The Gospel of John – Part Two: “First Sign” Changing Water into Wine (2:1-12)

INTRODUCTION:  The gospel of John is the gospel of belief. The purpose for this fourth gospel is expressly stated, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). There are seven primary signs mentioned in John’s gospel and each one confirms the deity of Jesus (2:1-11, 4:46-51, 5:1-9, 6:1-14, 6:16-21, 9:1-7, and 11:1-44). John’s gospel follows a topical format not a chronological one. The seven signs (miracles) are further support by Jesus Himself with seven “I am” statements. These two themes are woven together by God’s plan of Salvation.  Let’s consider the first sign…
I.          The Occasion (2:1-2).
It was a wedding! A joyous occasion that turned into a social embarrassment as the wine ran out! The couple (probably teens) were in an awkward position as well as their families. The culture during that time was different than our present one. A Jewish wedding was a celebration for many and it could go on for days.
II.         The Observation (2:3).
Mary, the mother of Jesus brings the problem to the attention of Jesus. Now, it is imperative to think about how this wedding affected Jesus. He was a single man without a bride. His Bride is the Church. How many of us prior to getting married felt like the odd ones at weddings. Everyone is excited about the love of the bride and groom while we observe from the platform of being single. Not much fun for most single folks. Jesus has a Bride and He has a wedding day! In order for His wedding to take place He had to pay the penalty of the sins of His Bride. The death, burial, and resurrection would be necessary. Where is His joy? It was before Him on the other side of the cross. The wedding in Cana was the place Jesus chose for His inaugural miracle. He brought joy to the hearts of many by turning water into wine.
III.        The Obedience (2:7-8).
Jesus told His mother that it was not yet His time. What Jesus was referring to was the cross. The hour of suffering that was to come. He was not ready and He told His mother. Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus said to do. That is still true today. If you are a servant of Jesus you must do whatever He says to do.
IV.        The Outcome (2:9-11).
The servants took some of the water to the master of the feast (i.e., MC – master of ceremony). When the master of the feast drank it he discovered it was not water but the finest wine he had ever tasted. So true! The wine is symbolic of the joy of the Lord and there is nothing greater. Jesus is the real Master of the feast and He brings joy to the wedding.

CONCLUSION:  It is interesting the first sign takes place at a wedding and the last sign takes place at a funeral. The changing of water into wine symbolizes the replacement of Judaism with the gospel. The containers were six water pots used for purification which was part of the law. The pots were filled to the brim and there were six (the number of man). Man can be filled with the law and still have no joy. Wine is symbolic of the joy found in the presence of God (Joy in the Holy Spirit). A wedding with no joy is tragic as is a life with no joy. This first sign points to Jesus being the one who is able to bring joy into the life of those who will be obedient to Him. Jesus keeps the festival going! 


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