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. –John 2:1-11
Have you ever heard the expression, “First impressions are everything?” It means that when you meet someone for the first time, what you say and do tells them a lot about who you really are. That’s why your parents are always saying how it’s important to try to give a good first impression.
Jesus’ very first miracle is our “first impression” of him. He could have chosen to do any sort of miracle, but he picked this one to show us what he’s like, almost like he’s saying, “Hi, my name is Jesus, and this is what I’m like.”
So if you were Jesus, what miracle would you choose as your “first impression?” How would you reveal to everyone what you’re like? Would you raise somebody from the dead, or calm a storm, or do something even more spectacular, that would make everyone say, “Wow!”? Or maybe you could heal a sick person, or help someone who is hurting, so everyone would know how much you cared.
Jesus did all those miracles and many more, but they weren’t what he chose to do first. In fact, the very first miracle he chose to do was something very surprising: he took a lame party and made it awesome.
Yep, that’s what his first miracle was: taking a lame party and making it awesome. He was at a wedding (which, as you know, are parties all about love and joy and dancing!), and the wine ran out. Back in Jesus’ day, the wine was a really important part of the party; it was the only thing they had to drink, and the whole party would be ruined if they ran out.
So what did Jesus do? He had the servants fill up some water jars, and suddenly, almost before anyone noticed, the water had turned to wine. And not just any wine; it had turned into the best, most expensive and delicious wine anyone had ever tasted.
The people at the party were blown away by how good this wine was. They had never tasted anything so good. “Where did this wine come from?” everyone kept asking. But the only people who had seen what really happened were the servants who had filled up the jars of water, and Jesus’ disciples who were with him.
That’s how Jesus chose to reveal himself to his disciples. Of all the things he could have done, that’s what he chose as his first impression: taking a lame party and making it awesome. So why water into wine? Why this miracle?
Each one of Jesus’ miracles tells us something about him. That’s why Jesus did all of his miracles: so that we would understand what he’s like, how great and wonderful he is. That’s the point of this first miracle too; Jesus made this lame party awesome because he wants us to know something really important about what kind of King he is, and what kind of Kingdom he was bringing. He wants us to know that he is a King of joy and gladness, and his kingdom is a celebration. Jesus was coming into a world full of sadness and hurt and death and sin, and he was bringing hope and joy and life and healing and forgiveness. The kingdom of God is a party, a victory celebration over sin and death and darkness, and Jesus is the life of that party.
That’s the kind of King Jesus is, and the kind of kingdom he was bringing. That’s what his first miracle tells us, and that’s what every other miracle was about, too. Everywhere Jesus went, that kingdom started coming, and the party started expanding. Sick people got better. Sinful people found mercy. Broken, hopeless people found joy and purpose. Funerals were turned into celebrations when dead people came back to life. And the party just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Welcome to God’s kingdom. Isn’t Jesus a great king?