Today we find Jesus in the town of Cana attending a wedding with His mother and His disciples (John 2:1–2). We are exposed here to another of many snapshots John will show us in his pursuit to show us that Jesus is the Son of God; A JEWISH WEDDING; THE GOSPEL STORY.
“Here comes the Bride”, a book written by Dr. Richard Booker, a Messianic Theologian, points out how Jewish wedding customs are significant for Christians. They are full of elements that typify the Christian experience. First, The Engagement (betrothal) (the bridegroom prepared a marriage contract (covenant) and presented it to the bride and her father for approval; included there was a “Bride Price” as compensation for the cost for raising her and as an expression of love). Then there was The Acceptance (the bridegroom would pour a cup of wine for the bride and wait to see if she drank it; if she did, they were engaged, he would then present her with gifts and leave for a time, she would then wait for him to come back for her). Following the acceptance, the bridegroom would shout “I am going to prepare a place for you and I will return for you when it’s ready.”, he would then leave, go to his father’s house and build a honeymoon room (The Wedding Chamber) there, the father had to approve the room before he could go back for his fiancé, if asked the date of his wedding he would have to reply “Only my father knows.”. When the wedding chamber was ready and approved by the bridegroom’s father, he could then collect his bride which he could do at any time so the bride had to be ready, keeping a lamp and additional oil for the lamp. When the groom and his friends got close to the bride’s house they would shout and blow a shofar to announce their arrival, the bridegroom would collect his bride, go in the new chamber for 7 days of honeymoon while the bridegroom’s best friend waited for the bridegroom to let him know that the marriage had been consummated, then the celebration would start and last 7 days, when the couple emerge from their honeymoon, the Marriage Supper could begin (The Wedding).
What is the significance of all this? Jesus came to present his marriage contract, a new covenant and to give His life as the bride price for all who would accept Him. (Revelation 19:7–9; John 1:11–12) After He rose again Jesus spent 40 days with His new bride (His new established Church) and went to prepare the wedding chamber where Christ and His Church (His bride) will spend an eternal honeymoon. (John 14:2–3) But only God the Father knows when the time has come for the Bridegroom (Jesus) to collect His Bride (the Church). The Bride (His Church) must be ready at all times for His return. (Matthew 24:36; 25:1–13) Are you ready for the return of the Lord for His Church; the return of the Bridegroom to collect His Bride? Get ready today!
At the wedding we see A MOTHER-SON CONFRONTATION; THE SAVIOR’S AUTHORITY. (John 2:3–5) Was Jesus rude to His mother calling her “woman”? What did he mean when He said “my hour has not yet come”? Jesus was lovingly making His mother know that He was no longer under her responsibility and authority; it was His time now to follow His Father’s redeeming plan. That included the fact that it wasn’t His time for His ministry to be made public. (Matthew 4:12, 17) With God is all about His purpose (will) and His timing. (Isaiah 29:16; Romans 9:16). Mary got it and so should we.
Lastly we see A SIGN THAT LEADS US TO ETERNAL FREEDOM (John 2:6–11). In Exodus 7:14-25 Moses is used by God to turn water into blood in an effort to free God’s people from the bondage of Egypt. Jesus turned water into wine; a type of the blood of Jesus shed blood at Calvary to free us of the bondage of our sin. (Matthew 26:27–28) His blood, typifying His death, is the new covenant we got in Christ; our sin is forgiven. His blood has made you free of the bondage of sin. The Law with all the guilt it places on you was given through Moses but Jesus came to shower you with unmerited love and to lead you out the bondage of this world’s lies on to God’s truth and the freedom it bears. (John 1:17)
Here is the message behind the sign; Jesus is God’s good news for all to believe. In Him God’s authority over His creation and sin has been established. Sin and all the lies this world throws at you find their match at the cross of Calvary. Just as Jesus’ disciples witnessed His glory and believed in Him, I pray you too see his glory in this, the first of His signs, and believe. Without Christ you are still slaved to sin and its eternal consequences. In Christ you are slaved to the Father for the enjoyment of all created things and the trusted direction of your life here on earth and up in heaven. May the Lord be praised!