Weddings are not easy to plan, which explains why wedding planning is a huge business around the world. The purpose is to help the couple focus on a few things while the planner would then do most of the essentials, including the food and drink aspects of the ceremony. A wedding without wine is unimaginable, but surprisingly it happened at the first recorded wedding Jesus attended with his mother at Cana in Galilee.
The familiar story we know about the event at Cana in Galilee is that Jesus made water to become wine; that is a fact but not all that happened. The wedding and the consequent running out of wine was part of a divine plan to lunch the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of the narrative, John would call it a sign and not a miracle, so there is more to the fact that “they had no wine.” We shall find out.
The Wedding Invitation
Weddings often have guests who are duly invited by the intending couple. Some people are invited as family and friends, while others can perform special assignments like music or other activities. Often, whoever you invite determines what you get.
The Gospel of John (2:1-11) tells us that the wedding at Cana in Galilee had the mother of Jesus in attendance, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited. The presence of Mary and Jesus at the wedding seems to indicate that one of the couples could be a close friend or relation of the family of Jesus.
The “Uninvited” Guest Vs. the Invited Guest
An uninvited guest showed up during the wedding feast, namely, scarcity! In short, the wine ran out. Naturally, this was going to be an embarrassment and shame for the host, who at that point didn’t know what was happening at the bar area. However, one of the invited guests, Mary, the mother of Jesus, sensed the situation and intervened.
So, coming to Jesus, Mary said to him, “they have no wine!” Jesus was never in the business of selling wine; in fact, he said, “how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come”. Jesus was saying, “I know you know what I can do, but it is not yet time to start”.
Do Whatever He Tells You: The next thing Mary said to the attendants was, “Do whatever he tells you.” Those words were not only for the attendants but also for Jesus. By saying that, she was also telling Jesus, “I know it is not yet your hour, but you can still start here, and now there is a need!” When Mary said, “do whatever he tells you,” Expectedly, the attendants focused on Jesus waiting for the next line of action.
Fill the Jars with Water: Jesus had no option but to ask the attendants to do something as his mother had predicted. There were six stone water jars at the location, and Jesus asked them to fill them up with water, and they filled them to the brim. Next, he asked them to take some to the headwaiter, and they did, and the headwaiter tested fresh wine.
Obedience brings Miracle
Evidently, the entire jars of water (thirty gallons each) turned into wine. We did not hear Jesus pray; he only gave instructions, and the water turned into wine. So, what happened? It was nothing but a domino effect of obedience. Yes, it was a miracle of obedience. But how?
The first was the couple’s obedience to the thought of inviting Mary and Jesus. Next is the obedience of the Mother and Son to respond in charity to the invitation to the wedding. Next is the obedience of Mary in compassion to respond to the challenge of the “uninvited” guest, the scarcity of wine. Furthermore, Jesus was obedient to respond to the suggestive statement of his mother, “they have no wine!”
Finally, the attendants obediently responded to the instruction of Jesus to fill the jars to the brim with water and to draw out the content and present to the headwaiter and tasted the content and confirmed that it was fresh wine. Thus, we dare to conclude that the miracle happened because there was steadfast obedience on the part of all who were involved in the narrative.
Obedience in the Way Forward
We have seen that John did not call the event at Cana in Galilee a miracle. The concluding part of the narrative says, “Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee.” From what we have seen so far, we can say that this was a sign of obedience.
Obedience is a way maker before God, but disobedience is a road blocker. Recall that Saul’s rejection as a king was on account of disobedience (2 Samuel 15). On the other hand, our Lord Jesus Christ excelled in obedience unto death to redeem (Phil. 2:8).
Today’s simple message is that we need to keep obedience ahead of us if we need miracles in our lives, beginning with our individual lives, our families, and the larger society. We are all invited to pay attention to God’s invitation in total obedience and submission even in the face of abject scarcity and need in our lives. God bless you!