The recording of the first miracle that Jesus performed at the wedding feast in Cana is told in John 2:1-11 NIV
“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. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”
If you do a search for the significance behind Jesus’s first miracle on the Internet you’re going to find a wide assortment of reasons given. Most of them fall short of the mark because Jesus never does anything of real significance without there being a deeper meaning behind it and when I say deeper, I mean more than the usual reasons given whereby Jesus sanctioned marriage or the water represented external ideas and the jars represented Jewish stories and rituals and the wine represented spiritual truth etc.
This was Jesus’s first miracle. Remember that Jesus told us that He never did anything on His own but only what the Father showed Him to do and say.
John 5:19 NIV “ Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
And John 12:49 NIV “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.”
So this very first miracle that Jesus performed wasn’t just Jesus changing His mind at the last minute. Remember that Jesus had told His mother that “His hour had not yet come”. When Jesus speaks of “His hour”, He speaks of the fulfilling of His purpose, where Jesus reveals Himself as the Messiah and King of the Jews. In a broader sense, His hour did not “fully come” until He obediently walked down the path of His sacrificial crucification.
But then Jesus speaks to the servants and tells them to fill the ceremonial jars with water.
In the general symbolism, we can see that Jesus used the jars reserved for the Jewish water purification ritual under the Law, had them filled with water, and then transformed its elements into wine.
- This act showed that He would be the one to bring about the New Covenant in which His blood (wine) would provide superior purification to the Old Covenant (water) purification Covenant ritual.
Matt 5:17 NIV “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
- Secondly, we can observe that Jesus performed this sign only in front of the servants and disciples, yet the “master of the feast” was offered His miracle, yet “did not know where it came from.” This can show us that all are offered Salvation, but not all recognize the Redeemer.
John 1:10 NIV “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.”
- Thirdly, it is interesting that this takes place at a wedding, which is reminiscent of the marriage between Christ and the church and the wedding supper of The Lamb.
Matt 26:29 NIV “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on
until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
- Fourth, It should also be noted that this first sign done with all 12 of the Disciples is very much connected to the communion in the last supper which was the last interaction with all 12 of Jesus’ Disciples before His crucifixion. The water into wine is the first sign, and the wine representative of His blood is the last sign. I can’t help but think it is not a coincidence that these two acts are first and last as a symbol of what was to come.
Luke 22:20 NIV “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
So there you have it, that’s what I think the first miracle of Jesus represents. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. One day we will all know.
I’d sincerely love to hear your thoughts.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!