I always thought the wedding at Cana to be a weird transition in John’s gospel. John starts out with all this heavy theology and then describes a wedding where Jesus turned water into wine. It’s Jesus’ first miracle. He took some water and made 150 gallons of wine (approximately 1000 bottles of the expensive stuff). In the Old Testament, wine is associated with joy. The prophet Joel said, that when the future messianic kingdom, when the Kingdom of God begins on earth, “the vats will overflow with new wine.” (Joel 2:24, 3:18)

wineoverflowsThe wine overflowing at the wedding in Cana symbolized (new covenant) the Kingdom of God on earth had begun. Now that’s more like John’s heavy theology.

The Kingdom of God is God coming to earth in flesh to “take away the sin of the world”(John 1:29) and to create a new society through the power of his Spirit that would live on earth as he intended in the beginning. Wholeness and fullness in every dimension of life. Fully Flourishing.

The vats started to overflow.

Picture the scene. Jesus in the back doing a miracle, but where are the people? Dancing. Drinking. Talking. Living normal. They are clueless as to what just happened. They missed it.

And I think we do, too.

Is it possible Jesus is doing something behind the scenes to bring the kingdom of God fully flourishing into your life, family, home, work place – and you’re missing it?

But there’s more – at a wedding the Bridegroom provides the wine. One chapter later John will tell us that Jesus is the Bridegroom. We call the Church, those who say yes to Jesus, the Bride of Christ. (A new covenant of marriage is initiated at the wedding of Cana – between Jesus and those who believe.)

When Jesus turned water into wine he initiated a new covenant – a marriage between him and his people. Do you think most of the people at the wedding got it? What were they doing? Dancing. Drinking. Talking. veronese_cana_musiciansNow the disciples got it, they said “Whoa, this guy is divine.” However, they didn’t completely get it because later when they were in a boat in a storm and Jesus woke and calmed the wind, they said, “Whoa. Who is this guy?”
They got some of it, but they missed some, too.

And I wonder if we do, too?

Now think back to what marriage meant to the original audience. A woman had to be married. That was her only means of survival. Unmarried women were left to a life of destitution or prostitution. Unmarried meant vulnerable, defenseless, hopeless, futureless. Is it possible the first miracle is a sign that something new awaits those in the “-less” state? Consider where you need to see water turned into wine.

wineWhat does Jesus want us to know about him, both the intellectual assent to all that he is and the relational closeness of a kiss on the cheek?

What is he nudging you to entrust to him?