Today we look at Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana without becoming sidetracked by peripheral issues. Recently, we discussed this passage at a small home group meeting. They helped unlock some aspects of the miracle I had previously failed to notice. Hopefully, I now see a greater piece of God’s heart. Here at the wedding, Jesus revealed His glory through His first miracle.
We may easily become lost in the symbolic imagery of wedding feasts, motherly medling, water and wine. Cana means “reed,” and comes from the verb, to twist together. Even here we see symbolism of humanities fallen condition for which Jesus willingly came.
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee, Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.”
Who doesn’t love a wedding? Families and friends gather to celebrate the beautiful remaking of two unique individuals into one covenant relationship. Weddings connect us with people we rarely see and help develop new relationships that otherwise would have had no opportunity to form. We leave tired, happy, stomachs full, cheeks aching from laughter, and hearts filled with thanksgiving.
A word-by-word study of the John 2:1-12 would benefit each of us, but today, rather than zoom in, we will take a panoramic view of the occasion.
As a former alcoholic, I am all to familiar with the negative affects of liquor. When Jesus turned water into wine, He made new wine — a wine unlike any previous wine. No aging or fermentation went into this brand of wine.
Biblically, new wine prophetically speaks of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit was poured out in Acts 2:13, onlookers laughed and mocked.
“But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.'”
Acts 2:13 ESV
Inside and outside the church, people thirst for something more. They have tasted the old wine the world offers and have come away lacking. Jesus revealed His glory by offering everyone new wine — again prophetically pointing to the Holy Spirit.
Many prophets today are hearing God say, “A new era is here! This is the season of new wine. You are about to encounter Me as you never have before.”
At the wedding in Cana, Jesus revealed His glory. Through a supernatural sign, He showed the power of His worth, His weightiness, greatness, honor, and splendor. Yet few recognized Him. Most were too caught up in the events of the day to see or understand that the King of Glory came to celebrate with them, hang out among them, and bring them joy.
Though the author of this dream remains anonymous, the dream carries a wonderful message.
Imagine you and the Lord Jesus were walking along the beach together. For much of the way, the Lord’s footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures, and returns. For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord’s, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends!
This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens. Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus’ are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His large footprints are your small ones; you and Jesus are becoming one.
This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints; they have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back.
Zigzags all over the place. Stops, starts, gashes in the sand. A veritable mess of prints. This time it seems even worse! You are amazed and shocked. Your dream ends. (Tim Sheet, Planting the Heavens, Destiny, pg 33)
You pray, “Lord, I understand the first scene with the zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian, and I was just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with You.”
And He spoke softly, “That is correct.”
“And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps; I followed You very closely.”
And He answered, “Very good. You have understood everything so far.”
When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like You in every way.”
He beamed, “Precisely.”
“So Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than before. Zigzags, gashes in the sand, turns every which way, circles.”
There is a pause as the Lord answers with a smile in His voice, “You didn’t know? That was when we danced!“
In the beginning when God made humanity, He came every day, without fail, to walk with them, talk with them, laugh with them. God loved to be with them, hanging out together. God and man dancing in relationship!
For thousands of years, the gap of sin separated God from His deepest longing — to be with us! Now He came disguised as a carpenter. He came to a wedding, bringing new wine in abundance! He sat among them, listening, laughing, playing, and enjoying their face-to-face company.
Tears flow as I catch but a glimmer of the Father’s heart to be with each one of us.
Jesus came with the new wine of the Holy Spirit — not just a little, but gallons upon gallons upon gallons. More than we need! More than we could ask or hope for!
“And do not get drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18 NLT
Greek scholars and Bible commentators point out that the Greek present imperative tense is used for “be filled.” It has the connotation of a continuous replenishment, an ongoing state of being filled.
“And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”
As they prayed, a continuous replenishing of the Holy Spirit poured into believers. As they prayed, Jesus revealed his glory through the Holy Spirit.
Are you thirsty? Do you long for new wine of the Spirit to be poured into your life? Is your heart stirred to dance with Jesus?
For this reason Jesus revealed His glory! So that those who were empty would be empty no longer! So that all who are thirtsty would be fully satisfied.
“O Jesus, we declare our love for You! May our lives become a messy swirl of swoopes and twirls, dancing with abandon in Your presence. May our times of sitting with You become supernaturally normal, encountering the wonder and greatness of who You are in ways we never have before. Lord, stir our hearts with fresh awareness of Your delight for us and longing to just hang out with us. You need no special occasion to celebrate Your pleasure in being with us. Today, we welcome You into our reedy, twisted ordinary. Fill us! Fill us again and again and again! Pour into us the overflow of Your joyous Presence through the Holy Spirit. Captivate our hearts again, Lord. Forgive us for losing the big picture of Your love within the miniscule mundane of the now. May we celebrate You as much as You celebrate us! Oh Lord, fill our hearts with Your new wine! Saturate us! May we encounter You in new ways in this new season, discovering Your glory.”