In Jesus’ first miracle there is so much that is unspoken and, thus, unknown, and we must take great care not to read to much into the story. Since this was his first miracle, we know that Mary had not witnessed previous miracles by her son. That is not to say that she was unaware of His power and authority, but it wasn’t like she gave Him a list of chores and those got completed miraculously while he sat and talked. We don’t know what her expectations were. We also don’t know all of the underlying meaning conveyed by Jesus’ words about his “hour.” In almost all other uses of this word it refers to the time of his death at the cross.
So, sticking with what we do know. Mary, Jesus, some of Jesus’ new followers and a bunch of other people were at a wedding which ran out of wine. It would have been very bad form and a significant embarrassment for the host for this to have happened. Mary pointed out the fact of the problem. Jesus quietly addressed the problem.
Sure, there is a lot of underlying significance. It was a wedding which has linkage to the wedding of the lamb to the church. It was wine which later was used to symbolize Christ’s blood offered for the forgiveness of sins. It was containers that would normally hold water used for ceremonial cleansing.
Not to take anything away from the miracle or all of this symbolism, but we do also have to keep in mind, at the end of the day, it was just wine. Jesus’ first miracle did not bring someone back from the dead. It didn’t heal someone dying. It didn’t relieve pain and suffering, restore sight, give the ability to walk to someone who was lame or hearing to the deaf. It didn’t call anyone to repent, convert any of those present at the wedding, or directly apply to the saving purpose of Jesus’ mission on Earth. It was just wine.
Yes, the bridegroom and family would have been embarrassed and it would have been a bad mark on their name, but no one would have died from the embarrassment. Sure it was honoring to His mother who must have had some expectation of Jesus given the curtness of the conversation between the two of them. But, in the grand scheme of things, it was just wine.
But, I think that is part of the message. Jesus doesn’t just do miracles in the things that are important to Him, He does miracles in the things that are important to us. He is the creator of everything in the universe and hears the please of all mankind everywhere in the world. But, He also hears us. He hears our concerns, the things we messed up that will bring shame and embarrassment to us, the things that are not life and death, they are just sour grapes. Not only does He hear, but He acts. He acts in ways that we could not even imagine. He acts in a level of love and power and compassion that we do not deserve, could not deserve, yet He freely gives. He takes our fears and tears and turns them into something that is a witness to others as being “the best.”
And, while Christ’s glory is revealed in these acts, to those who are paying attention. He does it not for His glory, but because He loves us and cares that much.
They ran out of wine. The groom and matron of the party were expected to have adequately prepared for the guests and the event. It would have been a negative mark on the entire families name and honor.
No, she knew He had the power and her focus was on compassion to the groom and his family, not of timing of Jesus’ mission
power over matter, power without words or incantations of touch. Obedience was required to see the miracle, He allowed others to participate. It was the best of the best.
He honored His mother. He showed compassion. He did it quietly without fanfare. There was no gain to Him in doing this.
3 thoughts on “03.2 John – Sour Grapes”
For Lesson 3, I only received 3.2 and 3.5. I’ve checked junk mail and deleted mail folders but not there. Is it possible for you to send the missing days again? I love your notes and comments. Thank you.,
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“Children grow up to be the love they’ve known…”
It may be just wine, but… The formula for water is H2O or HOH. The formula for alcohol is C2H5OH. To make water into alcohol Jesus added some carbon atoms to the existing hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Carbon atoms are the building blocks of life as we know it.
The sign may have been that He came to do away with the old ceremonial ways, and that He came to bring new life.