriage – even before the church!
Now we come to John 2 and what do we find? Once again, God is honoring and sanctifying, before Christ’s Church has been inaugurated, the institution of marriage.
The town with poetic name, Cana of Galilee, was a neighboring community of Nazareth where Jesus grew up. These people were doubtless close friends. The wedding couple were perhaps near the same age of Christ (thirty) and may have been personal friends to Christ or the family of Mary.
His mother, Mary, was also there along with the disciples. This occasion immediately follows the beginning of the earthly ministry of Christ. Remember in John 1 Jesus is baptized of John the Baptist and undertakes his ministry at that time. So the marriage at Cana is the first miracle and blessing that Jesus’ wrought in His ministry. He did so to emphasize its importance in the eyes of God.
If marriages fail, so does God’s Church because marriage is the building block for, not only the church, but families and nations.
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.
How could our gracious Lord but rejoice at the commencement of that stupendous work of Divine mercy which, determined upon before the world began, by the kindness of God the blessed Trinity, He had now come to effect? Yet whilst the Lord Jesus cheered His heart at the commencement of His ministry by adorning the marriage feast with His presence, and so contemplating His own union with His spouse, the Church, there is melancholy in these words, “Mine hour is not yet come,” which speaks to the heart of everyone who truly weighs their meaning.
The time will come for Christ when the wine of life is no longer His. He must lay down His life for us. He understood this, while Mary, His mother, did not know these things. “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” This is also Godly counsel for us today: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it!”
It was a great humiliation to exhaust the wine supply at a wedding in the time of Christ. Eph 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is the Wine of God. It makes us behave in ways the world does not understand.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
Here is an example to us of obedience. They are out of wine. Jesus has been called upon to remedy the matter. He tells the servants to fill the waterpots with water. Does this make sense? But notice, no one questions Christ. They obey this seemingly ridiculous counsel without so much as a question. We should also unquestioningly be obedient to Christ in all circumstances, good and bad, of our lives. “And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.“
It was customary that the Master of ceremonies first taste all new wine before serving. But, this wine is different. It is the new wine of Heaven which cannot be placed in old bottles.
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. As we have witnessed in the life of Joseph, of Moses, of Job…God most often saves the best wine of life until last.
Do we remember the Ninth symphony of Beethoven, 5th Movement – The Ode to Joy at the last? All of my life, I have longed to have fine young men and women as my family. I could never physically have so many children as God has given me in His Kingdom. God has given me so many fine young people who have inspired and encouraged me! He has saved my best wine for last, and God has given it to me during the Winter of my life….AMEN.