We start off in verses 1 and 2 seeing that Mary, Jesus and the disciples are at a wedding in Cana. It says on the third day, which would be from when Phillip introduced Nathanael to Jesus(John1:43-51). Verse 1 states that Mary was there and then as an afterthought it says Jesus and His disciples had also been invited. We can gather from this that while we don’t know who the wedding was for, it apparently was someone close to Mary. Also in verse 3 when Mary tells Jesus that the wine is gone, we can see she cares for these people.
We first must understand that a wedding in Israel at this time was a big event and the celebration could last for a week. It also was a matter of honor to be able to provide for the guest. If this wedding party would have had to end because of no wine the entire family would be shamed for the rest of their lives.
So in verse 4 we get to the good stuff. In the NIV Jesus says, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” “My time has not yet come.” If we look into a more literal version it does not have the dear, just woman. To our ears this sounds disrespectful because we would never look at our mother and say woman. In Israel this is not true. Also we can see that this strong sounding blunt word woman is used often by Jesus in more emotional times. For example as Jesus hangs on the cross he says, “Woman , behold your son.”(John 19:26), As he talks to Mary Magdalene upon his resurrection, “Woman, why are you weeping?”.(John 20:15) He also says this with the Caananite woman in Matthew 15:28, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.”
Now back to what just happened Jesus says, “woman, why do you involve me?” “My time has not yet come.” Jesus mom states that the wine has ran out. She does not tell Him what to do. His response to His mother is why are you telling me this, it is not time for me to reveal myself.” But as a good son, He does what His mother wants. The first thing to notice here is Jesus example of respecting His mother’s wishes. God in flesh did not add to his ministry by saving this couple from public shame. Jesus did it out of respect for His mother. If God feels that obeying your parents is so important that He would perform a miracle before the God ordained time in an effort to show respect to His mother, how much more should we?
Another thing we can get from this is that God has a plan but when those that honor Him ask a request. He will grant it even when it is not necessary for His purposes. That is the kind of God we serve.
So Mary tells the servants to “do whatever He tells you.” Jesus tells them to fill six twenty gallon jars with water. This was no small task. This was at least 120 gallons of water that had to be retrieved from a well and carried to where the stone jars were sitting. Saying that water weighs 8 pounds a gallon this would be over 960 pounds of water that had to be carried. Again, I say, no small task.
When the servants finished this task he told them to draw some water and give it to the master of the banquet. These servants, as far as they know, are carrying water to the guy in charge, but look at what happens when they get there in verses 9-10. He tastes it not knowing where it came from and 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.”
The thing I want us to see here is that everyone at the wedding celebration got to benefit from the miracle but only those who were serving got to witness the miracle. Think about that for a minute. How often do we get to be a part of something in the church or missions, but because we aren’t willing to be the servants, we never truly get to witness the miracle.
This short passage on the first miracle of Jesus shows us that we are to respect and honor our parents no matter what. That God loves us and no request is to small for him, and the servants are the ones that get to witness the miracles.