The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” … This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. [John 2:1-3,11 (NLT)]
Jesus accepted a variety of invitations—He went to the homes of Matthew, Zacchaeus, Martha, and the Pharisees. He even attended a wedding feast in Cana. It was there that He performed His first miracle by turning water into wine. I love a great Merlot or Cabernet but this seems an odd choice for His inaugural miracle. He later healed lepers, gave sight to the blind, walked on water, fed thousands, calmed storms, and raised the dead. Turning water into wine sort of pales in comparison with those other miracles. Although His act of compassion saved the wedding’s host from humiliation and embarrassment, this was the Son of God and He was tasked with the greatest mission in the world. Yet, there He was, at a wedding reception, quietly telling the servants what to do while turning jugs of wash water into jugs of vintage wine.
John tells us that, after seeing this miraculous sign, the disciples saw His power over creation and believed. Jesus, however, didn’t have to be at a wedding to demonstrate his power for the disciples. I don’t think Jesus did anything by happenstance and there was a specific purpose to this unusual first miracle. What are we to make of it?
The obvious answer, of course, is that when we invite people to a party, we better make sure Jesus is on the guest list. Good things will happen when Jesus comes into our lives. He can change circumstances, transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, make scarcity into surplus, exchange sorrow for joy, and empower us (His servants) to do His work. Look what happened to Levi the tax collector when he invited Jesus home for dinner—Levi was transformed into Matthew, the gospel writer and Apostle. When Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus into His home, salvation came into his house as well. After Martha invited Jesus to her table, her brother was raised from the dead. Even the Pharisees got more than they expected (lessons about love, forgiveness and humility) when they invited our Lord to dinner.
Jesus told several parables about accepting God’s invitation to the feast in His kingdom; the wedding at Cana reminds us to be sure we invite Jesus to our feasts as well! That first miracle is Jesus’s simple way of saying, “Invite me into your life and see what wonderful things can happen!”
Lord Jesus, be our holy guest, our morning joy, our evening rest; and with our daily bread impart your love and peace to every heart. [The Book of Common Worship]