I was privileged to conduct my first American wedding on Friday. It was an extra special honor for me because I was marrying a young American soldier friend who has been serving overseas, most recently in Afghanistan. It was such a joy to see him and his beautiful bride together, especially after the many anxious months of waiting and praying, waiting and praying. After explaining God’s institution of marriage, and God’s instructions for marriage, I gave a wedding address based on John 2:1-11.

The first country a newly-inaugurated President chooses to visit is always a significant statement regarding the character and priorities of his presidency.  One of the first things Jesus did after God inaugurated him to the ministry at His baptism, was to go to a wedding in Cana. What does that decision tell us about His character and priorities?

1. Jesus is interested in everyday life

Jesus was not an ascetic monk who lived in reclusive isolation. Rather he took part in the everyday aspects of life. By going to a wedding He was saying, “I’m interested in ordinary people and ordinary life. I’m concerned about every area and arena of human experience. I want to be involved in your whole life.”

2. Jesus honors marriage
By going to a wedding so early in His ministry, and by performing His first miracle there, Jesus was expressing His esteem for marriage. He was honoring its institution and instructions. And he did this because He knew how marriage would come to be so dishonored and threatened. He knew what a key role marriage and families would have in preserving and building His church. And he knew that it would serve as such a beautiful symbol of His relationship with His people.

3. Jesus demands respect
When Mary suggested that Jesus provide wine for the wedding party, He took the opportunity to gently remind her that though He was her son, that relationship was now going to change. She must not think of him so much as her son but as Her Lord. As such, it was no longer her place to give Him instructions about what to do and when. Jesus asserts His Lordship over all His creatures and over all their lives.

4. Jesus performs miracles
Jesus was not a show-off or an exhibitionist. He did not perform miracles like a magician performs tricks. He always performed miracles in response to clear and specific needs. This water-into-wine miracle was no different. His miracles encourage the needy to come to Him with their needs. He who can turn water into wine, can turn our mourning into rejoicing, our darkness into light, our pain into comfort, our death into life. The result of this miracle was that some believed on Him. All had more wine, but some had more faith.

5. Jesus creates joy

Wine was an emblem of joy in the Old Testament (Jdg. 9:13; Ps. 104:15). Here the wine had run out and all that was left were the six 30-gallon containers of purification water. That was a sermon in itself. The Jewish religion had no wine, no joy, no gladness. All they had was water that could wash the body. When Jesus turned that water into 180 gallons of wine, it was another way of saying “I’ve come that you might have joy, abundant, overflowing joy.” Or to put it another way, Jesus is God’s best wine.

6. Jesus predicts the future
This scene of joyful celebration was not just a picture of Christ’s relationship with His people on earth, but also of their eternal enjoyment of him (Luke 22:18; Rev. 19:6-9). For the believer, heaven is like having your wedding day over and over and over again – without the stress!

  • Philip Greendyk

    Great message, thanks! Especially for me as I prepare for my own wedding. Hope all is well.