St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

The Message of Christ’s First Miracle

Sermon on John 2:1-11

Text: On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 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 10 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.”
11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Parents keep track of their children’s firsts. They will usually have recorded when they got their first tooth. They know the first word that was spoken by their child. They keep track of first steps, first solid food, the first time that they slept through the night. Parents keep track of these things because they are milestones along the child’s path to maturity. They marked times when their world would change, the beginning of something new. This morning, we have a parent present as her son performs a first. In this case, the mother was Mary, the Son was Jesus, and the first was the first miracle that he performed. This morning, we are going to look at his first miracle and see what we can learn from it. THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST’S FIRST MIRACLE. 1. He Is All-Powerful. 2. He Is Merciful. 3. He Is Deserving Of Our Trust.

Mary, Jesus and his disciples were all invited to a wedding in Cana. During the feast accompanying the wedding, a most embarrassing situation arose for the bride and groom. They ran out of wine. Mary may have been helping with the serving or a close friend. At any rate, she became aware of the situation and wanted to help the couple out. So she, in faith, came to Jesus and told him, “They have no more wine.” Implicit in this statement is a request for Jesus to do something about it. She, knowing he was the Son of God, believed that he could help the couple out of their situation.

Instead, we hear Jesus’ reply, “Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” Jesus rebuked Mary, not for coming to him, but for telling him what to do. Mary needed to realize that their relationship had changed. Before, when Jesus was a boy, he ran Mary’s errands and did her bidding. He was obedient to her, as a son should be. Now, however, Jesus was no longer a boy who would be told to do this or that. He had begun his public ministry. Mary needed to remember to not look at Jesus only as her Son, but as her Savior, who had come into the world.

Perhaps Mary felt that this would be a good time for Jesus to show his power as the Son of God. He had been baptized by John. He had begun to gather his disciples. He was just starting his public preaching and teaching. Surely a miracle would help to further the cause. So, she suggested that this would be a good time. Rather, Jesus tells her, “My time has not yet come.” Jesus, in his infinite wisdom, would do what he saw best and when he thought it would be best. Notice that Jesus did not say “No.” He said, “Not yet.”

Mary caught that phrase and she continued to believe that Jesus would help. We see this from her instructions to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” She believed that Jesus would help the bride and the groom. Some time later, Jesus gave some instructions to the servants. There were six water pots standing there. According to Jewish custom, each pot would hold from 18 to 27 gallons. Jesus told the servants to fill the pots with water. They did so. We are told that they filled them “to the brim.”

After they had done so, Jesus told them to take some of it and bring it to the master of the banquet. The master of the banquet was in charge of the tables and the foods that would be served on them. While the servants carried the water to him, the water became wine. When the master of the banquet tasted it, he called for the groom. He 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.” A better translation of “too much to drink” is “have drank freely.” The master said that the custom was to bring out the choice wine first and, after the taste buds have become dulled, then the inferior wine. However, the wine that was served now was far better than anything that had been served to this point. Jesus created wine from the water held in those pots. This is the first miracle that Jesus performed while he was on this earth.

What can we learn from this account? We can learn a number of things. The first of which is that Jesus is all-powerful. So often when people picture Jesus, they only think of him as the humble carpenter from Nazareth. He walked around Palestine, speaking of peace and loving one another. While this is true, it is only one side of Jesus.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that Jesus is also the Son of God. He is all-powerful. There is nothing that he cannot do. The Son of God was involved in creating everything that we see today. He showed his power by changing water into wine. No one but God can do that. There is no reasonable explanation of how water can change into wine. We know that they are two separate things. Yet, Jesus showed his almighty power and changed the one into the other.

This is very comforting for us when we face situations in our lives that are less than pleasant. We may share our concerns with a friend. Yet, most often all a friend can do is sympathize with us. Very rarely can they change the situation.

However, we can come to Jesus and lay all of our problems, worries and cares at his feet, confident of the fact that Jesus can help us. There is nothing that is impossible for Jesus to do. So we come to him, confident that he can help us. We know that, if it is his will, it will be done, even if it looks impossible from a human perspective. Jesus uses his almighty power to help his brothers and sisters. Even the fact that the sun shines and the rain falls and the plants grow is all due to God’s power. All serve to give us what we need. As we study this miracle, we are reminded that Jesus is all-powerful.

We also are reminded that Jesus is merciful. All it took for Jesus to do this miracle was the potential embarrassment of his hosts. Jesus showed his love for them by providing for their needs.

Jesus has also been merciful to us by providing what we needed. The situation that we were in was far worse than running out of wine and being embarrassed about it. The situation that we faced was an eternity of separation from God’s love. We, along with the rest of the world, were condemned to hell because of our sins. Sins like a lack of trust in God to take care of us or a lack of thanking God, as well as a host of others, are enough for God to condemn us. We were powerless to change this situation.

However, Jesus showed his love for us by becoming our Substitute. He followed his Father’s will by always trusting that his Father would provide for all of his needs. He did not worry about things. So often, we read that Jesus thanked his Father. Then, he took all of our sins upon himself and suffered the agonies of hell for us. He gave up his life so that our sins would be paid for. As proof of the fact that our sins were paid for, Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus did all of this so that we might spend our eternity with him. He sacrificed himself for us. Jesus did so, purely out of his love and mercy for us. He saw our need and came to fulfill it.

Since he loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice himself for us, surely he will continue to show his love for us by providing all that we need for this life. Jesus comforts us with words, such as we find in Matthew 6:25, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” In verse 33, he adds, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Jesus promises that all of our earthly needs will be taken care of, and it will always be in a manner that is best for us. We know that Jesus loves us. He loved us so much that he was willing to die for us. He loves us so much that he is willing to provide for us. Jesus’ miracle at Cana teaches us that he is merciful to us, as well.

We also learn from this account that Jesus is deserving of our trust. After the miracle was performed, we are told in verse 11, “his disciples put their faith in him.” This is not to say that they did not believe in Jesus before this. They had expressed their faith in him earlier. Rather, the miracle that Jesus performed deepened their trust in him. It reaffirmed and strengthened their faith. Because they had seen it, they believed all the more that Jesus was the Savior sent from heaven.

So also may this miracle, and all of the other ones that are recorded for us, deepen our trust in Jesus. Again and again, we read of the miracles of God in the Old and New Testaments. We read of food being provided, storms stilled and people rising from the dead. Only God is able to do such things. He showed his love to his people every single time that a miracle was performed. Surely, as we read the pages of the Scriptures, we see how God cares for his people. As John writes in his Gospel (20:31), “these [miracles] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” The miracles of Jesus deepen our trust in God.

We also see miracles in our everyday lives, as well. The fact that our hearts beat and our lungs breathe is a miracle. A baby that is born is a miracle, creating life where there was none before. He makes plants spring from seemingly lifeless seeds. There are miracles all around us. It is also a miracle in the way that God provides for us. The fact that we are able to work to earn a living is a miracle from God. God provides for all of our needs. It may not always be in the form or fashion that we would prefer. Yet, as King David wrote, “I was young and now am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” God provides for all of our needs. Let us continue to trust in him to provide for us in the future as he has in the past. In addition, may we not become discouraged when it appears that no help is forthcoming. God may be saying, as Jesus did to Mary, “My time is not yet come.” Let us continue to present all of our requests to God, fully trusting that whatever is best for us will be done. Jesus’ first miracle reminds us to trust in him for help.

There used to be a TV Bible Ministry program that began every program with the words, “Expect a miracle.” They would go on to show people throwing away their crutches and walking. This morning, I tell you the same thing. Expect a miracle. While it may not be as spectacular as someone walking without crutches, God shows miracles every day. Look for God’s little miracles. Praise him for his miracles. Don’t be afraid to present your requests to God. After all, nothing is impossible for our God. He has shown his love for us. Continue to trust in him for help. The message of Jesus’ first miracle is the message of every miracle. God loves us. Amen.