Turning weddings from hell into weddings of glory
John 2: 1-12
“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. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.”
We have all heard of the weddings from hell. The closest one to hell that I have officiated at is when the bride was over 30 minutes late due to her father needing another drink to get through the ordeal. They had to be brought through the back door for his friends to try and get him together in order to then walk his daughter down the aisle.
When things go wrong at certain events then the embarrassment and the shame are palpable.
Welcome to the first miracle of Jesus.
- It was the 3rd
An important little detail that John notes. In the creation order the 3rd day was good because it was the day when all the fruit trees were created. It was a day of blessing. Here at the wedding the wine (a symbol of blessing) was flowing and it was good. Until the blessing ran out.
- Jesus’ mother was there.
Jesus says to Mary, “My hour has not come”. In 7:40 Jesus is teaching in the Temple courts and the religious authorities tried to seize him “but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” Later again Jesus teaching near the Temple declares, ’I am the light’ and they were furious, “Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come” 8:20. In 12:23 just after the Triumphal Entry Jesus declares, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Prior to him washing the disciples’ feet in 13:1 “Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.” And finally in what is the most beautiful of prayer moments in 17:1 “he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” In his gospel John does not mention Jesus’ mother after this moment of the wedding from hell until the moment she is very much aware the hour had come, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother” 19:25.
There is so many more things that you can draw out of this first miracle.
But let me focus your mind and heart on this one wonderful truth.
In the previous chapter we ended being reminded about Jacobs dream at Bethel. The very first miracle where he revealed his glory (v11) and where the divine activity of ‘angels ascending and descending’ 1:51 is at a wedding from hell. Not at one of the Messiah-proof declarations like the healing of a blind man, the leper, the lame and those held in darkness. No.
In seeking after the glory of God to be revealed. In our desire for His presence and power to be known in our lives and in our churches. Why don’t we begin with the simple? Why don’t we just try and help out a family who are so embarrassed and ashamed of what has happened? It doesn’t matter who is to blame. We don’t have to conduct forensics. We just have to reach out a hand to make things better. To cover over other people’s pain and humiliation. Instead of exploiting it let us make things better for people. It may not seem much but maybe it is the road to the glory of God being revealed in us and our churches.