Today’s passage: John 2:1-11
If you were setting out to point someone to the fact that Jesus is God our Rescuer, where would you start? I suspect many of us would want to tell some of the epic stories of what Jesus did. We might mention the calming of a storm. Or we might point to the feeding of the 5000 – and then of the 4000. Or we might talk about the different people that Jesus healed, the demons He cast out, or the dead people that He brought back to life. Stories like those are impressive; they amaze us, and speak to a power that is beyond us.
But the first incident of Jesus’ public ministry life that John tells us about seems, at first glance, less interesting. John tells us about Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding that had run dry. Some people might think turning water into ~450-680litres of wine is pretty epic. And I guess it is. But this wasn’t a public spectacle. Apart from Mary, the servants, and Jesus’ disciples, nobody even knew what had happened. It’s a miracle happening in the background of the party.
And yet John wants us to see this as a signpost to who Jesus is. Jesus revealed His glory, and it inspired His disciples to put their trust in Him.
The first 12 chapters of John’s gospel are all about signposts like this one. The signs John has collected in these chapters are meant to inspire us to do what the
disciples did: to put our trust in Jesus. We are meant to see that Jesus is God with us; that He is God’s King – the Sovereign over all that is. We are meant to be confronted with the glory of God in the person of Jesus.
Chapters 13-21 then tell us about the confrontation of this world with Jesus the King – and of His ultimate victory. They highlight the final sign: Jesus’ death and resurrection. Already here in chapter 2, John hints at this future – and beyond it.
But what is it in this incident that reveals Jesus’ glory? How does this story enable us to describe the glory of Jesus? That is, what sort of a person is He? How does this story back up John’s assertion that Jesus is God with us?
Why, in short, does John think that this is the best place to start introducing us to the person of who Jesus is? And what difference will this story make to our relationship with Him?