Window #5 John 2:1-11
Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
At first, this seems a puzzling scene. Jesus seems to be irritated with his mother when she asks him to intervene. Jesus works a miracle, but it doesn’t involve healing a person from illness or saving people from a boat in a storm. He isn’t providing food to a crowd at the end of a day. Instead, he turns water into wine so that a wedding celebration won’t end prematurely. That’s very curious to me. Why would John chose to include this story and place it so very near the start of the gospel?
The Gospel of John is full of symbols. A wedding isn’t just a wedding but rather an even that points to the messianic age, the time when God’s reign will be realized. Jesus says that his hour has not yet come, and yet, Mary trusts that he will respond to this moment. He does. He changes the water into wine, the banquet continues and something ordinary is transformed into abundant and rich wine. This story indicates that in Jesus we see God’s purpose and plan becoming realized in the world.
The window prompts us to consider where is it that Jesus is turning water into wine in our midst today? Where is it that God is showing up to offer hope and grace where it is needed? We don’t have to look very far if we look with eyes of faith.