Following Jesus – Studying John 2 – Water to Wine – Is Jesus Working Miracles While I’m Helping Out In The Kitchen?

The hibiscus flowers are blooming now.

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:”

John 2:1

This is the story of Jesus’s first recorded miracle, turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana. In my imagination, I see his mom coming to him in a panic on behalf of her friend and telling him that her friend has run out of wine to feed the wedding guests, and then Jesus telling her to be at peace and asking her what she’d like him to do. He’s not too busy to help her, because his mission has not started in earnest yet. (No, this is not the KJV. This is my interpretation with some help from the Joseph Smith interpretation.)

Then his mother says to the servants, “whatsoever he tells you to do, DO IT.”

I. LOVE. THIS. Jesus has recently been baptized where God said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” I think it means a lot when a dad tells his child that he’s pleased with the things he’s done and the kind of person he’s become. Now here we have Jesus’s mother expressing her confidence that Jesus is who the angel told her he was, that he IS a God of miracles, and that she believes, not only that he was born to do a great thing, but that he is capable of doing it. Yes, I get all of this from that little sentence – whatever he tells you to do, do it.

Then the (probably confused, but curious) servants give the most complete obedience that they can, filling each of those 20-30 gallon-sized (about 114 liters) water containers to the brim with water. Can you imagine how much work that must have taken on their part? There were SIX of them, and maybe some already had some water in them, but with all the wedding guests, a lot would have been used for washing the feet of the guests when they arrived. But these servants ran back and forth to the well carrying enough water to make sure all six pots were full to the brim. I’m sure they understood the urgency of the situation. The wine was already gone and whatever Jesus was going to do about it clearly wasn’t going to happen until they accomplished what he had told them to do.

Then, in the blink of reading from one verse to the next, the water turns into wine. There’s no fanfare. No fireworks. No heavenly host singing Gloria. Just Jesus telling the servants to ladle out into their pitchers what the containers now hold. Was it still water when it went into the pitchers? I don’t know at what point it first turned into wine, but they didn’t run out again. And it was the best wine, not the budget stuff.

“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believed on him.”

John 1:11

I would argue with John that overloading two boats with fish was the first miracle, but I’m nit-picky that way sometimes. Even so, this was the first miracle that was more public.

Begin in the way you mean to continue on. The thing that I love about this water-to-wine miracle is that Jesus begins in the same way that he continues on with his life mission. He takes ordinary things, and ordinary people, and he allows them to become something more than ordinary. Ordinary stone pots become vessels for the best wine. Ordinary kitchen servants, become cohorts with Jesus in this beautiful miracle. Ordinary fishermen, and tax collectors, and women become extraordinary witnesses testifying across generations of time of the divine mission of Jesus Christ.

It gives me hope that – as I work at this mission we’ve been called to, which doesn’t feel particularly missionary-ish, at my ordinary tasks in an ordinary office, with a temperamental printer, and a sometimes recalcitrant computer – I will also be able to make a difference that matters over time in the ongoing work of bringing people into a closer relationship with Jesus.

Maybe Jesus is working water-to-wine miracles out there that I can’t see from where I am here in the kitchen (office).


  1. Yes, I suspect you are already making a difference. What I love about this story is that the “Master of the banquet” (the big shot) didn’t know where the wine had come from, but the servants (the ones who had obeyed Jesus) knew. It encourages me that, whatever our station, if we are obedient, we could well be privy to some of God’s secrets, even ones the “important” people are oblivious to. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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