The Wedding at Cana
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
(John 2:1-11 ESV)
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this passage quoted or mentioned. It’s mentioned at weddings. Teetotalers will say he made some wicked-awesome grape juice. Drunk people will slur how they have a right to drink because, “Jesush toorned waughter infoo wighne…” But what I’ve never heard is the connection between the wine, the party, and the glory of God.
The interesting thing about this passage is that Jesus’ argument with his mother isn’t that they don’t need the wine to party. His mother’s request is a valid request. He wants the party to continue, and he sees that the wine is a integral part to making that happen. What is wrong with her request is its timing. Therefore, there is a distinct connection between the wine and the party. Anybody who reads their Old Testament can see this clear connection.
First, God loves to party. As you read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, you could get caught up in a thought that God only cares about rules. You could think that God is sucked into micro-managing the dimensions of his future home. But you would be easily overlooking the several times that he tells his people to PARTY (have a festival). As you start to study these festivals, you will see a common component…wine. God’s parties and wine go together. There is a connection…but what is that connection.
This is where it gets really cool if you think about it. The passage above ends with saying, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.” Jesus’ glory was manifested in this miracle. This is so cool! One of the symbols he will later give to his disciples as a sign of remembrance is also a part of the very first miracle he performs in his ministry. I don’t think this is a mistake. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that wine is present at all the festivals (and at parties).
Wines presence gives us an ability to connect with the sacrifice that Jesus did for us. It is only through His sacrifice that we are truly able to enjoy the wine and it is a sign of the blood his spilt to pay for our sins. And our ultimate joy in that moment in that wine at the party is only possible when we make the connection between all this and the glory of Jesus. So the next time you’re at a party and enjoying a glass of wine (or any beverage for that case) take some time to bask in the glory of Jesus (trust me…Jesus wants you to).