Lessons from a Small-town Wedding

The gospel of John tells the story of Jesus’ first public miracle, when He changed water into wine at a wedding in the village of Cana. (John 2:1-11) It wasn’t even very public at that; He didn’t reveal His power at the Temple in Jerusalem, or in the halls of Roman government in Caesarea, but in a small town in the hills of Galilee. Even in that limited circle, it was only noticed by a few – His mother, Mary, who came to Him when the feast ran out of wine; His disciples, who saw the miracle “and believed in Him“; and the servants involved with the waterpots. Even the wedding director and the bridegroom were clueless.

The whole story is just eleven verses long. Even in such a short narrative, there are several significant – and encouraging – lessons you can take away. The first and most obvious, of course, is that Jesus demonstrated His authority over the created world, completely changing the nature of a liquid without so much as lifting a finger or raising His voice. It’s a great example of the incredible power of the Son of God. There is nothing in the created universe too great for His command!

[It’s also interesting that when Jesus made water into wine, it wasn’t just acceptably decent wine – it was outstanding in quality (John 2:9-10). His works are better than ours!]

But there are other thoughts which come to mind. For one thing, Jesus showed His approval of marriage. It is, after all, a creation ordinance, something which God established before the fall of man. When God created marriage, there was no sin in the world, and neither nation nor denomination – it is a blessing for all people (Genesis 2:18-24).  Lifelong singleness is not a spiritual ideal, but a special calling (Matthew 19:11). Jesus not only attended the wedding, He blessed the celebration of it!

Jesus also showed that He is concerned with the issues that concern us – even small issues. Running short on refreshments at the wedding was an embarrassment, not an emergency, yet Jesus reached into the situation and removed the trouble, without a flourish or announcement. He glorified Himself in the process! (John 2:11) We don’t to be shy about praying over a lost kitten, mislaid car keys, or a simple hope for a closer parking space in the rain. We can pray about cancer, or about the common cold. Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:8, emphasis added)

Finally, we can see that Jesus is present in our joys as well as our trials. When He promises “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” we naturally remember He is “a very present help in trouble.” (Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 46:1) But we should also remember that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,” (James 1:17), and when He says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” that means in joys as well as sorrows (Matthew 28:30). Jesus did not make a public show at the wedding, but He was present and an important guest, even when unrecognized – just as He is present in all our lives as believers, when we remember and when we don’t!

Hal recently taught through this passage at our church. Click here to listen!