What Can We Learn From Jesus Turning Water Into Wine?
“We can learn that you shouldn’t rush Jesus, but put your faith in him,” says Taylor, 11. Also, we can learn that sometimes a good deed goes unnoticed, and that’s OK.”
In the ancient Middle East, wedding celebrations could last for days. To run out of wine would be an embarrassment that might last a lifetime for a bride and groom. The miracle at the wedding feast was the first sign that Jesus performed (John 2:1-11).
When Jesus’ mother told him they had run out of wine, he said his hour had not yet come. One easy way to discover what Jesus was thinking is to see how the word “hour” is used later in the Gospel of John.
On the night before his trial and crucifixion, Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your son, that your son also may glorify you” (John 17:1).
Jesus had a sense of mission and a timetable. He knew that he was destined to die on the cross for all our sins. God would glorify him by raising him from the dead as victor over death. Jesus carefully unfolded his ministry so that he had time to train disciples to carry on his mission of preaching the good news to the entire world.
No one except Jesus’ mother, disciples and the servants who filled the stone pots with water knew the origin of the wine. The master of the feast who tasted the wine asked the groom why he didn’t serve the best wine first.
The result of the miracle: “His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11b).
There were times in Jesus’ ministry when he performed spectacular miracles in the open for everyone to see. In the last days of his ministry, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in a town close to Jerusalem (John 11). It’s as though he dared the religious authorities to arrest him. The wedding feast at the beginning of his ministry was not the time to call attention to himself in front of a large crowd.
Some people have accused Jesus of being disrespectful by calling his mother “woman” instead of “mother.” Again, a simple word search on “woman” proves this argument false. When Jesus hung on the cross, he looked down and saw his mother standing with the Apostle John. He said, “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26). In the next breath, he said to John, “Behold your mother.”
From that day forward, John took Mary into his house and cared for her. How could Jesus not respect his mother when he showed compassion by making provision for her?
Some things don’t translate well from one language to another. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day, calling your mother “woman” was not a sign of disrespect.
“The wine was delicious because Jesus made it,” says Anjali, 8.
Some people equate spirituality with being a recluse and living off birdseed. The fact that Jesus accepted the wedding party invitation and turned the water into wine proves otherwise. Some people with a tendency toward asceticism have tried to make the case that this was grape juice. It doesn’t work. The original Greek text of the New Testament uses the word for wine. This text shouldn’t give anyone an excuse for getting smashed either.
Think about this: Like a laser, Jesus focused on his mission of offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Memorize this truth: “My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4b). Ask this question: Do you think about a mission God has given you?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see Carey's Kid TV Interviews and more, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Watch for free the adventures of an 11-year-old girl traveling around the world, visiting missionaries in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Bible pictures drawn by kids that illustrate Scripture verses. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this column are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2009 Carey Kinsolving