Study 1 TURNING THE WATER INTO WINE
OUR LORD’S MIRACLES
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: John 2:1-11)
Thirty-five of the miracles performed by our Lord during His public ministry have been recorded for us in the four Gospels, and in John 20:30-31 we are told why He performed these miracles and why the Holy Spirit has caused them to be incorporated into the four Gospels. The miracles were and are revelations of the Lord Himself; they show forth who He is and how He works. This is particularly emphasised in John 2:11, which is the key-verse of this and His first miracle.
John tells us that in this miracle at Cana in Galilee our Lord Jesus Christ “revealed his glory” (John 2:11). As we study this miracle we shall, therefore, see something of His glory. Notice:
- 1. The glory of Christ did not begin at Cana in the doing of this miracle. John is very careful to state that this was only the revelation of the glory that was already His, and which He had with the Father before the foundation of the world – look up John 1:14 and 17:5.
- 2. The glory which our Lord revealed at Cana has been given to those who have been redeemed by His precious blood and who belong to Him. John 17:22 tells us this, and how wonderful it is that as we are united by faith to Him we receive the gift of His glory.
- 3. His glory must be revealed in our lives just as it was in His life. In the same way that His glory shone forth from His human body at Cana, so His glory is to be shown forth from our human bodies day by day, because the glory that was revealed in Him He has given to us that it might be revealed in us and through us.
How, then, is our Lord’s glory seen in this miracle?
1. First, we see the glory of HIS AMAZING CONDESCENSION.
Where did our Lord perform His first miracle? At a wedding feast in Cana, a small village a few miles from Nazareth, a good distance from any important city or town. He did not perform His first miracle in Jerusalem before a company of important people, for He did not seek honour from men – John 5:41. How wonderful that the eternal Son of God should manifest such condescension and such lowliness! Do we share this aspect of our Lord’s glory? – Look up Matthew 5:5; 11:29; 20:28.
2. Second, we see the glory of HIS PERFECT MANHOOD.
Look at verse 2. Jesus was invited to the wedding, and He accepted the invitation. Does this not reveal something of our Lord’s social nature? He was no recluse, no hermit, no ascetic. He came to increase our joys, not to diminish them. Let us be careful that we do not fill our conception of the Christian life with negations, and always speak of a Christian as one who does not do this or that. This places the emphasis in entirely the wrong place. As Christians we have a social contribution to make, and our Lord, by His presence, prayers and conversation, made a tremendous contribution to that wedding. You and I may do the same by our presence in many spheres of life.
3. Third, we see the glory of our Lord’s complete DEPENDENCE UPON THE FATHER.
Look at verse 4 – “My time has not yet come.” What did this mean? He was referring to the fact that throughout His earthly ministry He was working to a divine plan which would culminate with His death upon the cross. This shows us, therefore, that our Lord as man was wholly dependent upon the Father for all that He said and did. As the Son of Man, He never acted independently – compare John 6:38. In contrast, how often do we act independently, going our own way and making our own decisions? Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an independent Christian, for every Christian, all the time, should be utterly dependent upon our Heavenly Father for grace, wisdom, guidance and everything needed to live a God-glorifying life.
4. Fourth, we see the glory of THE INFALLIBILITY OF HIS JUDGMENT.
See what a stupendous claim Mary made in verse 5: “Do whatever…”, as if to say, “Don’t question anything He says, for it will be right if He says it!” As the perfect God-man, our Lord Jesus Christ never erred in the slightest way – look up John 5:30. But can we share this aspect of our Lord’s glory? Yes, if we are willing to meet the conditions. If we rely upon our own so-called wisdom we shall fail miserably; but look up James 1:5. Our judgment may be infallible every time if it is not ours but God’s, and if we are always ready to say, “I can do nothing of myself.”
5. Fifth, we see the glory of OUR LORD’S SYMPATHY.
Verse 3 tells us that the wine ran out, and the following verses describe the way in which our Lord relieved the situation. But is He sympathetic with what we might call the little worries and perplexities of life? We know He is full of sympathy with us in our times of sorrow, bereavement and sickness – Hebrews 4:15, but does His sympathy extend to the kitchen, the domestic sphere and the multitudinous little things of every day? – for it is these little things that often get us down. Yes, He is sympathetic with us in all the experiences through which we have to pass, whether they have to do with the home, the business, our work or our pleasures, with our own life or the lives of our loved ones and friends. When someone can say of us, “Your presence has helped and encouraged me”, then we can thank God that we are sharing something of His glory.
6. Sixth, we see the glory of HIS REVEALED POWER.
Look at verses 7 and 8. Milton said, “The conscious water saw its Lord and blushed.” How simple the miracle was to Him! He spoke and it was done. His power is still the same. He is still turning water into wine, putting colour, purpose and value into lives. He is still transforming sinners into saints. But can we share this aspect of our Lord’s glory? Yes, we can! Look up John 14:12, and compare the greater things that were accomplished on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:22-41) – and since!
7. Seventh, we see the glory of FRUITFUL SERVICE.
The result of our Lord’s glory being shown forth is indicated in verse 11 His disciples put their faith in him. Why does our Lord give us His glory? It is in order that others, through seeing the Lord in us, may believe in Him.