17 June 2020John 2:1-12
Jesus said to them, 'Fill the jars with water.' When the steward had tasted the water that had become wine … the steward called the bridegroom. (vs. 7, 9).
Psalm: Psalm 55:1-8
John’s Gospel was written much later than Matthew, Mark and Luke. It was aimed at a wide audience, primarily for Christians, who included Greeks. The 'signs' (called 'miracles' in the other Gospels) are not included for their own sake, but to convey a deeper meaning, filled with symbolism.
The passage preceding today's reading is the encounter between Jesus and Nathanael and concludes with Jesus telling Nathanael that he will see greater things. And John 2 begins with the first of the 'signs'.
The significance of the 'third day' is that this was the day of resurrection, the first day of the week (John 20:1), which symbolised a new beginning. A wedding, a joyous occasion, was also a symbol of a new beginning. In those days weddings could last for up to seven days. Wine was important, even though people did not get drunk. Running out of wine would have been very embarrassing for the host, since the rules of hospitality were taken seriously. The water jars, holding between 100-150 litres, would have been used for washing people’s feet on arrival and for hand washing between courses. Water, though necessary, is colourless, odourless and tasteless. Wine, on the other hand has colour, flavour and a particular smell, which connoisseurs call a 'bouquet'. It seems as if only the steward and the disciples knew what had happened. John does not describe how Jesus did it, for that was not John’s purpose. Instead, there is the symbol of new beginnings, transformation; using something ordinary and changing it into something extraordinary.
- The idea of transformation has become quite a buzz word these days. How do you understand transformation in the light of this passage?
- Jesus took something which was ordinary and changed it into something which was extraordinary. What significance might this have in your life of faith?