The Wedding at Cana
Key Verse: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
AS THE SCRIPTURAL CITATION points out to us, these verses highlight the first of many miracles that were performed by our Lord Jesus. The circumstances of our Lord’s providing wine for a festive occasion such as a wedding, would come to signify far greater blessings that he will one day bring to all the people of the earth.
Matthew 26:29 points out to us that our Lord would no more drink of the fruit of the vine with his disciples until he would drink it anew with them in the kingdom. To partake of the cup of the Lord in the present time signifies to share in his sufferings, humiliation, and death. “Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38) This cup signifies experiences, as shown when our Lord said, “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) To partake of his cup in the coming age will mean to share in his glory and joy. That will be the new wine of the kingdom.
We also have the prophecy, “In this mountain [the kingdom of God] shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.”(Isa. 25:6) In these words, we should recognize wine as a fitting symbol of joy and gladness.
This first miracle was given to symbolize the ultimate object of the work upon which our Lord was then entering. His goal was to glorify his church and then to spread a feast of fat things (of rich blessings) and of wine (of joy) before all people. “They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, … for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them and make them rejoice from their sorrow.” (Jer. 31:12,13) How fitting that this first miracle that our Lord performed would serve as a foreshadow of future glory.
In observing the features of this miracle, we notice that it followed the wedding ceremony. So the joy and blessing of Christ’s kingdom, both to the church, his bride, and also to the world, will follow the marriage of the Lamb—“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7) Next, we should note that the marriage was on the “third day.” (John 2:1) This points us to our Lord’s words, “I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” (Luke 13:32) and “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. … He spake of the temple of his body.”—John 2:19,21
The miracle consisted of turning water in the vessels for purification into the desirable beverage—the “good wine.” (John 2:6-8) Water is a symbol of truth (Eph. 5:26), the use of which is for refreshing and cleansing the Lord’s people. Through this very cleansing agency, the church will be glorified, and the world blessed. The divine Truth that flows from God will then be realized in the blessing and joys of the kingdom.
The Lord’s reply to his mother, who informed him of the lack of wine, is also significant. “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, … mine hour is not yet come.” (John 2:4) The hour for his exaltation and glory had not yet come.—Ps. 30:5; Rev. 2:10; Matt. 25:23