Water Into Wine (Part 1)
John 2:1-11 reads - "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.' Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, 'Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.' And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him."

Let's analyze this passage verse by verse and try to learn what we can from it.

In 2:1,2, John informs us that there was a wedding in Cana that was attended by Mary (the mother of Jesus), Jesus Himself, and His disciples (which would have included at least Andrew, Peter, John, Philip, and Nathanael; cf. John 1). Many scholars presume that Joseph was deceased at this time since he is not mentioned.

The interest which Mary took in the feast and the way she addressed the servants in 2:5 suggests that she was a close friend of the bridegroom's family. First, she informed Jesus that they'd run out of wine. On the surface, this comment appears to be nothing more than the stating of an unfortunate fact and an embarrassing one for the host. However, Jesus' response to it indicates that Mary was asking Him to remedy the situation in a big way.

"Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4). The Greek word Jesus used here for "woman" carries none of the coldness or contempt that the English word often does; instead, it is a term of courteous respect. Mary's comment to the servants in the next verse seems to imply that she understood, by Jesus' response here, that He would indeed grant the request, but He would do so in His own way.

It seems reasonable, based on Jesus' statement to His mother that His hour had not yet come, that Mary's request was more than just a desire for wine. Did she want Him to manifest Himself as the Messiah? I believe so. After all, he was approximately thirty years old (Luke 3:23). How much longer would He wait? No doubt she was anxious for the time when He would reveal His true identity, but it was not time for that yet. Jesus would give only one supreme manifestation of His glory as the Christ. His miracles were secondary manifestations, but His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection would be the supreme manifestation (cf. Matt. 12:38-40; John 2:18,19; 8:28). Jesus frequently called this supreme sign His "hour" (e.g., John 12:23,27; 17:1; cf. 7:30; 8:20). His mother desired a supreme sign at the wedding feast, but at that time, only a secondary sign could be appropriately given.

Mary proceeded to instruct the servants to obey Jesus completely - "Whatever He says to you, do it" (John 2:5). Although her words are not addressed to us, to live by them is the highest attainment a person can achieve (cf. Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46).

We will continue this study tomorrow.