Books of the Book: John

The Wedding at Cana

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00006B

00:01 Well, welcome back, we're studying the wedding at Cana.
00:04 And Dr. Paulien, I want to ask you a question.
00:06 And so what or why did Jesus go to the wedding?
00:11 Well, as I mentioned earlier
00:13 the two villages are fairly close together,
00:15 so evidently this is part of relationship stream
00:19 that Jesus would have known growing up in that area,
00:22 it's right near Nazareth.
00:24 But there's a tradition in the 3rd century
00:26 and a tradition doesn't make it right or wrong,
00:29 but it's interesting that people were thinking this way
00:31 a couple of hundred years after this story was written.
00:35 And the idea is that John was actually
00:39 the son of Mary's sister Salome
00:43 which would make John and Jesus first cousins
00:46 and that this was John's wedding.
00:48 And if that's true it just adds a delightful
00:50 little side trick to the story.
00:52 And it tells us if that's the case
00:55 Jesus was invited to the wedding,
00:57 but He brings along all these other guys,
01:00 you know, and they're eating and drinking too.
01:03 And maybe they were uninvited guests.
01:05 You think of Jesus didn't even know some of them personally
01:08 until a couple of days before.
01:10 So He brings His companions to the wedding
01:13 and that may be why Mary says to Him,
01:15 it's kind of like it's Your fault that we ran out,
01:17 so do something about it.
01:19 So you're saying that--
01:20 Put a little heat on Jesus here. All right.
01:22 So you're saying that the author of the Gospel of John,
01:25 that's his wedding?
01:26 That is what the tradition suggests
01:28 and in ancient times we can only note
01:32 that people thought that way
01:33 and if it's true it adds a nice little touch to the story.
01:37 That's interesting, but again that's a tradition then.
01:39 Yeah. no, we're not--
01:41 we don't know that to be the case, but it's not--
01:43 there's nothing in the story here that says that's not so.
01:46 Okay, well, let's talk about the wine now
01:49 because some people are thinking here Jesus performs a miracle
01:53 and He turns water into an alcoholic beverage.
01:57 Tell us about that?
01:59 Okay, well, a lot of commentators
02:00 will come to this and say, this had to be alcoholic, okay.
02:05 And first of all the word wine is there
02:08 and second of all there's this issue of preservation.
02:12 They often preserved drinks for the use of alcohol.
02:16 And not only that, you know the whole idea of people,
02:21 you know, after drinking a while
02:22 you bring out the inferior stuff
02:24 because they don't noticed any more.
02:25 So all those details--
02:27 lot of commentators would say it was alcoholic.
02:28 I would point out several things however.
02:31 First of all the word wine in Greek
02:34 does not require to be alcoholic.
02:36 Also the same word is used for grape juice
02:38 so the text does not push you in the other direction,
02:42 the text is open.
02:43 Second of all they had ways of preserving back then.
02:46 Concentrating the grape juice,
02:49 putting a little olive oil across the top
02:50 after all the air is out, it can last for years.
02:53 So you could bring out grape juice anytime of year,
02:57 but its reconstituted grape juice.
02:59 And the whole idea, the surprise of the caterer.
03:03 Could that happen without alcohol?
03:04 I think it could.
03:06 Because you could fresh stuff from Egypt anytime
03:09 but it would be really expensive.
03:11 And people just wouldn't do that
03:12 unless they were doing something special.
03:14 So if Jesus produces fresh grape juice at a time of year
03:20 when it's not available normally
03:22 that would be a big shock as well.
03:24 So the point is the story doesn't compel it to be wine
03:28 and I think those of us who have seen
03:30 the destruction that alcohol brings,
03:33 you know, this text doesn't compel us
03:35 otherwise is what I'm saying.
03:37 And I can't imagine Jesus bringing,
03:39 you know, the alcoholic beverages into,
03:42 you know, this party, right.
03:44 Now you told--you earlier you said that you would tell us--
03:47 you made a promise.
03:48 What is the spiritual meaning of this story
03:51 in the Gospel of John?
03:53 Well, in verse 11 which I think we actually didn't read.
03:57 So maybe let me read it now.
03:58 It says, "This, the first of his miraculous signs,
04:02 Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee.
04:04 He thus revealed his glory,
04:07 and the disciples put their faith in him."
04:10 So it calls this a sign and in the Old Testament signs
04:16 were the marks of a true prophet.
04:18 When Moses came to Egypt he threw down his rod
04:20 and it became a snake that was a sign
04:23 that God had called him to a special task.
04:26 When Saul was anointed by the Spirit,
04:29 he began speaking prophetically.
04:32 He began preaching, you see.
04:35 And so Saul does some unusual things to tell people,
04:40 yeah he's been anointed by the Lord,
04:41 something special has happened here.
04:43 So repeatedly in the Old Testament
04:47 we have this concept of signs indicating
04:49 somebody special has come.
04:51 So this is the first sign.
04:53 This is the first indication people had aside
04:56 from John's testimony in the first chapter.
04:58 So first indication that Jesus is more than just a man,
05:02 that He is a prophet and may be even more than a prophet.
05:05 So this story becomes more than just a story.
05:10 And you'll notice it says the third day.
05:14 Now there's been a series of days in Chapter 1.
05:17 On this day something happened, then on next day, next day.
05:20 Now the third day scholars have noticed they count seven days.
05:26 Now what's the most famous seven day period in history?
05:29 A week. Would be the week.
05:30 Okay. Creation.
05:32 See, it goes back to creation.
05:33 And what is the seventh day in creation?
05:36 It's the Sabbath. It's the Sabbath.
05:38 And what marks the entry of the Sabbath at creation?
05:43 A wedding. A wedding. Okay.
05:45 Adam and Eve, you see. Wow.
05:47 So when you see these little hints in the story,
05:49 you have a wedding on the seventh day
05:52 and there's other language here that reminds of creation.
05:55 For example you have seventh day, you have a woman,
05:59 you have a wedding and you have a creative word,
06:02 God said and it was done.
06:03 Here Jesus speaks and the water becomes wine.
06:07 So you have all these indications
06:08 that creation is in the back of the mind.
06:12 Jesus was a second Adam.
06:15 And the church becomes a new Eve according to Paul,
06:19 so that lies behind the story.
06:22 What power did Adam have?
06:24 He had the power to affect the fish of the sea,
06:29 the beast of the earth,
06:30 he had dominion over all these things.
06:32 What does he do later on?
06:34 He has a miraculous gift of fish.
06:37 When nobody can find any fish, Jesus brings fish into the net.
06:42 That's the power of Adam as Adam was intended to be.
06:45 He had dominion over the earth.
06:46 He had dominion over the storm.
06:49 So a deeper side to the story
06:52 is Jesus is the second Adam and a new creation.
06:55 He brings a new creation to this earth.
06:57 He's gonna overturn all the pain and the trials
07:00 and the suffering of the old creation
07:03 and now comes this new creation.
07:07 Another piece of the story is that turning water to wine
07:11 reminds of the story of Moses when he turned water into blood.
07:18 It also reminds of Elisha
07:20 who took the stale waters of Jericho
07:22 and made them fresh, you see.
07:24 So in this connection it's calling us
07:28 to remember the Exodus as well,
07:30 when water was turned into blood
07:32 and may be also the stories of Elisha
07:34 and Elijah are all bought in behind here.
07:37 So how would this work?
07:40 In the story here you have the water of purification,
07:45 the Jewish waters of purification.
07:47 They washed their hands over everything.
07:49 They are very concerned about ritual religion.
07:52 And ritual religion can point this to something greater,
07:56 but it often becomes just a ritual.
07:58 And so the author here is saying behind the rituals,
08:02 there's got to be something greater
08:03 and Jesus is that greater thing.
08:06 Jesus is the wine.
08:09 And what does the wine or grape juice
08:11 of the Lord supper represent? Jesus' blood.
08:16 So you have a number of hints here also of the crucifixion.
08:20 Mention of the third day.
08:23 Turning the water into wine which represents His blood.
08:28 In verse 4 it talks about "My time has not yet come."
08:33 The Greek word there is the hour.
08:36 Jesus repeatedly says in the Gospel of John
08:40 "My hour has not yet come. My hour has not yet come."
08:44 And then in Chapter 12 he says
08:45 the hour has come when the Son of Man must give up His life.
08:50 So the hour of Jesus is the time of the cross.
08:54 In verse 11 it also says, "He revealed His glory."
08:59 And the Gospel of John "Glory"
09:02 is always a reference to the cross.
09:04 You see, what's happening here.
09:06 These are seeds being implanted that sprout later in the gospel,
09:09 a deep spiritual meaning.
09:12 One more, Mary appears only twice in this gospel.
09:16 In the wedding of Cana, and where else do you think?
09:20 At the cross. At the cross.
09:23 John has to place where Mary comes
09:26 with the beloved disciple and Jesus says
09:29 "Woman behold your son, son behold your mother."
09:32 Jesus hands his mother
09:33 over to the keeping of John after His death.
09:37 So Mary appears only twice in the wedding here
09:40 and at the cross.
09:41 So you have what I called cross connections
09:45 that point to a deeper meaning of the story
09:47 and I said we could spend hours.
09:49 Well, I'm sure we could.
09:50 Now this is very deep theological
09:52 study that you've done here.
09:54 And maybe for a lay person who is just reading the Bible
09:59 and perhaps he's not have the time or the tools
10:03 as a scholar to go through all of these,
10:05 you know, these studies.
10:07 Let me ask you a question.
10:09 How should one, you know,
10:11 when reading a passage like this one,
10:13 read the passage and apply to his or her personal life?
10:19 Yes. Well, I think the personal application is definitely this.
10:24 These stories of Jesus can remain in the distance,
10:28 they are out there, okay.
10:30 And we can read them and go on with our lives,
10:33 but to ask ourselves the question.
10:37 What difference does Jesus makes?
10:40 Why do I need to receive Jesus
10:43 for something special to happen in my life?
10:46 Who really cares?
10:48 And one answer to that question which is also related
10:52 to this whole idea of second Adam and humanity and so on.
10:55 How do human beings discover value?
10:59 We go about in a number of different ways.
11:02 We try to accumulate things.
11:04 I'm a valuable person if I dress real cool
11:06 or if I've really great cars or fantastic house
11:09 or big money in the back account.
11:12 The trouble is if you try to find value
11:14 and that way you can lose it all.
11:16 The stock market can crash.
11:17 Your house can burn down.
11:19 The car can crash.
11:20 To trust in money and in things for sense of value
11:25 just doesn't cut it.
11:26 A second way we look for value is an achievement.
11:29 I'm gonna get a Ph.D then I'll be somebody.
11:31 I'm gonna be the President of United States,
11:32 then I'll be somebody.
11:34 I'll be a great quarterback
11:35 and then I'll be somebody, you see.
11:38 But when you look for achievements
11:41 well, teachers get senile, athletes get old and decrepit,
11:46 presidents have to retire, you see.
11:49 And so that doesn't last either.
11:51 And then we look for value in others.
11:55 The only way to truly get value is to have a friend
12:00 who knows all about you,
12:02 who loves you just the way you are,
12:05 who lives forever and has genuine value
12:08 and there's only one person that's Jesus.
12:11 There's no other source of meaning and value in life
12:15 that's truly permanent than Jesus Christ
12:18 and that is why Jesus has lasted 2000 years.
12:22 That's why there's still millions and millions of people
12:25 that trust in Him,
12:26 because there's really no other path to life,
12:28 all other paths are temporary
12:30 and that I think is at the core of what the gospel is all about.
12:34 And at the core of what John is pointing us
12:36 Jesus is what truly matters.
12:40 Everything else is just subtext.
12:42 You are at this wedding
12:43 but it end up being all about Jesus
12:45 about His death, about Him as the second Adam
12:48 and all the rest of that Messiah.
12:50 And again it was important
12:52 for this couple to invite Jesus to their wedding.
12:55 And I hope friends that you invite Jesus
12:58 not necessary to your wedding only,
12:59 but in every area of your life to next time.


Revised 2014-12-17