OceanSide church of Christ
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THE MARRIAGE FEAST IN CANA OF GALILEE (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Jesus performed many miracles in His short ministry upon the earth.
B. There had to be a first miracle. And, there had to be a last miracle.
1. We do not know the last one that was done.
2. We do know the first one because it is recorded for us in John 2:1-11.
C. Some refer to this section of Scripture as “The Marriage Feast in Cana of Galilee.
D. Let’s look at this text for the next few minutes in our worship of the Almighty God.
I. A MARRIAGE (John 2:1-2)
A. The Counting of Time:
“And the third day…”
1. John started counting days in chapter 1.
a. John baptized Jesus (John 1:29-34).
b. “Again the next day after…” He called Simon and Andrew to follow Him (John 1:35-42).
c. “The day following Jesus would go into Galilee…” and He called Philip and Nathaniel (John 1:43-51).
2. “And the third day there was a marriage…” (John 2:1).
B. The Celebration of Marriage:
…there was a marriage…
1. Since the creation of Eve in the Garden of Eden marriages had been celebrated.
2. The Jews had elaborate celebrations. Often they went on for seven days.
1) The union of a man and a woman as husband and wife that will last until death parts them.
2) Romans 7:2
For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
b. NOTE: Man is not free to change God’s definition of marriage. God has held the copyright on that word from the dawn of time.
C. The City Called Cana
…there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee…
1. The actual location of Cana is not known. There are four modern sites that have been suggested as the possible location.
2. The city is referenced two more times in John’s gospel
a. From Cana, Jesus healed a nobleman’s son who was sick in the city of Capernaum some 20 miles away (John 4:43-54). NOTE: That was Jesus’ second miracle (John 4:54).
b. In John 21:2, we learn that Nathanael is from Cana of Galilee.
D. The Called Who Attended:
…and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
A. We are specifically told that Mary was there.
1. It appears that she was there without Joseph. Most believe that he had died.
2. Some think that Mary may have been kin to the family. This is speculation.
B. Jesus and His disciples were called.
1. Right now there were only six of them: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, and Nathanael.
2. The fact that Jesus attended this marriage feast puts a stamp of divine approval on marriage.
a. Jesus never married. However, He did not oppose marriage.
b. It was the first divine institution created upon the earth (See Gen. 2:18, 21-24).
c. I Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
II. A MOTHER (John 2:3-5)
A. The Complication:
And when they wanted wine…
1. When individuals host events, they will usually operate on the principle that “I would rather have too much rather than not enough.”
2. At this marriage feast, they did not have enough wine.
a. Perhaps they just did not order enough.
b. Or, they have may have had more guests than anticipated.
c. Or, the guests could have drunk more than had been planned.
3. We are first introduced to the beverage called “wine” in this verse.
a. The Greek word is “oinos.”
b. Most lexicographers simply define the word as “wine.”
c. Wine can refer to simply the juice of the grape or to fermented wine. The context in which the word is found is what helps to determine which “kind” of wine is being referenced.
d. Up to this point, the context does not help us determine the meaning of the word.
B. The Conversation:
1. Mary’s Request:
…the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
a. To know about an embarrassing problem like this, Mary had to be close to the hosts of this celebration.
b. Finding enough wine and trying to get it to the feast would have been a very difficult task.
c. Remember: At this time, Jesus had never performed a miracle.
d. How did Mary know that Jesus could assist this family?
1) She trusted in the promises given to her by the angels prior to Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:32, 35).
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
2) She knew that she had given birth to Jesus by means of a miracle, a virgin birth.
3) She watched Jesus as He grew up. At the age of 12, Jesus was found at the temple in deep discussion with the doctors of the law. Listen to Luke 2:51.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
e. Mary’s faith in all of these things caused her to know that Jesus was special and that He could assist on this occasion if he would.
f. Thus, she informed Jesus that they had no wine. Basically, she was asking Him to do something to solve this problem.
2. Jesus’ Reply:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I do to with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
a. The Address: Woman
1) When we hear Jesus speak to his mother using the word, “woman,” we feel that it is somewhat disrespectful.
2) Jesus knew the Law of Moses and obeyed (Exo. 20:12).
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
3) In the Greek culture, however, the word was used with both reverence and tenderness toward the individual.
b. The Asking: What have I to do with thee?
1) This is another strange statement as it reads in English.
2) Basically, Jesus was saying: “Leave this to me.”
3) It appears that Jesus was aware of the shortage of wine.
c. The Argument: Mine hour is not yet come.
1) Jesus would intervene when the time was just right.
2) Jesus wanted there to be no doubt that this was a miracle.
3) Too, Jesus understood that this miracle would make His ministry public.
3. Mary’s Response:
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
a. Mary did not understand Jesus to be disrespectful.
b. Mary understood that Jesus intended to be of assistance. Therefore, she addressed the servants in the household.
c. She ordered them to do whatever Jesus told them to do.
d. NOTE: She did not know exactly what Jesus would command. But, she did know that whatever He authorized to be done would provide the wine needed for the feast.
e. This order is an expression of deep faith in her Son.
A. A very unfortunate turn of events has come to a wedding feast. The hosts have run out of wine.
B. A very fortunate turn of events has also transpired. Jesus happens to be in attendance that day.
C. How will Jesus respond? We know the answer to that question. We will look at the remainder of this event in the life of our Lord in the next lesson.