Christian Churches of God
The Significance of the Wedding in Cana of Galilee
(Edition 1.0 20030411-20030411)
In the Gospel of John we have the only recording of the sign of water being turned into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. We will see that there are two covenants being described in this account.
Christian Churches of God
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(Copyright ã 2003 Wade Cox)
(Summary Edited by Wade Cox)
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The Significance of the Wedding in Cana
At the wedding feast at Cana Jesus performed his first miracle by changing the water into wine. The new wine is in contrast to the water of the old traditions. Jesus later went on to introduce the new Passover symbolism of the bread and wine.
The wedding narrative has symbolism for the calling out of the physical nation of Israel, the sacrifice of Messiah, and the drawing out of people who would make up the body of the Church.
The wedding shows that Christ is pivotal to the plan of salvation.
Verse 1 refers to the third day, and there are many instances in the Bible that refer to events occurring on the third day. Most notably is the resurrection of Christ to life on the third day.
Exodus 19:10-11: the congregation had to be ready to meet Christ on the third day. Their garments had to be washed like the white robes of the overcomers (Rev. 3:5; 6:11), ready for the Marriage to the Lamb. Both Philip and Nathanael were called three days after Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist.
Christ and his disciples came to the wedding in Cana, where a covenant was taken between the bride (the Church) and the groom (Christ).
Galilee can be construed to describe us as individuals and as a church. Christ comes to us as a light shining in the darkness (Isa. 9:1), healing us (Mat. 4:23). In John 4:45 the Galileans welcomed Christ, as we welcome Him into our hearts.
Because the mother of Christ was part Levi, she can be depicted as the Levitical priesthood, participating in the covenant of God, during the first element of the covenant.
Jesus and the disciples were invited to the wedding, as God invites us, giving us to Christ as brides for the wedding of the Lamb. By accepting the invitation we covenant, as Abraham did, to adhere to God’s commandments, statutes and laws. Christ’s invitation was sent through Abraham (Gen. 12:3, 22:18, 26:4). Those who treasure the word of God and have the Holy Spirit will be part of the bride of Christ (Pro. 21:20).
After baptism we have to be holy and without blame to come before God and be part of the bride. God is holy (Lev. 19:2), as is His law (Rom. 7:12).
In verse 3 we see the wine runs out at the wedding, and is symbolic that the animal sacrifices (used in the redemption process) would end, and pointed to Christ as the ultimate sacrifice (Heb. 7:27). God opened the way to salvation through Christ.
In Scripture, wine is usually associated with joy and glad tidings. When Mary said, "They have no wine", she may have been referring to the fact that they were not able to experience the joy of the gift of the Holy Spirit (1Thes. 1:6).
In John 2:4 Christ uses the word ‘woman’ to figuratively refer to physical Israel and address the physical priesthood. The time of Christ’s sacrifice was at hand, but should come at the God-appointed time.
Verse 5 relates directly to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15. Only the servants are told to obey Christ. Christ then takes over, and the responsibilities and oracles are taken from the physical priesthood and given to the Church, God’s servants. Those who obey God and His Son Jesus Christ are portrayed as servants in Scripture. Our purpose is to serve and not be served.
Verse 6 tells that the water pots are available there for purification. People are referred to as vessels (Isa .66:20). Being made of stone, we could allude to the stony hearts of men. We must clean the inside of the vessel (our mind and heart) so that God can give us a new obedient heart (Ezek. 36:25-27). His Laws can then be written on the fleshy tables of the heart (2Cor. 3:3; Jas. 4:8; lPe. 1:22). We can be washed of our sins in baptism (Acts 22:16).
In verse 7 Jesus tells the servants to fill the pots with water, symbolising the filling of the nations with the word of God, so that they may be washed clean. The gospel must be preached to all nations.
The servants did as Christ ordered and the miracle of water into wine occurred.
Verse 8: We must belong to the vine (Jn. 15:1-11) and bear fruit. The servants could not have produced wine, except by obeying Christ, as we must abide in Christ to bear fruit. As the wedding was drawing to a close, depicting the close of this age, only a small portion was drawn out for the Master of Ceremonies.
The servants were told to ‘now’ draw from the pots. This points to Jesus’ life being laid down and his blood being shed to remove sin.
Verse 9: God has planned the wedding of the Lamb, and the small amount of wine presented to the Master of the wedding, symbolises Christ as the first of the firstfruits, and the elect (as firstfruits) drawn from the world and presented to God, at the end of this age.
The servants knew where the wine came from, and we should know that we are part of the body of Christ, as he is part of God, and thus we are also part of God, all interrelated.
Verse 10: There is a distinction between how man thinks, and how God operates. With God, things get better (Hag. 2:9).
The wedding in the gospel of John parallels the covenant God established with Abraham and how it continues with the Church of God.
If we read what Christ says in John 15:1-11 we see that these verses are related to the wedding account in Galilee and to the Church that participates in the covenant of God.
By adhering to the covenant of God, we make ourselves ready, as brides, for the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7).