Everybody loves a wedding.
Weddings–they happen every day. They happen in every family. Marriage, of course, is the fundamental building block for a godly society. Matthew records Jesus describing the wonderful bond of marriage as God’s plan from the beginning. So, in Cana of Galilee, there was a wedding with Jesus and His mother and the first of His disciples in attendance. Weddings happen somewhere every day, but, not like this!
Inclusion was by invitation only so it is reasonable to assume these were close relatives or at least friends. We are not told why, but when the hosts of the wedding feast ran out of wine, they took their problem to Mary, Jesus’s Mother. Neither are we told why Mary took the problem to Jesus but that is what she did.
Mary, Mother of the Savior
Unlike the other Evangelists, John introduces Mary in this scene rather than in the dramatic events of the birth of Jesus. By this time, there were 30 years of history between Jesus and Mary. Every mother pays close attention to her children and we can be sure that the half-brothers and sisters of Jesus received the proper care and attention from her. It is also certain that Mary and Jesus enjoyed a special bond, different from the others. As she watched Jesus grow through the normal stages of childhood all the way to young adulthood, Mary continued the process, begun so long ago, of “hiding things in her heart.” Of all people she would have known when it was time for Jesus to leave the carpenter’s shop to strike out on His particular Messianic mission. Perhaps at this wedding in Cana, she gave her Son a little nudge.
Water to Wine
He protested to her a little bit and I can imagine a look from her convinced Him that this was the right thing to do. She told the servants,
“Whatever He says to you, do it.”
(A good rule to live by, still today!) Jesus told the servants to fill 6 water pots full of water and serve it to the guests as if it were wine. They obeyed thinking all the while that it wasn’t going to be their fault when people complained. When they served the master of the feast, there were no complaints. On the contrary, the newly created wine was called the best. The master couldn’t remember buying such excellent stock but the servants knew the truth.
The First of Many
There is no indication that anyone but Mary, the servants, and Jesus knew what had really happened that day. This was the first of all the wondrous things Jesus would do. After the feast, in the warmth of the wine, Jesus and His family journeyed to Capernaum for a short visit.
In the centuries since that day, preachers have taken this miracle as a blessing from Jesus on the institution of marriage. Marriage, indeed. is the plan of God and the fundamental organizational institution of mankind. The church itself is mirrored in the family. Metaphorically, Jesus is seen as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Holy Bride.
Time has proven the wisdom of this, in spite of the failures of marriages, there is no better organizational structure for the home and the health of the next generation. Mary’s advice still holds today where God’s Word is concerned.
“Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Man has never invented a better way to preserve the things of God to the next generation.
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. After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
Matthew 19:8-9 NKJV
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Lord Jesus, I am thankful that You began Your miraculous ministry in such a homey way—at a wedding! It tells me that You are concerned about our normal lives. Little things matter to You. So many times, what matters to us matters to You. Help me be like those servants who filled the pots and poured the new wine. I want to be delighted every day to follow Your instructions and see the results of Your plan. Help me take Mary’s advice and do whatever You tell me to!
Bless Be the Tie that Binds
Words: John Fawcett; Music: Lowell Mason
1. Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
2. Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
3. We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
4. When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.
5. This glorious hope revives our courage by the way;
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.
6. From sorrow, toil, and pain, and sin, we shall be free;
and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved