On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, andthe mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invitedto the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him,”They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, whatconcern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mothersaid to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standingthere were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holdingtwenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars withwater.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Nowdraw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where itcame from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the stewardcalled the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good winefirst, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But youhave kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of hissigns, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believedin him. [NRSV]
The Serving the Best Stuff
In John’s Gospel, it is no random mistake that we see Jesus beginshis ministry of miracles, celebration and salvation on the third day.
On the third day… in creation, God creates that seas and the dry land and places trees and vegetation of every kind with it’s seed, and declares it to be good.
On the third day, Mary and the other women arrive at the empty tomb and experience the reality of the resurrection and become the first witnesses and evangelist of the resurrection.
On the third day of Jesus’s public ministry follows the calling and gathering of his disciples and they are invited to a wedding.
Why is Running Out of Wine Important?
This is remembered as the wedding where they ran out of wine. Some had said they were not planning for all of Jesus’s disciples and only added them at the last minute and the twelve extra families overwhelmed the plus-two budget when Jesus shows up as Mary’s plus-one with a plus-two dozen. This might explain why Mary turns to Jesus to fix the problem.
INTRO Mary introduces Jesus as a problem solver to community.
What is the problem? It is more than a lack of wine, it is a matter of hospitality. Mary empathizeswith the bride and groom and family and knows that a shortage of wine would endthe celebration.
Wine is fruit of fermented grapes, from a vineyard, with vinesand branches, which grew grapes that contained seeds that had producing fruitsince the third day of creation she announces to the world that Jesus has cometo fix the problem that confronts us with the gap between good seed and good soiland the absence of fruit for the celebration.
Are you tracking the images of vineyards, vines and branches,good seeds planted and good seeds created, and the problem is an emptiness, avoid, a chasm that only Jesus has the solution.
The instructions in following Jesus are to do whatever he says.
His first words are something to the affect: I’m not at thetemple, were are not at the synagogue, its not been revealed to me when toreveal my true self. “I’ve just gotten by core staff on board and we have notworked all the details out.”
Mary insists that Jesus is the solution, the answer, the salvation to the problem.
Mary had been pondering in her heart and mind for decadesand she put the pieces together and encourages Jesus to step forward and letthe glory and power show.
NOTE: I find it very interesting that Jesus reveals the solution without it being about himself. Jesus is pointing and connecting us with God.
He uses clay water pitchers just as God use the clay vessels like us.
He uses servants to use what is known for purification,baptism and cleansing and has them fill the empty pots with cold water, a cupof cold water for those who are lost across a great chasm.
He sends them to the chief stewards, the chief priest, to Pilate,to Herod, to those who know fully about emptiness and shows them vessels fullof the solution.
The solution was the wine which would be poured out for the world,for the forgiveness of sins, that becomes our communion with God, throughChrist, who makes whole the void and emptiness of sin and brokenness.
The Chief Steward does not go to Jesus, he does not go to the servants, he goes to the bride and bridegroom.
This is where the praise for the greatest prize, the undeserved,the unrecognized has been saved for this moment. This indeed was Jesus’s momentto reveal God’s glory, and the rest of the story… all the way from creation’s goodness,the emptiness of sin and, the wholeness of salvation.
This is not just a wedding, it is the platform for the Glory of God to be known.
It is for this reason that the church and marriage havebecome a target…
The people are created good, every person is a precious giftof God, and we are all created for one another as God’s servants, but this storyis about the hospitality of the bridegroom.
Hospitality is a relationship of service to those in need.
Jesus shows up at the perfect time to serve those who are inneed.
- when the joy, fellowship and community are threaten to end,
- The need is when the fruitfulness is empty,
- the wine was the solution (double meaning intended)
- So drink Jesus up!
- Be hospitable to others
- Find hope that Christ is transforming us from water into fruitfulness