It is always very exciting when you get one of those beautiful cream colored invitations in the mail which announce a wedding is going to occur and that you are invited. You immediately begin to think about what you might wear (black tie or informal?), what the venue might be like (oh, they rented that cheap place?), and what the food will be like (hopefully it's not catered roast beef). In the time of Jesus, weddings were no different in that they were just as joyful an event as they are today. But back in those days weddings were not just a one day affair. They were enormous parties that could last for days, even a week or more. Of course, all of the guests would need places to stay, food, and plenty of wine to keep them happy and partying.
The wedding feast at Cana had been underway for a while, and the guests had been eating and drinking to their heart's content. So much so that the wine jars were getting very low. Mary, Jesus' mother, noticed the problem and felt her stomach drop. How embarrassing it would be for the host to have to announce to the guests that the party was over early because they had run out of wine! It would make him look like a pauper or a cheapskate! Mary desperately scanned the room and, seeing Jesus standing by the bread table, quickly formulated a plan. She called her son over in a frantic sounding hiss. “Jesus, honey, we have a problem...”, she said, motioning to the empty wine jars. Even as they stood there evaluating the situation, a guest staggered over, looked into one of the jars, and let out a sound of disappointment. Jesus knew what his mother was thinking, but he only said, “I really can't help you right now. It's not my time!”
Mary didn't seem to hear this response because even as Jesus was still talking, she was dragging over a few man servants. “Yes, yes, that's nice honey.” she replied absentmindedly to her son. Then, addressing the servants she said, “Just do whatever he tells you to do.”, and before Jesus could say anything else, she kissed him on the cheek and disappeared into the crowd of guests. Jesus looked into the mass of people where his mother had just vanished and noticed some colossal stone pots sitting in the center of the room. “Bring those pots to me.” he commanded. One of the servants replied, “But sir, those are the pots for the purification ritual. Are you sure those are the ones you want?” Jesus was adamant, “Yes, those are the ones I want.”
The men, who were fairly buff fellows, pulled the heavy, thirty gallon pots over and, following Jesus' instructions, filled them with water. After they had completed these tasks, Jesus told the servants to take a ladle of the “water” and go have the party coordinator taste it. “But, sir, it's only water.” said the servant. He gave Jesus a look that said he wouldn't be surprised if Jesus had generously contributed to the drinking of the wine in the first place. But he filled the ladle and took it to the coordinator's table.
The party coordinator took a sip, and a look of surprise crossed his face. He promptly called the bridegroom over and said to him, “You are very different than most! The hosts of the weddings I usually coordinate generally serve their name brand wine first when people are sober enough to appreciate it, and serve the generic wine as the celebration wears on. But you have saved the best wine I've ever tasted for last!” The water had been miraculously turned into wine! This was the first miracle Jesus performed while he was on the earth.