1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Chapter 2 begins a series of sign miracles to prove that Jesus is God Almighty. In the first sign miracle, Jesus turned water into wine (Jn 2:1-10). He called this miracle a “sign” in verse 11. This is the first of 35 miracles in the gospel of John.
The first five verses of chapter 2 set the backdrop for the miracle of turning water into wine. This miracle is unique to John and is not found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.
Chapters 2 through 12 give eight sign miracles performed by Jesus to prove He is the God-man. All of Jesus’ signs occurred in His public ministry to the Jews. The signs, however, hardened their hearts toward Jesus.
On the third day
The “third day” was three days after Jesus’ meeting with Philip and Nathanael (1:43-51). It was the fifth day since the delegation had come down from Jerusalem to challenge John the Baptist. If we allow two days for travel, this would be almost a week after the delegation confronted the Baptizer.
there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee,
Cana was a village in central Galilee nine miles north of Nazareth. Cana was Nathanael’s home (Jn 21:2). A wedding was a community occasion in Jesus’ day. Weddings normally lasted seven days. A feast followed the groom’s taking of his bride to his home and took place before the consummation of the marriage.
and the mother of Jesus was there.
John the author never used His mother’s name, Mary. There are only two references to Jesus’ mother in John (19:25f). John 6:42 also alludes to her.
Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.
The wedding couple may have been relatives of Jesus’ family. The disciples were also invited to the wedding.
Jesus was no recluse like John the Baptist. He went to a wedding feast. He accepted a number of invitations to social events (Lu 15:1-2). God instituted the marriage relationship. Jesus put His approval on the institution of marriage by attending the wedding.
And when they ran out of wine,
“Wine” was not grape juice. Drinking water was mostly impure. Fermented wine was essential for the intake of liquid in biblical times because of the lack of pure water during those days. Wine was the staple drink in Israel.
There was no means of refrigeration in the time of Christ, so people could not have kept wine from fermenting. They used fermented wine to keep their drink fresh.
the mother of Jesus said to Him,
Mary was a widow by this point, so she leaned on her firstborn son for resourcefulness. It is not likely that Mary knew that Jesus was going to perform a miracle. She had never seen a miracle by Jesus before this point. She may have thought He could solve the problem as a matter of human logistics.
“They have no wine.”
“Wine” was a prominent part of wedding feasts. Jesus’ mother indicated to Jesus that the feast had run out of wine. Hospitality in the Middle East was a high value. It was a disgrace for the host and the wedding couple to run out of wine. Hospitality had a much greater value than it has in the West today.
Asceticism is not a biblical value.
Jesus was not an ascetic. Asceticism has no biblical support. Religion often presents the idea that if one does enough sacrifice for God, then God will be impressed. This amounts to gaining God’s approbation by merit. Christianity is the very opposite of that. God does the providing and man the receiving. Jesus enjoyed Himself at the wedding. He did not try to disassociate Himself from a party.