Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cana, Communion, and Christ

The Lord has placed it on my heart to study His first miracle at the wedding at Cana.  Like all of my other studies, this one came out of nowhere.  But this one actually brought tears to my eyes when I was done.  This is my journey of sorts; what the Lord is teaching me is from A to B to C.  My studies are literally built on the studies before, like a staircase, if you will.  I have it in my head that my Bible studies are random, but I don't think so anymore.  God definitely has a pattern here, and it's thoroughly exciting that He's chosen me to convey it to you.  This might be a long post.  Go grab some coffee and get your Bible.  Let's get going!

Yeshua's miracle at Cana can be found in John 2.  It was His first (public) miracle.  I say public, because He's prompted by His mother that they have no more wine in verse 3.  It's obvious to me that she knew well what He was capable of doing.  I'd wondered if Mary had just mentioned it in passing, "Oh hey, I overheard that guy say they're out of wine."  But I don't believe it was.  Yeshua's words to her in verse 4
allude to the fact that her intention was to prompt Him to do something about it: "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?"

The second half of that verse has always stymied me: "My hour has not yet come."

For most of my Christian walk, I've always wondered what Christ was talking about.  It seems He's rebuking Mary for pressuring Him to start His ministry too early.  If it wasn't His time, why did He do it?

This is a mystery that can only be understood by unlocking the meaning of the wine itself.  But I'll get to that in a moment.

Six pots were filled to the brim with water (John 2:7).  The pots themselves were huge.  They held about 30 gallons EACH (John 2:6).  Let's just stop a minute and do that math.  

6 pots X 30 gallons each = 180 gallons of wine

1 gallon = 128 fl. oz.

180 gallons X 128 fl. oz = 23,040 fl. oz. of wine

1 modern-day bottle of wine = 750ML = 24.75 fl. oz.

23,040 fl. oz / 24.75 fl. oz = 930.9

930.9 rounded up = 931 bottles of wine

Let that number percolate in your head for a moment.  Christ turned that water into the equivalent of NINE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE bottles of wine.  I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

Since the pots were filled to the BRIM, it's possible there was even more wine than what we've calculated.  Perhaps the Lord made it a cool 1,000 bottles of wine.  

Now, I've heard it preached that this was to show the generosity and graciousness of our God.  And perhaps that is so.  There is no question this was a LAVISH miracle.  But once you understand the mystery of the wine, it goes much deeper than mere generosity.

Wine in the Bible is often used as a metaphor.  It actually has two metaphors, but I believe the two metaphors are really the same thing.  Wine is pictured as the love of God (Songs 1:2, Songs 1:4, Songs 7:9).  Wine is also pictured as the blood of Christ (Matt. 26:27-28, Mark 14:23-24, Luke 22:20).

If we connect the dots from the blood of Christ to the LOVE of Christ through the metaphor of the wine, we can see that "wine" in and of itself is really only ONE metaphor -- it's the vast LOVE of God.

The miracle at Cana not only showed God's generosity, but His extravagant LOVE toward us, as well as the depth of the Atonement itself.  Christ changed the water when things were winding down at the wedding.  The guests had already drunk themselves happy; they had merely run out before the evening was over.  Either someone had made a mistake with their calculations, or the guests had imbibed much more than they'd expected.  Perhaps the wedding party wasn't as rich as they would have liked and could only afford a certain amount of wine.  Maybe the fact that Yeshua was in attendance made other "guests" show up who weren't on the roster. 

Whatever the reason, Christ upheld the integrity of the bride and groom by refusing to allow shame to befall them simply because they'd run out of wine.  Only the servants were aware of where this wine had come from (John 2:9).  

It seems to me that 931 bottles of wine is a little "overkill", don't you think?  The evening is winding down anyway, maybe if He'd only filled 2 or 3 of the pots, it would have been enough.  But I don't think Christ meant it as "overkill" at all.  This miracle was meant to be studied for its deeper meaning -- that God's love is VAST.  More than enough for everyone to partake.  The Atonement of Christ is so far reaching, that His blood can cover everyone present, even with some left over!

The governor of the feast made mention to the bridegroom (a picture of Christ) that they'd saved the good wine for last (John 2:10), implying the worse wine had been first.  If the inferior wine (blood) came first, it would have been the sacrifice of animals, done over and over again.  The good wine came last (Yeshua), once, for all. 

Now, remember His words from earlier, "My hour has not yet come." ?

Yeshua wasn't referring to the start of His ministry, but the end of it.  In John 13:1 and Luke 22:14, we know His "hour" was that of His death.  This wedding at Cana happened just a few days before the Passover (John 2:12-13).  Therefore, His words in John 2:4 only makes sense in that context.  He wasn't set to die for a few more years.  His words also only make sense when you understand the MEANING behind the wine.

Mary tells Him, "They have no wine."  Christ says, "My hour is not yet come."  He is referring to His bloody death and using wine as the metaphor.

When His hour HAD come, Yeshua set up the Lord's Supper, commonly known as "Communion".  This is where we eat the bread and drink the wine.  There it is, that wine again!  

Interestingly enough, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine sealed the betrothals of couples in that day and age.  The couple wasn't married, but they were betrothed, which was a legal promise of marriage and actually couldn't be undone without a certificate of divorce.  Even though they weren't "married", they were promised, and that was just as binding.

Can you see where I'm going with this?  Yeshua began His miracles with wine at a wedding.  He ended His ministry with wine at a betrothal, the promise of His future wedding to US, His Church, His Bride.  And we are to continue to do this in remembrance of Him, so that the entire Church will be betrothed to their Bridegroom.

After the Lord showed me all this in today's prayer-time, I asked Him, "What's the link between the water and the wine?"  We know Living Water is the Holy Spirit.  I was interested in connecting the dots to changing WATER to WINE.  Yeshua reminded me of of His actual crucifixion.  Let's jump there for a moment.

In John 19:34, the soldier pierced Yeshua's side and what came out?  Water and blood.  Water and "wine."  

Spirit and Love.

It's easy for us to draw the parallel between the bread we eat and Christ as the Bread of Life (John 6:35).  But the wine is a little more sketchy; we just drink it pondering Yeshua's blood.  Not anymore.  Thanks to my studies in Song of Solomon, the Lord has opened my understanding.  His precious blood is likened to wine, which is the love of God.  Therefore, at Communion, we are eating the Bread of His Life and drinking the Wine of His Love.

As amazing as this study is, there is one more thing the Lord showed me this morning.  He is still changing water into wine -- in the hearts of His children.  One of my favorite Scriptures is Songs 8:4.  "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."  I have spoken about it before in my other studies on Songs.  We come to Christ and become born again, and in that moment, partake of His Fountain of Living Water.  Our hearts overflow.  We bubble over and splash onto others.  For some, the story ends here.  They are content with being saved and don't bother (or don't know) that the Kingdom of God is much, much richer. 

But there are a certain few Christians who want to dive deeper.  They want to experience God as the Apostles once did; Yeshua, full of grace and truth.  These Christians begin to cater their prayers to encounter the Living God through His Word and through intimacy with Him in private, personal prayer.  These are the disciples of Christ whose Living Water turns into Living Wine, and their love for Yeshua shoots off the charts!

Let us all pray to find Magnificence and Beauty in the Son of God.  Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to blow upon our garden to make our spices flow; let us invite our Beloved to come in to His garden and eat His choice fruits (Songs 4:16).  May we not only be content with God's Fountain of Living Water, but choose to partake of His Fountain of Living Wine as well.  

Spirit and Love.

This is the mystery of the miracle at Cana, only understood (by me) until now.  Praise You, Lord.  Thank You for sharing this with me so that I can share it with others.  My cup runneth over with the Wine of Your Love.

In His Name, always and forever,


  1. thank you for this great word. it pulls at my spirit and makes me want to go deeper with the Lord!

  2. So very good, Becka. Thank you!

  3. What a great story; lots of good insights here.

    "He hath brought me to the house of wine, And his banner over me is love". Song of Songs 2:4, Darby Bible Translation

    Oh, perhaps this is why he brings us to a "house of wine" at the time of our marriage. Wine is such a symbol of his love and sacrifice.

  4. The kingdom of God is a party!

    Quote by Anthony Campolo