By Rabbi Jason Sobel
In John 2:1-12, we see Jesus (Yeshua) performing his first miracle at a wedding in Cana. The host ran out of wine, and at his mother’s prompting, Jesus asked the servants to fill six water jars with water. When the master of the banquet tasted the water, it had been turned into the finest wine.
At first, this miracle may not seem too important in comparison to some of Jesus’s other miracles, but Jewish weddings are something to behold. The fact that the Messiah’s first miracle occurred during a wedding points to the abundance and blessing that come from our relationship with the Messiah Yeshua. His changing the water into wine was not merely a random act of kindness; rather, it reflected and metaphorically fulfilled the many Old Testament scriptures that speak of God’s people, the proverbial bride, and the Bridegroom to come—Jesus himself.
Yeshua performed His first miracle at a wedding feast as a sneak preview of the ultimate wedding celebration, the messianic wedding supper of the Lamb, spoken of by the prophets and in the book of Revelation. Revelation 19:7–8 says, “‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people)” (NIV). The wedding in Cana of Galilee points spiritually and prophetically to the type of relationship He wants to have with us.
The story of this miracle opens with the words, “On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee.” The third day of the week is significant in Jewish wedding traditions. In fact, there are three parts to the Jewish wedding: the shiddukhin (arrangements made before the legal betrothal), erusin (the betrothal, also known as the period of kiddushin—a period of sanctification or being “set apart”), and nissuin (marriage).
Many Jewish people are married on the third day. If you are in Israel on the third day of the week, you’re going to see many weddings taking place. The reason it’s traditional is that the third day is the only day in the Creation account that God blessed twice. Doubly blessed, the third day of the week is Tuesday, and it’s considered an auspicious day for weddings because “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10, 12).
These weddings are often held outside in the evening, under the stars. The idea is to symbolize abundance and fruitfulness of your descendants, as God promised that Abraham’s descendants would be like the stars of the sky (Genesis 22:17). The Lord brought Abram out into the crisp desert night where the stars were shimmering like billions of diamonds against the blanket of a perfectly dark sky. Oh, what a sight that must have been—no city lights to dim the view! “‘Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your seed be’” (Genesis 15:5). Those descendants would eventually be from the Seed of Yeshua, which includes you and me! How does this miracle of abundance come? It comes from a relationship with the Messiah, the Bridegroom. He wants you to be doubly blessed. He wants to give you the double portion. He did his first miracle on the third day, which is a day that’s doubly good.
The Signs and Secrets of Transformation
The miracle of turning water into wine shows us that Jesus is not only able to meet our needs but also exceed them. He is able to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. The miracle at the wedding was officially the start of Yeshua’s public ministry, demonstrating that God was beginning to fulfill the messianic promises setting his redemption plan into motion. It makes sense that this miracle of abundance occurred at a wedding because Yeshua is the Bridegroom, and he was coming for his bride. A marriage—an eternal, covenantal relationship—is the kind of relationship God hopes to have with us as well.
The miracle of turning water into wine was a miracle of blessing, abundance, and transformation. God transformed something ordinary into something extraordinary, just as He does with us when He touches our lives and transforms us into new creations. We are turned from water into wine. The old passes away, and the new comes (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, this transformation is not a one-and-done thing, but rather a lifetime process of becoming. Personally, I am being transformed daily from something ordinary into something extraordinary. The old is passing away, and the new is coming into my life. I’m excited as I witness the things God is doing in me. And I’m convinced He wants to do it in your life too.
Adapted from Signs and Secrets of the Messiah: A Fresh Look at the Miracles of Jesus by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Click here to learn more about this book.
In this follow-up to his book Mysteries of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel dives deep into Scripture, biblical culture, and ancient texts to help you better understand the truths and the power behind God’s miracles, and to increase your faith that Jesus can perform miracles in your life.
By taking a deeper look at Yeshua’s miracles, Rabbi Jason reveals promises for all Christ followers based on miracles throughout Scripture:
- Jesus takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary, because He wants you to live out of His overflow (He turned water into wine).
- Jesus wants to renew you so that He can do something new in you (He revealed to Nicodemus the miracle of rebirth).
- You can stop wandering aimlessly or feeling stuck in your current situation, but instead experience abundant life and healing (He healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda).
- God wants to bless you abundantly so you, in turn, can bless others and sow into His kingdom (Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish).
As you go on this journey with Rabbi Jason, a Messianic Jew, he is praying that God will lead you to new insights and breakthroughs in your life. And as God reveals Himself to you in a fresh and powerful way, you will be filled with a sense of His presence and shalom.
Rabbi Jason Sobel is the founder of Fusion Global. He was raised in a Jewish home, and qualified by years of diligent academic work, he received his rabbinic ordination from the UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) in 2005. He has a B.A. in Jewish Studies (Moody) and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Southeastern Seminary). He is a sought-after speaker and coauthor with Kathie Lee Gifford of New York Times bestsellers The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi and The God of the Way.
Signs and Secrets of the Messiah is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.
Get a free five-day devotional on five key miracles of Jesus from Rabbi Jason Sobel! Click here to download the devotional.
The post Water Into Wine: The Hidden Lesson in Jesus’ First Miracle appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.