Psalm 41 • Deuteronomy 8:11-18 • Hebrews 2:11-18 • John 2:1-12
The Gospel reading from John 2:1-12 today is the story of a wedding miracle, mediated by a mother’s trust and a son’s response.
In John’s telling, Jesus finds himself at this wedding during several busy days at the beginning of his ministry. A few days earlier John the Baptist has testified that Jesus is the Lamb of God, and the next day when John repeats this assertion two of John’s own disciples begin to follow Jesus; one of them, Andrew, brings his brother Simon Peter along. The day after that Jesus invites Philip and Nathanael to follow him too.
Now Jesus finds himself and these first disciples at a wedding in Cana, a town not far from Jesus’ home in Nazareth. His mother is also there, and she notices something amiss—the wine is running out. She tells her son. Jesus’ reply sounds somewhat testy. “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” One can sympathize with Jesus. Things have been moving awfully fast recently. He may want some time to regroup.
But Mary knows her son, and Jesus does not disappoint. His response is crazily generous—six stone jars, “each holding 20 to 30 gallons” of water, are changed to wine. That’s 120 to 180 gallons of wine! And it’s great wine too, as attested by the steward who, not knowing where this wine came, from tells the bridegroom “you have saved the best wine until now.” Jesus’ disciples were impressed, and they “believed in him.”
After this, John tells us, Jesus “went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.” I like to think they took some extra wine with them.
— Karen Mawyer