Everybody likes a good wedding! Chance to dress up, eat and drink a little more than usual, have a good time and do some embarrassing dancing. Weddings in Jesus day were a bit like that, but they went on for three days! That meant ensuring you had enough wine in was a problem And you invited not only all the members of both families and a few friends, but everybody in the village! So running out of wine would mean your name was going to be mud for a long time with people you couldn’t get out of seeing every day So when they began to run out of wine at the wedding Jesus attended at Cana, the steward of the feast was a very worried man indeed. Mary, Jesus’ mother, noticed something was wrong. Women have a sense for that kind of thing. And she volunteered Jesus to do something about it – they’re good at that sort of thing, too!
So what does Jesus do? Firstly he gets a bit shirty with his mother. “It’s not the right time yet!” he says. She ignores that and says to the steward, “Do what he tells you” Jesus knows when he is beat and tells the servants to fill some massive stone jars that were meant for storing water for ritual hand-washing with water, and then to pour some off and bring it to the steward. They do this, and when the steward tastes it, it is the best wine he has ever tasted! His skin is saved.
But John, the gospel writer, says that Jesus showed his glory in this miracle. How exactly did he do that? Well, it would appear that the water in the jars stood for the purity that came from observing the Jewish Law, whereas the wine stood for the banquet the Messiah was to invite God’s people to when he brought in God’s rule. Jesus was providing more than the Law ever could. He giving people a foretaste of the Messiah’s banquet – the heavenly banquet in Christian terms. This is truly the best wine which has been kept until last!