CHAPTER 4: The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2)

The whole world loves a wedding ceremony, especially a wedding feast; and in the second chapter of John we have recorded some oldest events of a wedding feast of historical record.  It was recorded by the Apostle John because Jesus was invited and came to the wedding feast; and because it is the first miracle-sign listed in the Gospel of John of only the 7 miracle signs that John presents in his version of the life of Christ.

4-1:  Christ at Cana, The First Miracle-Sign.

Do we need to be reminded as to how important marriage is to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ?  The Bible chronicles the time of history before the Second Coming of Christ as a time when the most critical events of life will be going on:  that is, men and women will be “eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage”.  That just about summarizes life anytime except for the addition of childbearing.  As we quickly look at the Wedding Feast at Cana, we are reminded that this marriage was so important that it was the time and place of the first miracle of Jesus, that of turning the water into wine.

1.  WHEN JESUS IS INVITED, HE COMES.

“Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.”  (John 2:2)

Dr. B.H. Carroll, former president of Baylor and Southwestern Seminary has written a lesser known book on the Approachability of Christ.  Anyone who tried—the lame, children, the blind, even the tax collector and member of government—was allowed access.  Beyond that we see here in John 2:2 how approachable Christ is to us in all areas of life including something as personal as a wedding.  WHEN JESUS IS INVITED, HE COMES!

  • ORDINARY PROBLEMS BECOME EXTRAORDINARY SOLUTIONS WHEN PRESENTED TO JESUS.

“And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.”  (John 2:3)

Even as Jesus came to teach and practice the teachings of God the Father, so the same Father who tells us in the Bible to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him because He cares for you”, has the Son confront the cares of ordinary marriage problems with some extraordinary solutions.  It engenders a faith that can remove mountains as we realize often that the only real mountains have to be removed from the mind, then the extraordinary can happen.

  • EVERYTHING IS BETTER WHEN JESUS IS INVITED AND PRESENTED OUR ISSUES!

“His mother {Mary of course who was there} said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  (John 2:5)

Those who knew and know Jesus best will assure you that everything works better when Jesus is invited and also when any large or small care is committed to Jesus.  You know what I mean:  you have known a relative, perhaps even a mother or father who knew Jesus well, or a pastor through whom you knew you could see Jesus, or a saintly childhood friend.  And I am sure with those pleasant memories, come some assurance to you about Jesus that everything and anything works best when Jesus is invited, whether a wedding, a marriage, the raising of a family, even church worship and church decisions.

  • WHATEVER YOU HAVE AND ARE, JUST COMMIT IT TO HIM.

“Fill the water pots with water.”  (John 2:7)

SIMPLY GIVE JESUS THE 150 GALLONS OF WATER AND THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED!

  • LIKE THE SERVANTS AT THE FEAST YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF PARTICIPANTS IN A MIRACLE.

“…the master of the feast tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from but, the servants who had drawn the water knew…”  (John 2:9a)

You can become a participant in the miracle of marriage where God joins the two together and the two become one; or participants in the miracle of childbirth; or participants in the outworking of the new birth in a Christian family.

  • THAT FOR WHICH YOU PRAY FOR THROUGH JESUS IN PRIVATE, GOD WILL GIVE YOU PUBLIC CREDIT.

“…the master of the feast called the bridegroom…You have kept the good wine until now”  (John 2:9b,10)

God and Jesus like prayer in secret, but do not hesitate to make public the benefits and answers to your prayers and commitments.

  • AS THE YEARS AND AGING PROGRESS, WITH JESUS THE GOOD GETS BETTER!

 “You have kept the good wine until now.”  (John 2:10)

Also Jesus does not need aging to make it better.  With Him there, the best can come first and later the better.

  • EVERYTHING JESUS DID AND DOES IS TO SHOW HIMSELF AS THE SON OF GOD AND IN ORDER TO GET DISCIPLES TO BELIEVE IN HIM.

“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”  (John 2:11)

Where in the world did, we ever get this marvelous concept of marriage as a man and woman raised in different places and from different families by a miracle become ONE, but FROM GOD AND JESUS?

4-2:  The Seven Miracles of John and Faith.

The chosen word for miracle by the Apostle John in the Gospel of John, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is “sign”.  You will see, however, from a careful reading later of John 4 that the Apostle John got the word for miracles from Jesus.

“Then Jesus said to him {the nobleman of Capernaum}, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”  (John 4:48)

Okay, so the Jews were slow to believe; but John pastored right up to 100 A.D. to the Gentiles in Ephesus.  He wanted them to believe without miracles, to believe based on the teachings of Jesus except for the resurrection of Jesus Himself.  Which by the way, Jesus might have called a “wonder” instead of a miracle-sign.  Below in a somewhat poetic form is a roll call of the only 7 miracle-signs that you will find in the Gospel of John.  You will find them interspersed throughout the chapters of the Den of Thieves, and part of the concluding chapter where the two parallel and prime themes of Den of Thieves comes together:  (1) Churches as Hideouts for Bad Habits; and (2) Reports to Encourage Unbelievers.  You will enjoy these chapters, and especially the Gospel of John on which it is based.  John was so gracious and positive, perhaps much like the Master Jesus that he loved and served.

  1. The Wedding Feast at Cana, the turning of water into WINE.
  2. The healing of the Nobleman’s son sick unto death, the second SIGN.
  3. Jesus healed the helpless man by Bethesda’s pool, 38 years BENIGN.
  4. With the blessings of Jesus on 5 loaves and 2 fishes, and with leftovers, five thousand did DINE.
  5. The Walking on Water in a storm and seen by the disciples, an awesome SIGN.
  6. The man blind from birth caused to see who would not tow the Pharisee’s harassing LINE. 
  7. Lazarus from the dead, a precursor to Jesus’ resurrection, and yours, and MINE.

4-3:  The Seven Miracles:  Signs for Believing.

Signs are meant to point to something beyond themselves.  The signs we are most familiar with are advertisements; and although often elaborate and impressive they point to a product beyond themselves.  You will find in the reading of John in this chapter and the six more to follow that are centered around the miracle-signs that they point primarily to what Jesus taught and did.  And even the signs have a deeper meaning than to pass out a miracle.  For example you might consider below a deeper meaning to the seven miracle-signs of John.

1.  Water into WINE:  faith in Jesus as co-creator of the processes of nature.

The water into wine was used by Jesus to attract attention.  This was shortly after His 12 disciples started to follow Him, and He wanted them to believe in Him.  And right now, you should be aware that all the leap of faith to believe that Jesus can and did perform miracles you need is to be in the first chapter of John.  In fact the giant leap of faith, is found in the first three verses of the first chapter.

“In the beginning {notice how John started it like the Creation story in Genesis} was the Word {this word of “Word” for Jesus Christ was given to John when he previously wrote the book of Revelation (Revelation 19:13), and it naturally implied that Jesus was a lot more than the God-man when  He coexisted with God the Father before and during the Creation of the universe}, and the Word was with God {get it, Jesus was with God before and during Creation}, and the Word was God.  {Well, this is a giant leap of faith that most of the Christian world believes, that Jesus like the Father and the Holy Spirit is God.  God is three distinct Persons, and they are one in the sense that they are all three God and in that they teach the same, are the same in character and personality, and work the same way.}  All things were made through {one of the largest words in John and in the Bible, that Jesus the pre-existent Christ and Word was the mediator in Creation:  in fact what you will find as one scholar has said is that “God the Father is the originating cause in Creation and in many other ways, God the Son is the mediating cause, and God the Spirit is the effective cause.} …Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  (John 1:1-3 with comments)

Furthermore of Jesus as the Master of the world environment and natural processes, Paul would later write in Colossians “through Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-18)  Hanging right in there with gravity and the laws of gravitational attraction between heavenly bodies and the earth, and photosynthesis, and winds and other weather patterns and climate changes is Jesus holding them all together, and Master over them!  Believe that, it is a matter of logic that the God-man when on earth would naturally exhibit some control over the nature through which He had been the medium of Creation.  It was not possible that the humanity in Jesus could completely dominate the God that was in Him as the Son of God.

But even as scholars have said, “the fundamental postulate of all rational thinking is God” and the Bible says, “the fool has said in his heart {in his “heart” as his head knows better} there is no God, so it just makes sense when there is a complicated design like the way the universe grows, processes, and holds together, a complicated design like the human body, personality, and soul and spirit, a complicated design like a snowflake and an apple and water and the periodic table and the modified Bohr theory of the atom and light which sometimes behaves like waves and sometimes like particles…that is, such complicated design and designs demand a Designer.  If a heathen in the jungle of South America found a Printed Circuit Board fallen from a Satellite in orbit, perhaps from the Satellite shot down by the KW and SM-3 we designed, tested, and developed at Raytheon for the Navy, even such backward people as far as intellectual processes would look for a designer.

  • Healing of the Nobleman’s SON: faith in Jesus, to see,  to work and heal at a distance.

You are going to see time and time again from the reading of the Gospel of John as presented 7 times in 7 chapters and interspersed in this book, that Jesus worked because He saw His Father work, and because that is what His Father instructed Him to do when He came to planet earth.  God the Father has been in the healing business for thousands of years since His Creation of man in the first place; and because God heals as the distance of from heaven to earth, Jesus also heals as the Son of God at a distance.  God loves, Jesus loves; God cares, Jesus cares; God heals, Jesus heals; God works, Jesus works; and God saves, Jesus saves.  {This is the main way They are One as Jesus so aptly presents in John 14.}  In fact, we might easily expand this to say that Jesus was also the mediating cause in Old Testament history when God was originating a healing process just like today Jesus is the mediating cause in prayer–we pray through Jesus to the Father as He is on the right hand of the Father making intercession for our sins–when we pray to

God the Father as Jesus taught us to do in the model prayer.}

  • Jesus’ command to take up his bed and walk  faith in Jesus as superior to all other healers.
  • His feeding of the five thousand:  faith in Jesus to multiply a little to meet the needs of many.
  • Jesus walking on water:  faith in Jesus as Master of Nature and the Universe.
  • Sight to the man born blind, considered a matter of sin:  faith in Jesus for physical and spiritual healing.
  • Lazarus raised from the dead after four days:  faith in Jesus as Life itself and Resurrection. 

4-4:  “Believe” is the Positive Approach to the Negative of “Unbelief”.

Both “believe” and “unbelief”, believers and unbelievers are in the Bible, and we would dare not neglect any portion of the Bible as Word given from God Himself. However, at the same time note that the Gospel of John under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God {yes, the effecting cause in the writing of Scripture also}, chose predominately the positive approach of “believe”.  No other book of the Bible uses the word “believe” like the Apostle John in the Gospel of John, and no other book has its stated objective and purpose as John has in John 20:30,31 recorded in the very body of the book.

While we dare not neglect as also part of the Word from God, all the scriptures on unbelief and unbelievers; it is also true that the positive and opposite scriptures on “believe” and “believers” dare not be neglected.  Even as “ALL SCRIPTURE” is given by inspiration of God and profitable, so also the methods God in His Word advocates for the spreading of all scripture go hand in hand with a faithfulness to the total Bible, such as “doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.”  Many pastors and TV preachers today in their efforts at self-promotion, making disciples to themselves {like Ted Haggard did in the new life church movement and as head of the National Evangelical Association–later adding the sin of lying to cover up his homosexuality and drug sins; and we still have not come around to the possibility that those disciples he made may have enough major problems in the very central spirituality of their conversions in which he assisted them as to fill up a church with empty people that may well be labeled by Jesus and Jeremiah as a “Den of Thieves”–as what we really find in the Evangelical Movement is a continuation of the fundamentalists, moral majority movement of good people without sin, and more an old fashioned gospel of custom and community traditions, a glorification if you would, of the community heritage of Bible Baptists as having all the answers all the time}, and personal gain are even more likely to choose their own methods, or singular method, as they are to neglect major topics and doctrines of the Bible such as the Falling Away and their own members who are using the church or denomination as a “Hideout”.  We just cannot comprehend that a fighting spirit as manifested throughout church history in America by the fundamentalists is the opposite of the spirit of Christ, also of the spirit of grace and graciousness as seen on the part of the Apostle John in the Gospel of John as well as in the little epistles of John.

Actually we can learn about the process and results of “unbelief” by a hard look at the positive and opposite of belief; and when it comes to Scriptures on believe and belief there is little doubt that the single book of the Bible which leads in this category is the book of John.  The Gospel of John leads the 66 books of the Bible on the subject of believe and faith, and many recognize that the very stated purpose of John is to present signs for believing in order that the reader or listener may believe in Jesus as the Christ and as the Son of the Living God, thereby having life from God and life eternal.  Once we see from a preponderance of Scriptures that “believe”, the verb form, and belief are trust and confidence in God and what God says, we can more easily see unbelief as a slap in the face of God that we do not believe Him or the words which He has delivered to man.  Of course as long as we see the Bible as a good book to study and learn about rather than what it is, an over one-thousand-year effort on the part of God, using over 40 different authors during that period, to communicate what He considers most important to man.  {Thus much of the effort today in Bible study and so-called Bible preaching is more “about” the Bible than the message of the Bible itself that God is communicating to man.}  This is independent of a good spiritual Bible survey where it is emphasized that “the Bible is a gradual revelation of God coming to an eternal climax in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ”.  This is true; but more important is the fact that God today, like from the beginning of the Bible with the books from Moses and Job, is trying to talk to us!   Faith in the Bible and faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ go hand in hand.  If you believe in a God of such character that He wants us to know truth and eternal truth, then it makes is much easier to also have faith that He did communicate to the world in the Bible, and that it is His Word; and further that He made Himself fully known in His own Son by what Jesus taught, said, and did.  {By the way this would be considered the prime REPORT of the Bible for unbelievers to be considered in the John Quinn Corner for unbelievers of the website http://www.biblecombibleman.com, and of the reports in the book with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.  Remember that in the spirit of Carroll and Scarborough of “With Christ After the Lost”, we would emphasize “With the Holy Spirit and with Reports for Churched and Unchurched Unbelievers, remembering that deeply into the Falling Away there may be more unbelievers–the tares in the kingdom and the churches–in the churches than in the world especially as men with itching ears teachings like Warren and Joel Osteen make it so popular to be a church member, the surfers on the rising tide of the mystery of lawlessness that we must discuss later.}

4-5:  A Bible Definition of God’s People.

You will notice that both Paul and John quote on “Reports” from Isaiah 53:1, and in the larger context of both John and Romans 10:16 there are efforts on the part of the Word of God to define exactly who are and who are not God’s people. Well, it is certainly much better to use the Word of God, and the consistency of the Word of God, to define the elect of God rather than such methods today as:  (1) a rewrite of history to give Roman Catholic leaders an authority that the Ascended Christ never left them (Ephesians 4:7-12), nor did Jesus state or imply when He described the rock upon which He would build “My Church”  (Matthew 16:18); (2) a special revelation of generation of 4 new Bibles, unique to LDS, and completely different from the Christian Bible to give them a similar authority to control the entrance to salvation and excommunication from THE CHURCH (?); (3) special revelations among the charismatics, as if the Word of God came out of them or to them only (I Corinthians 14:58) that can easily identify the elect as the speakers in unknown tongues and the excited in worship; and (4) the hard to justify, but none the less real, exclusiveness of the fundamentalists that took control of the SBC whereby salvation can be determined by whether the believer accepts the Scofield Notes on eschatology.  Not to short circuit such “prejudice” and “partiality” among those claiming to be Christians, we would take the clear word of God on Reports and then build around these the conclusions of the last chapter of “Called God’s People versus Chosen God’s People.”  It would be agreed that today as in the wilderness many called by God Himself “My people” never made it to heaven, also in the parable of the wedding feast from Jesus many were invited to the wedding feast just in order to fill the churches, but later when it was discovered at the Separation after the Gathering and Second Coming that they did not have the proper wedding garments.

As usual you are welcome to free download from SunGrist this message from the Gospel of John on the fist miracle-sign, The Turning of Water into Wine at the Wedding Feats of Cana, http://sungrist.org/Believing4_FirstMiracle.pdf

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