John 2:1-11 – The First Sign

The first of Jesus’s seven signs in the Gospel of John occurs at a wedding celebration. When the party runs out of wine, Jesus turns several jars of water into fine wine. The only witnesses to the miracle are his mother, his disciples and the servants who brought the water. This is a “private” sign in contrast to the very public the second sign in the second half of John 2.  What is the point of the water-to-wine miracle in John?

John intends each of the seven signs to point to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God (John 20:30-31). In this case, the provision of abundant wine at a wedding is a pointer that Jesus is initiating the long-awaited Kingdom of God.

The Old Testament describes the kingdom of God as inaugurated with a banquet. The key text for this is Isaiah 25:6-8, where the eschatological age begins with God himself preparing a banquet of fine foods on Mount Zion. The same image appears at the end of Psalm 22:29 (“all the rich of the earth will feast and worship” and Psalm 23 (a table spread in the presence of enemies). Even Revelation 19:7 and 19:21 describes a “wedding banquet” of sorts at the beginning of the eschatological kingdom, although it is shocking that the meal consists of the corpses of the enemies of God!

Because weddings were common events in the life of a community, Jesus uses wedding imagery in several parables (Mat 22:1-12, 25:1-14). The host provided abundant food and wine. It is likely this wedding banquet was best meal an ordinary villager in Cana would enjoy for a very long time. Just as in contemporary culture, music and dancing were a part of the wedding celebration. It is therefore no surprise John’s Gospel first reveals who Jesus is at a wedding banquet.

Jesus “manifest his glory” to his inner circle and they “believed in him” (John 2:11). From this point on those who see his miracles will either accept or reject Jesus as the messiah, the respond to his invitation to join the celebration of the wedding, to enter the Wedding Banquet which is the Kingdom of God. John 3:27-30 makes this theme of the messianic bridegroom more clear. John the Baptist returns as a witness and declares that Jesus is the bridegroom and that he was only the “friend of the bridegroom.”

John’s presentation of this first sign is ironic. The glory of God lives among men, and it has finally revealed itself for what it is, yet other than Jesus’s disciples, only a very select few knew of the miracle. Most people at the wedding were unaware of the miracle, just as most people in Galilee will be unaware that Jesus is the Messiah.

Yet those who saw the sign believed. This is the pattern for the rest of the gospel: seeing the sign and responding properly to the revelation of who Jesus is.

What other examples of this pattern appear in the rest of John’s gospel?

47 thoughts on “John 2:1-11 – The First Sign

  1. While I have noticed a common theme throughout the gospels of Jesus being rejected by many people even when he gave certain signs to slowly but surely reveal himself as the Messiah, I have also seen and been directed to instances in which Jesus chose to reveal himself only to a select group of people. I never really thought of the wedding at Cana as one of these instances in which Jesus revealed himself to smaller group of people, yet the vast majority present in the same building or place had no idea what was going on amongst them and failed to recognize the sign of Jesus as the Messiah. It seems that we see this theme throughout the gospel of John on a variety of occasions. At times, even the individuals or groups of people that Jesus gives signs do not recognize him as the Messiah but simply as a prophet or one who is sent from God. In John 4, Jesus appears to a Samaritan woman and asks her for some water. He begins to share with her an analogy of living water and eventually reveals to her that he knows of her sins by listing in detail her marital situation. The woman acknowledges Jesus as a prophet and also mentions that she believed the Messiah would come and explain everything to the people. Jesus then directly tells the woman that he is this Messiah whom she is waiting for, yet we are not told what her response was to this revelation. While in this example Jesus specifically refers to himself as the Messiah, in other instances Jesus uses his power indirectly to show people that he was the Messiah. In his healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5, Jesus heals the man on the Sabbath, yet slips away before the man can ask him who he was. Yet he later finds this same man in the temple and warns this man to continue on without sin. The man then left and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. Although Jesus hinted at his identity as the Messiah, it doesn’t seem as though this man saw Jesus as anything other than a prophet or teacher. We also see many examples of Jesus revealing or explaining things only to his disciples. While his disciples knew who he was, they did not have a clear understanding of what it was that he had to do as the Messiah. Their first-century Jewish expectations of what the Messiah would do did not line up with the passion predictions and other explanations of his future death that Jesus told his disciples of. Thus we see this common theme throughout John of Jesus directly and indirectly revealing himself as the Messiah, and quite often this revelation came to an individual person or a select and small group of people. It is hard to think like a first-century Jew when reading these passages and see how they could not understand that Jesus was clearly the Messiah as we read these passages with a twenty-first post-resurrection mentality.

    • Correction from what I said before…. the Samaritan woman did in fact do something in response after Jesus told her that he was the Messiah! She left her water jar and returned to her town to tell the people that there was a man who told her everything that she ever did. She then questioned the possibility of him being the Christ.

  2. The first sign given in John’s gospel was clearly done in private for a very specific reason. Jesus wanted to reveal His power and glory first to His immediate followers. By doing this Jesus establishes their belief in Him and solidifies their desire to stand by Him as their teacher. This also lays the foundation for the other signs Jesus will perform later in John’s gospel. As you said, “Most people at the wedding were unaware of what occurred, just as most people in Galilee will be unaware that Jesus is the Messiah.” This does parallel Jesus’s secrecy often mentioned in Mark’s gospel, specifically in chapter one.

    • I agree with what Alex is saying here. One thing I wonder though. P.Long said “Most people at the wedding were unaware of what occurred, just as most people in Galilee will be unaware that Jesus is the Messiah.” There is a connection between this and the idea of those who respond to Jesus’ miracles by either believing or rejecting him. However, those who are unaware of the miracle of Jesus turning the water into wine still partake in the banquet and enjoy the miracle. Could this be stretched to mean that those who are unaware of Jesus and what he does can partake in the miracle? It is clear from the other miracles and this one that those who see the miracle either respond by rejecting or believing, but is there any importance to those who were unaware and still able to enjoy the miracle?
      As P.Long points out the water into wine points to Isaiah 25:6-8. The feast of “well-aged wine” and “rich food” is for all people. Does this miracle perhaps point to this idea of “all people” partaking in the feast, or the kingdom? I do not think it does, but it does seem like a possibility.

  3. I like the point Dr. Long makes about this first sign. The irony of this first miracle is that only a small group of people witness and realize that the wine was originally water. But those who see the sign end up believing. A similar example is found in John 9:35-41. Earlier, Jesus had found a blind man and made some mud out of saliva and rubbed it on the man’s eyes (John 9:6). He then told the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam (9:7). So the man went and washed in the pool, and then went home healed of his blindness. At first the man did not know much about Jesus, but would later encounter Jesus again. We also see that there are many Pharisees who do not believe. They question the man and try to accuse him. But the man says in verse 33, “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” Even though at the time, he didn’t know who Jesus was, he knew that He must have been from God. Jesus found him again and asked him if he believed in the Son of Man (9:35). After Jesus tells him that He is the Son of Man, the man believes and worships Him (9:38). Here again we see that the very few who see the sign respond in belief.

  4. The first sign was when Jesus turns the water into wine at a wedding. Just like Phil Long mentioned, Jesus showed his glory and his disciple put their faith in Christ (John 2:11). What is unique about the story of Jesus changing the water into wine is that only Jesus disciples and servants saw the miracle. In John, Jesus performs a sign and people respond by revealing that Jesus is the Messiah. In John 4: 43-54 Jesus heals the official’s son. Jesus is in Cana where he first turned the water into wine. An official heard that Jesus was in town and he begged Jesus to heal his son who was dying. Jesus told him that his son will live. The man left for home and his servant meet him and told him that his son lives. After this the official believed and his household. Like the story of Jesus turning water into wine as far as we are told there was a small amount of people who witnessed both of these signs. In the first sign, the disciples and servant witnessed the sign. And in the story of Jesus healing the official’s son, the official and his household witnessed and believed in Jesus.

  5. It is really interesting to see when Jesus does miracles and wants people to see and when He does a miracle and asks the person not to tell anyone. I have heard one reason as to why Jesus did not want people to know of His miracle was because He did not want large crowds following Him. This could be a reason why He wanted people to know in some areas but not in other. Then again there are times were Jesus does a miracle in front of large crowds (Jesus feeds five thousand and then the four thousand). Then there are times where Jesus does a miracle that could go unnoticed, but instead He seems to point it out. An example of this is in Mark 5. When a women touches His cloths and He points out the everyone that He healed her by asking who touched her instead of just letting it go unnoticed. Then there are times where Jesus does a miracle and wants the miracle to stay among them. For example when Jesus heals the dead twelve year old girl. After words “He gave strict orders to not let anyone know about this, (Mark 5:43). The purpose of these miracles are probably meant for certain people and Jesus seems to make that clear by discerning when people should know about these signs and when people shouldn’t.

  6. Unfortunately, whenever I read about the miracle of the water turned into whine, I think of Mark Lowry. In one of his videos he makes the statement that Jesus first miracle, “was keeping the party going.” And in a way this statement is true, but it has much more meaning than providing means for a party. The theme of Jesus character revealed through the seven signs in John show the people reaction to his message and mission. When Jesus cleared the temple, when the people saw him performing miraculous signs, “believed in his name.” (John 2:23) Every sign that Jesus did, he used for a great purpose to further his ministry. There are many accounts of similar actions, The feeding of the five thousand, the healing of the officials son and the lame man are examples of Jesus actions. His miracles were performed with purpose, to reveal who he was to the people, so they could react accordingly and believe in him.

  7. John is very specific in the signs that he uses in his book. There are only seven of them in his whole book, and the first one is Jesus’ first sign which happens before His time of ministry officially began. It is Jesus mother who asks Jesus to perform this first sign. She informs Jesus that the wedding party is out of wine, and Jesus responds that His time has not come, but she then just proceeds to tell the servant to do as Jesus says (John 2:3-5). “John intends each of the seven signs to point to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God” (Post). This is the first time that Jesus has shown his power amongst mankind, and He does it to just a small group of people that believe in Him. After this His ministry is more public and not just done in a private place with such a small group of people that know who He is. The rest of the signs that are told about in John are Jesus public ministry that He is the Messiah, the son of God.

    • I’ve always wondered what the relationship between Jesus and his mother was like, did Mary treat him differently knowing how important He was for the future, and did Jesus treat Mary any different knowing the same things? There is an urgency when Mary is asking Jesus to do something, showing how truly awful it would have been if they would have run out of wine at the wedding. Jesus was quick to tell Mary that is was not time, and He even questioned why she asked him to step in. Mary was quick to let up and just tell the servants to do what He says. Was this Mary and Jesus having a small fight? Returning to my first question, does Mary normally step down when in a conflict with Jesus because she knows that He has the power of God inside of Him? I also find it to be ironic that Jesus does His first miracle in front of people He is already comfortable with. Did Jesus need a warmup before doing miracles in front of the public? Or was Jesus just focusing on making His disciples stronger believers first? “Jesus creates an extraordinary abundance of excellent wine” (Long p52). Jesus did not make just any wine, even though it was normal that the best wine was drank first and then the bad wine near the end, but Jesus made great wine at the end of the night. I think this is an example of what God does in our lives, the best is not always needed in our lives to make us happy, but He often goes above and beyond for us.

  8. These patterns of disbelief and belief are seen all throughout John’s gospel. Those who are witness to Jesus miracles either believe he is the true Messiah or criticize him for placing himself in the same pedestal as God. There was also a large portion of the population that was skeptical on whether Jesus was the Christ. For instance, the woman from Sameria who Jesus meant at the well was questioning whether Jesus was the Christ by stating “could this be the Christ” (John 4:29). That statement was made after Jesus had told her everything about her life and she was left with confusion. However, one instance where people responded with strong beliefs that Jesus was sent by God is the feeding the 5 thousand. Jesus had gathered a large force of followers and they were in need of food but there was no where close to obtain it. The only available food came from a boy who had 5 pieces of loaf and two fish as mentioned in John 6:9. So with a limited supply of food, Jesus miraculous produced more than enough food to feed the 5 thousands as his disciples later had to collect the leftovers. The people were amazed and responded with the belief that Jesus was indeed the prophet who has entered the world (John 6:14). Through the feeding of the 5 thousand, Jesus was able to totally convince the crowd of His divine nature. I say totally because not all of the people who followed Jesus actually witnessed his work but heard of it instead.

  9. John uses the miracles performed by Jesus in a different way from the Synoptic Gospels. Not necessarily in the aspect of the miracle part but he refers to them having a great spiritual meaning. It doesn’t imply the coming Kingdom as it had before in the Synoptics’ but instead refers to the power of God that is suppose to make people reflect and transform their lives. As said above that Jesus turns water into wine; we can look at that as the water reflects the clear reflection we receive when we are cleansed by Christ and then the transformation comes in when we receive the spirit. I think each miracle of Jesus in The Gospel of John was suppose to allude a spiritual significance deeper than what is portrayed on the surface.

  10. It is very interesting how John shows Jesus’s first sign as beign a miracle at a wedding banquet. I have always known about the significance of wedding banquests in the bible but never put two and two togther when reading about this first sign. It is mind blowing to think that Jesus completley showed his cards as to who he was right away here at this wedding banquet. No wonder why he was so hessitant to do the mirracle that his mother had asked him to do, it was to obviouse as to what he was doing and who he was because of the context of of miracle. It says at the end of the passage that His disciples believed him. this seems to be a pattern in the rest of the book. Jesus performs a mirracle and his disciples beleive him and others do not. People who should have known about the messiah didn’t beleive, but the disciples with a child-like faith beleived.

    • hey Seth. I would agree with you and your posts. I put the same thing about how wedding banquets were very special and that Jesus did perform his first miracle at one had to be a very special and cool thing. something that no one would ever see coming.

  11. This blog talks about Jesus’ first sign. The first miraculous sign any man has ever seen done in person. Another key idea that this article hit on is that it happened at a wedding and how significant a wedding it. In the present day back then a wedding had a big meal that was way better than any ordinary meal to a person so for a person to go to a wedding it was a very special thing. The article stated something very interesting to me as well. It says that only a select few at the party knew about the miracle. If something happened like that at a party, I’m sure that a lot of people would know about it, after all they are drinking the miracle he just performed. In the Bible there is a lot of talk about weddings which is interesting because our relationship with God is described as a great wedding where the bride finally meets her groom. And at this wedding there is a big feast which in the bible talks a lot about big feasts brought up in Psalms 22:29 where it talks about the feast in the presences of your enemies. We as people are made to be social and one way to do that is through having feasts with each other. The fact that Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding and during the celebration the “feast” he was able to perform the miracle.

  12. In the Gospel of John, every miracle of Jesus is significant and momentous; John identifies only seven, I believe, to emphasize the purpose and importance of each one. In other words, nothing Jesus does is arbitrary, and John in his gospel is determined to make this point clear to his audience. Jesus, who is not merely a human being but God Himself, is infinitely wise and, therefore, when He displays His power does it for a reason. The first miracle that John identifies in his book is the power of Jesus to turn water into excellent wine. Moreover, the fact that the wine was excellent is actually a very important point. He was trying to communicate that whatever Jesus did to reveal His glory, He did it excellently and in a very compelling way. Unfortunately, even those who witnessed this miracle, who were present when it actually happened, refused to accept Him as the Son of God. Kostenberger, in writing about this amazing fact, elucidates that, even though the miracles of Jesus were utterly incredible and undeniable, the majority of the Jews–especially the elite–disbelieved. That gives me a lot of perspective when I attempt to evangelize and tell of the good news of Jesus myself, that it is in the end a supernatural work of God that I have very little part of. Even the role I play in bringing people to Christ is a supernatural work. The reality is our predisposition is unfortunately opposed to the person of Jesus; in fact, the Bible tells us that we were once enemies. We need to focus on inviting Him to be apart of our lives and ministry; our own rhetoric and skills will not be sufficient.

  13. I love this parable because it shows the importance of a wedding banquet, and like other stories in Johns Gospel there is more to the story than just what we read, when we read this story we are really reading a story of Gods return, and of how Jesus ill return some day and we will have our glorious wedding banquet, of both God, the groom, and us the bride coming together to be together forever. This is such a great analogy comparing a wedding banquet to Christ’s return.
    Also, I like how in John Gospel we see that Jesus said that his time is not yet come. I believe that this could also be an allusion to the return of Jesus for the second time. All of these people today are saying that Jesus is going to come, and giving specific dates, and times, and the Bible even tells us that even Jesus does not know, only the father knows when. I think that someone should tell these people today, don’t you know Gods time has not yet come?

  14. It’s a beautiful image of a banquet that is used to give the reader a visual of how Jesus is the bridegroom to his people. While banquets like these are no longer thrown in our current day culture, we still have our versions of a wedding feast and the celebration behind it. This blog post says that the banquet is inaugurating or beginning the kingdom of God, just as turning the water into wine was the first of the signs that Jesus performed. These are symbolic parallels, the wedding banquet, and Jesus’s ministry. Jesus is the bridegroom (John 3:29) in humanities redemption story, coming to claim his bride. Those who believe and declare that Jesus is their savior, desiring to build a relationship with him, are the bride. When someone puts their faith in Christ, this is a cause for celebration (Luke 15:10), very much so like that of a wedding feast. So it makes sense that Jesus starts showing his glory and identity as the spiritual bridegroom at a wedding.
    However, a pattern is seen that whoever sees the signs that Jesus performs have a choice to believe or not, and not everyone will. John 12:37 says, “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their [the crowd in Jerusalem] presence, they still would not believe in him.” They had heard and even seen the wonders that Jesus was doing, yet they did not believe that he was the Messiah in whom they were waiting for. It is the same with everyone who is presented with the gospel. When confronted with the joyous wonder of salvation, some people do not recognize it for what it really is and turn away. Kostenberger says in his book, “The superior quality of Jesus’s revelation exposes the depth of Jewish (and human) unbelief: if eyewitnesses of those kinds of startling manifestations of Jesus’s messianic identity fail to be persuaded, nothing will change their minds” (Kostenberger, 60). Looking at statements likes these make me wonder if I was an eyewitness if I would have instantly accepted who Jesus is as Messiah, the bridegroom. I hope that I would and don’t see why not. If I accept him now, not seeing him perform these signs, why wouldn’t I if I did.

  15. We see that John has this pattern of Jesus performing miracles that reveal certain aspects about who he is and who God is. It is something that he does often throughout the Gospel, but only certain people see and believe. Most of those who see believe that Jesus did what he did, but this pattern does not always follow through in Johns Gospel. In John 12:37, John says that “even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they would still not believe him,” (NIV). It is surprising when someone sees something with their own eyes, they still harden their heart to not see the truth of what it is, so they miss out on what God is revealing to them. But, Jesus did not come just to perform miracles, he also came to serve and not be served (Matthew 20:28, NIV). This is the pattern that I believe is visible throughout his miracles. What he is doing and performing in his miracles to reveal more attributes about himself is also giving to everyone because he would rather serve than be served. Kostenberger reflects on this pattern efficiently when he talks about Jesus performing his first miracle. He does not do it to draw attention o himself because it is a wedding. The book states that “he performs a miracle ‘behind the scenes’, as it were, without stealing the spotlight that properly belongs to the bride and groom, selflessly meeting the need of the hour,” (Kostenberger, 59). Jesus gives up the spotlight for someone else which is so amazing because Jesus and God should always be in the spotlight in our lives. We should be giving him the attention rather than ourselves. So, it just shows that Jesus really did come to this earth to serve rather than be served and we should follow in this example as it is seen throughout his miracles.

  16. Jesus was whole heartedly devoted to being obedient to His Father. We see in John chapter 2, how Jesus’ mother tries to pressure Jesus to help shield the bride and grooms embarrassment of running out of wine. Jesus tells His mother how His time has not come yet to reveal Himself. Even though Jesus ends up preforming the miracle, this is done in secret.
    I am reminded of another story in John 7, where Jesus’ brothers and trying to pressure Him to reveal Himself to His disciples. They do not understand why Jesus will not show Himself to the world. Jesus responds to them by saying how His time has not yet come.
    Jesus did not give into pressures by His family, friends or even Satan himself, when he tried to tempt Him. (Matt. 4) but rather, He is in tune with the Father and His timing. He is completely obedient to His voice.
    I believe that John is communicating and more than that, God is communicating that we need to be fully obedient to His voice above all else. We do not need others to see and believe in us, but that they see Jesus through us.
    This can only be done if we are living according to His Word, His voice.
    My hope is that we all, lean in and listen a little more closely to His gentle wispier.

  17. John 2 has two different stories that show the eternality of Jesus as the Messiah.The first story is the first miracle that occured at the wedding in Cana (vs. 1-12). This story is about Jesus privately turning water into wine, but, concludes with stating that when his disciples saw what he did, they all believed in Him as the Messiah. The second story is of Jesus cleansing this temple (v. 13-22). This event must have been almost a little scary to the disciples. Honestly, if I were in their position, I would have been very confused about Jesus disrupting a place as sacred as the temple, even with all the sin that was taking place within it. When the Jews present there asked him why he was doing the things he was doing to the temple, Jesus says: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” (John 2:19). The story concludes with this: “But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken,” (John 2:21-22). I think this passage is awesome. In the moment, the disciples were probably not sure what to think, but with time, God made very clear why things happened the way they did and why Jesus said the things he said. I think the same is true for miracles that were done without much of an audience, there is a purpose that has been or will be revealed in time: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name,” (John 20:30).

  18. Jesus’s first miracle, or sign in the Gospel of John is turning water into wine at a wedding banquet in Cana. Not too many people knew Jesus had done the sign. He could have brought everything out to the center of the banquet and said “Hey!! Look what I can do!” and then change the water into wine, showing his Godly power to all the wedding attendees. But he did not do it like that. Rather, his first sign was very private only a select several knowing he even did it. Possibly, Jesus wanted to fly under the radar for a little while before the Roman leaders started to get suspicious of someone claiming to be God, which was often something they themselves would claim to be. In response to the connection between the Old Testament and this story, I had not realized there to be a connection. I found it interesting that this first sign was in fact a fulfillment of yet another prophecy from the book of Isaiah. “The Old Testament describes the kingdom of God as inaugurated with a banquet” (Long) A wedding would in fact count as a banquet. While this sign was not out in the open, several people in the wedding realized that the bridegroom had saved the best wine for last. This was not typical in weddings as many bridegrooms would save the worst quality for last, “when wedding guests’ taste had been dulled by prolonged drinking.” (Köstenberger 59) By Jesus saving the best wine for last he was revealing his glory. This sign was not for the masses but instead only for a select amount of people. The select people who had known and seen the sign then believed in him as the Messiah. It was only the beginning. It was not yet time for Jesus to reveal his whole glory, mission, and ministry as the long-awaited Messiah.

  19. It is interesting that Jesus did the first sign in a more private setting. The people who were able to see this miracle were not random people either, but instead people very close to him. I was surprised to read that Mary was asking Jesus to use his “power” to do something about the shortage of wine, especially knowing that at weddings in that time period there was lots of drinking. This leads me to the 2 possibilities that I first thought of why Jesus did not do this miracle in front of the public. The first being “To run out of wine during a wedding feast would be a social faux pas and would be an embarrassment to the family” (Long p51). I believe it is possible that Jesus saw this as a possibility and knew His first goal was to make the disciples believe him, so doing the miracle in public would not only embarrass the family but was not the correct timing for a miracle in public. The second would be a little more subtle, and that is that “overdrinking was common” (Long p50), and maybe Jesus knew that if He assisted in this ritual that people would have a harder time believing that He is the Messiah. I think it is important that Jesus did the miracle in front of the disciples first, as He needs them to be already believing in His works before doing other miracles in front of the public. In verse 7-8, Jesus is telling the servants to fill the jars with water and then take some out and bring to the banquet, I wonder at what point the water had turned into wine. Did it turn as soon as they drew some out, or did they have faith that what they were bringing to the table was truly wine, or was still water?

  20. These signs of Jesus are very specific. Jesus is in a way (to me) seeming like He is trying to show off, but it is the humblest showing off I have ever seen. Just like the wedding banquet, where the party is all out of wine, yet Jesus simply asks for water, and boom, there again is endless wine. The power in these signs is a HUGE revelation to what will later show up in John 3:16 because all of these accounts to where John writes about these things that Jesus is doing will help foreshadow who Jesus really is.

  21. I sometimes find it hard to believe that Jesus could literally just shut everyone up, and prove to them that he is truly God, yet it doesn’t seem to be the case. Although we were created in Gods image, he gave us the free will to either choose to believe like the disciples or not to. This choice was very clearly seen throughout the Gospels and even especially in John. Jesus is performing miracle after miracle, and although some come to believe in him, others turn aside and are quick to question Jesus and his teachings. This comes back to the free will that God gave us. See these Pharisees were so wrapped up in their oral traditions that they thought the very law that Jesus gave, was the law he was breaking. They chose to believe in the false teachings that they themselves conjured up. Jesus was showing to the crowds his great power, not because he wanted to show off and boast, but so that many would come to him and worship and know that he was the Messiah. People saw many of the signs or miracles that Jesus performed, yet only some of them came to know him.

  22. I have always thought of the Jesus’ first sign as a small miracle compared to his other miracles but it was not a small deal. I find it very interesting that for his first miracle or sign that he chooses to turn water into wine. This was the first sign that Jesus was the Messiah. Why would he choose this as his first miracle? I do not know the answer however I know he had a purpose and reason for it. To his disciples this confirmed that he was who he said he was but little did they know that he would do far greater things than turning water into wine. They had faith before this moment but their faith was further rewarded with evidence as Jesus turned water into wine and the signs from there on out only confirmed their faith. Even though this sign seems insignificant to me now I have to realize that I know the whole story while the disciples did not know what else they would see. So yes, the first sign was significant and it was just the beginning of what Jesus would do through his ministry on earth.

  23. It seems funny to me that this one of the most well known stories in the Bible is one in which Jesus turns water into wine. This is the least important facet of this story. Here Jesus is with this “simple” act is declaring not yet to the world but to this small contingent of people I am messiah it amazes me that even after this people still doubted. I also believe and this could be complete conjecture but it was his mother who asked Him to him to help I think that Jesus preformed this in part to render honor to his parents as the law states he should and being “perfect” in the law it just makes me wonder.

  24. Although Jesus’ first sign was to turn water into wine at the wedding in Cana, much can be said about the purpose and revelation in regards to the first sign. To begin, Jesus having turned the water into wine was for the need of the Jews at the wedding. In Judaism, wine was considered an essential within the culture; especially during times of celebration. Therefore; when Jesus preformed the sign of turning the water into wine, he simply refills the depleted resource which was needed at that moment (Kostenberger, 58). Aside from this explanation for the sign being given, Jesus expresses several hidden revelations within the sign. First, Jesus expresses his power as being the restore of Israel (Kostenberger, 58). As a result, since the nation of Israel was called and set apart from the other nations by God Himself, they are to remain constantly dependent on Him for all things as God’s chosen people. While the other revelation was that the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served, but to serve others (Mark 10:45) which Kostenberger found to be fitting considering that the sign was done in obscurity and not to attract attention to himself (Kostenberger, 59). Lastly, the sign of turning water into wine was also a representation of an eschatological revelation. By having turned the water into wine, Jesus was foreshadowing the need for the abundance of wine in celebration for the wedding banquet that will be held when Jesus (the Bridegroom) is united with his bride (the Church) in the Kingdom of God (Revelation 19:7).

  25. Wedding celebrations often bring anticipation, joy, and love amongst the couple and their guests. Jesus uses the setting of a wedding to perform his first sign, and it is not without reason. Jesus uses the wedding and this sign to reveal himself as Messiah (Long, para. 2) and point toward the Kingdom of God (Long, para. 2). First, Jesus uses this sign to reveal himself as Messiah at a public event, but in a private manner to only his mother, his disciples, and the servants who brought the wine. Rather than publicly announcing that the wine had run out and performing this sign in front of all the guests to see, he quietly turns the water into wine and “meets the need of the hour” (Kostenberger, p. 59). We see God’s character played out in Jesus as he mercifully “provides abundantly for his people’s needs” (ESVSB, p.2023), just as He did for the Jews throughout the Old Testament. After seeing and understanding these things, the disciples believe Jesus is the true Messiah (John 2:11). When the disciples believed, they essentially accepted the invitation to the “Wedding Banquet which is the Kingdom of God” (Long, para. 5). This sign points to the Kingdom of God and the similar celebration “banquet” that is to take place when Jesus and the Church come together (Revelation 19:7). More “invitations” are given out throughout the ministry of Jesus; some including the Samaritan woman (John 4:7), the Official and his son (John 4:47), and the sick man at the pool (John 5:7). Jesus has also invited us to this glorious celebration, but he did this with the intention that we would tell others about it too. Rather than tucking our “invitation” away, we should be telling everyone we meet about what He has done and what is to come! So, my question for you is how many people have you invited?

  26. Each of the seven signs that Jesus performs in the Gospel of John has a specific purpose and intention behind them. As Long (2012) mentions, while the signs Jesus performed pointed to Jesus being the son of God, His miracle of turning water into wine specifically initiates the Kingdom of God. Before reading this blog post, I never thought about the connection between this sign and the inauguration of the eschatalogical kingdom as mentioned in Revelation 19:7 and 19:21. As a result of this sign, Jesus first displayed his glory and enabled his inner circle to believe that He is the Son of God (Long, 2012).
    I believe that there is significance behind Jesus performing this miracle privately rather than publicly. While Jesus’s experiences of public ministry was essential, John emphasizes the importance of Jesus’s private ministry (ESVSB, 2008, p. 2023). Through his miracle performed at the wedding, Jesus sets an example of how we should carry ourselves in that we should not boast about our works or draw attention to ourselves; rather, we should demonstrate humility and ultimately give complete glory to God through our actions. Sometimes, our ministry can be more effective when serving privately or individually rather than publicly. However, even though people saw the miracles that Jesus performed, both in public and private, not all of them chose to believe and respond properly to the revelation of who Jesus is. In John 12:37, John states, “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs, they still would not believe him,” (New International Version). This reflects the hardened hearts of Jewish leaders, and it is something that believers today have to keep in mind. Some people will refuse to accept that Jesus is Lord, no matter how much proof exists showing who He is.

  27. I love the intentional purpose placed behind the timing of Jesus performing His first miracle. Weddings are ceremonies meant for friends and family to witness the matrimonial unity of a man and a woman binding their relationship with a lifelong commitment. They are considered to be more of a private affair, especially in John’s gospel. Jesus performed His first miracle at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12), in response to His mother’s request for more wine. This miracle was done in the seclusion of the wedding, whereas His second miracle was performed very publicly. One of the most interesting things that I noticed while reading the textbook was the chronological order of events and miracles written in the text. The difference to the Synoptic Gospels truly allows for a more direct focus on the miracles in John’s gospel. In this blog post, the importance of the response given to these miracles is mentioned. Do people start to believe in Him? Does He gain followers? Are there any accusations of false teaching, hypocrisy, etc.? The response to Jesus turning water into wine was definitely more positive than that of the cleansing of the temple. I truly believe that the purpose of this first miracle was to privately demonstrate to the people closest to Him of the power that He contains in order to observe their response. After all, Jesus knew the hearts of His disciples, family, and friends. Would they respond honestly, trusting His work? Would they support this? Would they tell others of His ministry for God? All of these questions prompt the loyalty of Jesus’ family and friends, but they are questions that come up to me as I read of the responses to the miracles of Jesus.

  28. I would have to agree with the majority of the responses thus far; with their points being that Jesus was beginning to allude to the redemption to come. I would also like to point out that the running out of wine can be seen as an allusion to the lack of faith and spirituality within first-century Judaism, and the obvious need for a sacrificial Savior. Within the story of John 2, Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding, which would have been extravagant and, obviously, contained wine, which was seen as a sign of joy and “God’s blessing” (2022). The wine had run out, and the first miracle in John’s narrative was revealed as Jesus turning water into wine. As I stated earlier, Scriptures record the lack of faith within Judaism in that time, and Jesus’ miracle can been seen as a representation to that. Kostenberger states, “The wedding’s running out of wine may be seen as symbolizing the spiritual barrenness of first-century Judaism (2022). Therefore, Jesus’ miracle at the wedding of Cana can be seen as a representation of Jesus restoring Israel not only back to its former glory, but even better. The “spiritual barrenness” of Judaism and complete unbelief, revealed the need for Jesus and his restorative love, and eventual sacrifice. John 2:11 gives an example of this, as Long states, “Jesus “manifest his glory” to his inner circle and they “believed in him” (John 2:11). From this point on those who see his miracles will either accept or reject Jesus as the messiah” (para 5). Since the first miracle was revealed in John 2, John will continue his narrative to further show the miracles of Christ that led up to his death.

  29. Jesus’s first sign was at the wedding in Cana when the wine ran out. His mother Mary came to Him and asked Him to create more; when she did so He responded with “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4, ESVSB). This makes me think that Jesus was originally going to do His first sign another time but the opportunity arose. It is said by P.Long “the only witnesses to the miracle are his mother, his disciples, and the servants who brought the water” (Long, p.1). Making the first sign that Jesus does in private but also confirms that He is the Messiah to those who saw Him do it. Another thing about the wine is it was the best; “you kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10, ESVSB). I think this isn’t supposed to mean that the wine is good but who made it is. I believe that the wine is good because of who made it; Jesus isn’t going to make your life just mediocre but He is going to make it the best if you believe in Him.

  30. The first sign is really interesting, especially when it comes to the details of who witnessed it, as well as why Jesus even did it. Which John recorded in his Gospel of several Jesus’ signs to kindle faith in his readers (John 20:30-31)(Köstenberger, p72). That would be quite sad to miss out on that wondrous sign.

    What I do like to point out in this blog post after reading Revelation 19:21, it actually says that the corpses of the enemies were eaten by birds instead of being at the wedding banquet. I do wonder too from the symbolism of not everyone from the wedding did not see the first sign representing most of Galilee not seeing Jesus’ signs; why did Jesus not advance his signs/miracles to those people? Is it not the goal to get everyone to know Him?

    As for answering the second question, another pattern I have noticed is with the second sign in which Jesus cleanse the temple from people who sell and buy in there. This act also symbolizes and “points to the inner meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion and bodily resurrection, which render him the replacement of the temple of life and worship of his people” (John 2:19-21)(Köstenberger, p75).

  31. This first sign of Jesus, this first-ever miracle performed by Him is beautiful and significant for several reasons. This, humble, private act of turning water into wine is significant because it sets up two themes that we see in John and the rest of the gospels. We see Jesus continue this path of humility. From the way he came into the world as a vulnerable human baby, to coming into the city on a donkey, Jesus basically subverts expectations of the people anticipating the coming Messiah. Instead of coming into every situation with attention-seeking, grandiose entrances and events, he comes in with humility, consistently revealing His glory but in the most humble way possible. Jesus was the embodiment of humanity throughout the entirety of His life, and this humble lifestyle is constantly recorded throughout the gospels. The other pattern we see here, although similar to his pattern of humility, is different. Weddings during this time were a private gathering, as alluded to in the initial blog post, and this begins a pattern of Jesus insisting on keeping the fame and attention of his ministry and miracles private. Although crowds would follow Jesus, He would leave them quietly, and would consistently empower people to tell others of the miracles in an effort to promote the Gospel, not to bring more selfish attention to himself.

  32. One example found is in John 6, the story of when Jesus feeds the five thousand. Why this story is so significant was because there were only five loaves of bread and two fish and most importantly five thousand people. To the common man that is nothing but impossible, but as we know from Philippians 4:13 nothing is impossible through Christ. The reaction at the end of the story is what really brings the entire significance of the miracle together. John 6:14 states, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
    Another example is found in John 6 with Jesus walking on the water. A storm was rolling in and then suddenly Jesus started walking towards the disciples boat and they grew afraid but Jesus stated, “ It is I, do not be afraid” and immediately they took him unto the boat. They took him at his word, trusted him, and lifted him on the boat. What a beautiful imagery of fear turning into faith.

    The last example I want to talk about is the Samaritan woman. It was unheard of Jews to commerce with Samaritans so for Jesus to do that with a Jew was unheard of and uncalled for, but the really cool part of the story is the very end when the Samaritan got to share her testimony with the other people around her and how her testimony impacted those peoples hearts and pushed them to accept Jesus Christ! It is a classic example of how God uses our experiences as vessels to reach others.

  33. Jesus’ first sign shown in John, is very interesting, due to the circumstances that it was done it. It really marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. While it may seem to not be grand in comparison to some of the other signs, it still was incredible. When Jesus turned the water into wine it was at a wedding, and in Jewish culture of the time these parties could go on for days. Since they would go on for days, a lot of provisions were need, such as enough food, as well as wine. Running out of wine would have been embarrassing, so when Mary told Jesus they had ran out, it would have been out of embarrassment. This seemed to give him a perfect opportunity to show that He was in fact the Messiah to those close to Him, so He did just that. Something else that I had always thought about in reference to this verse is that many Christians have a view of wine/ alcohol in general, that it is sinful to consume. To me this verse shows otherwise because if that were the case, why would Jesus be actively involved in giving people the means to sin. Overall, there is a lot that can be taken away when looking at John 2:1-11, regarding Jesus, and the signs he would give in the future. While the idea this may have been just a small miracle to Jesus, it gave those close to Him a taste of what was to come.

  34. Jesus’ first miracle is one of my favorites. It is amazing He heals people from their sicknesses later in the book but there is something beautiful about the situation that occurs. Here Jesus is asked by his mother, Mary, to help out. First reading through this miracle I almost find Jesus being snarky with His mother but as we reviewed this in class I realized that this was an appropriate response for this culture. In this situation I cannot help but notice that there is true respect shown here. Jesus exclaims “My hour has not yet come” which is then followed by Mary saying “Do whatever he tells you”. The interaction between Jesus and Mary demonstrates great respect. Jesus respects Mary as a mother but is not willing to go against God in the convenience of others. At the same time Mary understands that it needs to be God’s will as well and not just hers. We know that Jesus does the miracle her in John chapter 2 but only because God allows Him to. I desire to be this God fearing. This is Jesus we are reading about here but He is our ultimate model and here He demonstrates how we can respect our parents and discern the will of God.

  35. Passages like John 1:11, and John 5:43 demonstrate that rejection was a regular part of Jesus’ time on earth. As for the wedding miracle, this being a private miracle of sorts communicates to me that this miracle was likely for the benefit of the few who had the privilege of witnessing it rather than the community, or world. Perhaps here Jesus, though he says his time has not yet come, does this miraculous act to show those who had just begun to follow him, that he indeed was who they thought he was so that they need not follow him by the word of John the Baptist alone. In this way he may be demonstrating to his inner circle that he is the messiah without alerting all of Israel. Another possibility is that this miracle like many others was motivated by compassion on his part. Perhaps compassion for the bride and groom, or for his mother who seemed so troubled by the shortage of wine. It wouldn’t seem uncharacteristic of Jesus, to me, to perform a miracle for this motivation, rather than a revelation of his status as messiah.

  36. In John 2:1-11 Jesus performs His first miracle. There was a wedding in Galilee where they ran out of wine. Mary the mother of Jesus came up to Him and told Him about the situation. His response is, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” Jesus turned 6 stone water jars into high quality wine. John uses the different signs/miracles that Jesus performs to point to the fact that He is the Messiah. Long suggests that John uses this miracle to show Jesus’ initiation of the Kingdom of God (Long). The Old Testament describes the Kingdom of God as beginning with a banquet (Isaiah 25:6-8, Psalm 22:29, Psalm 23). In John 2:11 it says, “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory. And His disciples believed in Him.” Those who knew about and had seen His miracle believed in Him. “This miracle showed the glory of Jesus as the sovereign Creator and ruler of the material universe and also as the merciful God who provides abundantly for His people’s needs” (ESVSB, 2023). This is a pattern throughout the Gospel of John. Those who witness Jesus’ miracles either believe in Him or they don’t (Long). In John 4 Jesus performs another miracle that results in belief. He healed an official’s son and when the official realized that his son began to recover in the same hour that Jesus told him that his son would be healed, he believed.

  37. Interesting thought Ty! I would say that the Isaiah passage would not necessarily apply to everyone in a all of mankind view, but rather all the God followers of the nations. I would further point to Isaiah 25:10, where Moab is “trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill”. In summary, a no to universal salvation, but if there was the Moabites are out of luck. In regards to people enjoying the miracle and not believing, I would say there is some ground there. As mentioned before, Jesus performs the first miracle in private, yet only those who witness believe, and the rest enjoy the best glass of wine this world has seen. What are we to think? I would suggest this is one of the many instances of grace seen throughout the Gospels, and in our daily lives. Our world is a constant miracle, held together by God’s will and love. Yet, not all believe in a God despite all being witnesses. All partake of God’s grace, perhaps some more directly than others, the point is not whether some can partake of His mercy and love now, but whether they will eternally.

  38. Second time writing this because it didn’t save the first time. In regards to your question relating to all being able to partake the “feast” described in Isaiah 25:6-8, I would say not necessarily all people will be there, but all peoples will. What I mean by this is that those who follow God from all nations, not only Israel, will be able to partake of the feast with God. This is supported by the following text in Isaiah 25:10, where Moab will be “trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.”. If the feast is open to all peoples, the Moabites would most definitely not be invited. However, this can be seen as the result of not following God, and as the ESV Study Bible puts it, “the only alternative to the feast”. In summary, a no to Universalism. I do think you are onto something with the partaking of miracles and not coming to faith. Daily, we experience the wonders and miracles of God, and yet not all believe. Experiencing the wonders of a christian home, a certain grace of God, does not mean you will come to saving faith. In the same way, I would argue that all people can partake in some of the miracles of Christ without realizing it, and thus not come to faith.

  39. In John and the seven sign the first was a wedding where he turn water into wine. When the party happens to run off of wine this was a very bad thing for this time because it looks bad on the people who are hosting this wedding. Having an abundance and wine and food was expected at these types of parties. When Jesus’s mother Mary comes up to him and tells him that they need more wine, Jesus responds with “Woman what does this have to do with me”. Jesus was waiting for the time to preform his miracle but was presented with this opportunity. Instead of making it known to everyone at the party he makes it only known to his mother and disciples (inner circle). I think that Jesus might of kept this to his inner circle because people were either going to accept him or reject him. I think that if everyone at the party was to see this miracle it would be hard for most to understand and that’s where people who either accept him or reject him. Those who did witness the miracle now believed. I think that this was a good first sign and for Jesus’s inner circle to witness so they can believe that he is truly the messiah.

  40. When John presented the 5 signs throughout his book, he did it so that people would believe that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact, the way he structures his book from beginning to end is so that people understand who He is. At this time, the Jews know God and pray to God, but are still waiting for the Messiah. What they are expecting and who John is presenting do not align. Even though Jesus performs various miracles throughout John, there are some who still do not believe. It is hard for me to grasp how they missed the Messiah while he was right there, among them. This leads me to think that even if He had performed more miracles, some would still not believe because they were waiting for a warrior in shining armor, ready to fight the Romans. An example that shows this pattern is that of Lazarus being raised from the dead in John 10. Martha and Mary notified Jesus that Lazarus had fallen ill. Jesus waited two days until he went to see Lazarus, who was dead by then. In John 11:32, Mary tells Jesus that if he had been there, if he had showed up earlier, her brother would have not died. We know Martha and Mary had deep faith in Jesus, yet they did not believe he would raise Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus woke after Jesus commanded him to, in John 11:43. This was a big miracle, yet there weren’t many people in presence. Even though a lot of them heard of it later, some still did not believe it. All in all, I think Jesus wanted his miracles to be revealed at the right time and did not want people to solely focus on said miracles but on his teachings.

  41. While reading John and looking at the seven specific signs that he chose, reflecting on the water into wine as the first one is fascinating to me. We see Jesus tell his mother that “his hour has not come” yet he still performs this miracle. We know that only his mother, his disciples, and his servants knew of this miracle. Jesus knowing that it was not his time still performed this miracle, now his reason is unknown but many believe the wedding to be his mother’s family and it would cause great shame upon them if the wine had run out. Köstenberger writes “that the insignificant village of Cana in Galilee becomes the site of Jesus’ first sign is fitting in that Jesus chose obscurity over fame and came, not to be served, but to serve others” (p 59). Jesus was put here to serve and even though his public miracles were not yet happening he still served the best he could. Also this as a reflection of his first miracle draws the conclusion that Jesus did not perform miracles in his childhood (ESVSB, p 2023). When looking at this passage now with all that has been laid out for me it is hard not to draw the connection between this passage and Isaiah 25 and Revelations 19. The connection between the eschatological kingdom and the start of Jesus’ ministry here on earth is very intriguing to me. Jesus’ identity is revealed at a wedding, a celebration, and then ending at his death, in the gospel of John, creates a true arch of Jesus’ ministry.

  42. After reading this blog and the Scriptures about the first sign where Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding in Cana, I find it interesting that weddings are still similar regarding dance, food, and drink. According to the class notes, in this time and culture, weddings were for the whole community and would have been a social highlight. It would have been a shameful thing to run out of wine, so Mary, the mother of Jesus, asked Him to help. He responds in John 2:4 by asking what that has to do with him and says, “My hour has not yet come.” He turned several stone jars filled with an abundance of water into wine of high quality. This first sign was private and only His mother, disciples, and the servants who carried the water knew about it. Despite not many knowing, those who did believed. When teaching, Jesus uses wedding imagery in parables to teach about the invitation to enter into the kingdom of God and even calls himself the bridegroom (Long, p.49). Jesus starts his ministry with this sign, and uses the analogy of a wedding to explain that those who believe in Him and His signs will be welcomed into the kingdom of God in the end.

  43. Jesus, the Messiah, is consistently recognized in different ways throughout the Gospel of John. A few examples I’ve noticed inside later. In John 9 it explains about the healing of a blind man. Jesus heals a man born blind. The Pharisees question the man and his parents about the healing, and there is a division among them about Jesus’ identity. Some Pharisees reject Jesus as a sinner, while others are unsure. The healed man comes to recognize Jesus not only as a prophet but also as someone from God. Another Big Example would be The Raising of Lazarus. In the Gospel of John, Jesus elevates Lazarus from the deceased. This miracle leads to a mixed response whereas a few of Jews have faith in Jesus therefore this sign, other people go to the devout governments to inform it. The chief priests and Pharisees then assemble to discuss how to transact with Jesus, guiding to their plot to have him detained and slaughtered. The Last One I would like to touch on is The Farewell Discourse (John 13-17). In this Section of the Gospel, Jesus has an expanded conversation with his disciples, clarifying his brewing exit and assuring the approaching of the Holy soul. whereas the disciples convey confusion and sorrow, they additionally get teachings that will become clearer afterwards Jesus’ resurrection. All over the Gospel of John, there exist a recurring theme of individuals grappling with who Jesus is and what his task involves. several add up to an exhaustive familiarity with his individuality and significance, whereas other people stay doubtful or bewildered. This dynamic of belief, doubt, and revelation is a central aspect of John’s narrative and represents to emphasize the significance of belief and spiritual insight in recognizing Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.

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