Online Bible Study Lesson One
Jesus’ First Miracle-Water Into Wine
For the next few weeks we are going to study the miracles that Jesus did in the New Testament.
Have you ever had a time in your life, when you wished you had a magic wand to wave and just change everything? Would you have waved it? Life always seems to hit us all at once. Planning just is not enough. In this week’s lesson, we learn about a family who are trying to put on a beautiful wedding but, ran out of supplies. Have you ever come up short and needed God to multiply what you had in front of you….or maybe just materialize what wasn’t there? We have had Him do that multiple times in our lives. As we read this story, I challenge you to watch and see how our God is concerned about the details in our lives. When we least expect it, God will come through, BAM, it’s your day for a miracle!
Jesus first miracle, turning ordinary water into wine.
Begin by reading the Gospel of John 2:1-12 (NIV)
John chapter two tells us that Jesus went to a wedding in nearby Cana with his disciples (John 2:1). Mary, mother of Jesus was also there, probably assisting the hosts to some degree. Jesus' family was likely related to the wedding parties. Traditionally, Jewish wedding festivities in Israel lasted for days, even up to a week. It was a drawn-out celebration, compared to a one night extravaganza like we experience today. In Jewish tradition, wine symbolized joy and celebration, and when the wine ran out, guess what? The joy and celebration ran out as well. Not only that, but the wedding hosts were culturally, and sometimes legally, obligated to supply the wine for the entire week. So this was a big problem and the host needed a real miracle to pull this event off without being embarrassed or ashamed.
Jesus' First Miracle Performed
Let’s talk about the first miracle done by Jesus! The wine suddenly ran out at this wedding. It was a major travesty! People got upset and even panicked. Mary, mother of Jesus, frantically ran to him and said, "They have no wine!" Now when your son is the son of God you must know that you’ve come to the right person to solve this problem.
Do you think Jesus supplied something for Mary in the past to make her think He would do so again?
I believe Mary knew her son could do something about the wine issue, but it’s only speculation as to whether He had supplied something like this in the past. Somehow she just knew he could "save the day."
What was Jesus response to Mary’s request?
Jesus retorted, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." Jesus here distanced himself from his earthly family - he called Mary 'woman' which seems a bit colder than it really is, because it was a culturally accepted title. Jesus also included his disciples in his answer, i.e. "us," as his closest friends and his heavenly family.
What “hour” do you think He is referring to here?
Jesus said that his hour had not yet come. He was apparently talking about his earthly ministry, and that the Father is the One who would lead him into miraculous acts like what was required here (John 10:32). Jesus was perfect in his submission to his Heavenly Father, but here we see that God allowed Mary to confirm Him to begin revealing his power by saying “do whatever He says to do” which compelled Jesus to act. You may now picture the Lamb of God beginning His journey to the cross here at the wedding feast in Cana and in roughly three years he would arrive at Calvary to spill his blood.
How does Jesus get people involved in this miracle?
Jesus told them to fill up six huge water pots to the brim with water. They wisely did as he said. He told them to draw some out and take it to the master. They obediently did as he said. Look what happened! The master went straight to the groom, saying, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now!" This is a reminder for us today that God has saved the best for last, AKA the time we live in now.
When we listen to Jesus, and do exactly what he say’s, great things happen, yes even miracles happen! Jesus' first miracle happened - water turned into wine!
So, let's carefully begin unveiling the amazing details of Jesus' first miracle - water to wine.
The master, with his statement, wasn't only saying that the wine Jesus had made was better than the other wine, although it was, his statement reveals that this new wine was made with no trickery. The jars weren't partially full of some wine extract that only needed some water dumped in to make weak wine. These water pots were filled with clear water, and the clear water became the finest wine.
Water to Wine – Meaning
Have you wondered why so much new wine was created in Jesus' first miracle?
Based on the size of jugs in this era of Jewish life, the account tells us he created around 150 gallons of wine! Verse 11 (NIV) calls this miracle a miraculous sign and his disciples put their faith in him because of this miraculous sign.
"Semeion" is the Greek word used here for sign.
A sign is one of the four ways God's miracles can happen.
There is no single word for miracle in the Bible because the idea is expressed by four terms:
Wonders (e.g. Joel 2:30),
Mighty works (e.g. Matthew 11:2),
Signs (e.g. Isaiah 7:11),
Power (e.g. Mark 6:7).
In the most basic sense of miracle, it means "wonderment at God's presence and power." You can see this idea expressed in childbirth, incredible coincidences, and acts of divine providence.
A miracle is God's work of power.
All miracles are God's miracles; and a mighty work creates a huge impression on the people who witness it. This can be seen through the resurrection of the dead and instant healings that cannot be explained by works of nature or coincidence and it can very well overlap with the next portion of our study - a sign, found here in John chapter 2.
A sign signifies something, in other words, it has a message. A sign's message normally has to do with God's power in creation, salvation, resurrection, and judgment.
What is the purpose of “a sign”?
A sign miracle was meant to spark a divine light inside the soul, leading to belief in the divine source of the miracle. In the case of Jesus' first miracle, he performed the sign and people were led to believe in him.
Jesus' First Miracle - God's Glory
Remember back to John 1:14 where the disciple said, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 2:11 says that Jesus "manifested his glory." Jesus' first miraculous sign somehow manifested God’s glory. Let's now discover how God's glory shown through his Son.
What is important about the place where the first miracle was recorded?
Jesus' first miracle is hard to understand because it happened in such an out-of-the-way place. Cana was a tiny place far from the larger cities and multitudes of people. There were only a few people who actually saw Jesus perform the water to wine miracle, and it probably wasn't some big show. Jesus' first miracle was done quietly, with no theatrics. Jesus wasn't given the “God Rod” like Moses used to perform his miracles. One would also think that God, in these rare moments of shining his glory, would show lots and lots of people. But that did not happen! Jesus' first miracle was a covert sign that had no amazing visual experience, no sounds of thunder, and nothing spectacular catering to the human senses. Jesus' water to wine miracle went totally unnoticed until the master tasted the wine. But, by that point, the miracle was already complete.
Can you think of a modern day miracle that happened in an out of the way place that got public notice? List a few
God’s glory in His Miracles.
Glory' is used as a term to denote the nature and acts of God through his personal manifestations.
What does that mean?
A personal manifestation is "God making himself clearly apparent to someone through sight or thought."
The Greek 'doxa' translates into the English "glory," meaning what God essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way he reveals himself. We have to understand this, so that He can be properly glorified - it's an essential element of discipleship - to glorify God.
Read John 1:14
What does that verse mean to you?
The incarnation of Christ was God literally manifesting himself into man. God revealed himself as a man. He glorified himself as a man in the flesh.
Read Romans 3:23
What does it tell us about the glory of God?
It gives another angle on God's glory; which says, "We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Here, doxa is talking about God's character, which is untainted by sin, totally unlike ours. His glory, in the Romans' case, is his perfect righteousness in which we can watch, learn about and deeply admire in him.
God's glory can also show through his creative powers, his heavenly presence, and many other ways.
In summation; God's glory is how he reveals Himself to us. Not all people can perceive God's glory. The disciples "believed in Jesus" at the wedding, but the account doesn't say anyone else did.
Jesus' First Miracle - Belief
Near the end of John's gospel he reveals the intent of Jesus' miracles,
Read John 20:30-31
"Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been 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". This thematic passage of John shows that the entire gospel was wrapped around this sign and other signs throughout the gospel. Jesus' first miracle and the others recorded in John, were written that you may truly believe in Jesus Christ.
The Lord wanted YOU to believe in Him. This particular “sign” the miracle in Cana was recorded for your benefit.
Jesus' turning water to wine was done for YOU, yes, YOU. Remember, he didn't add gallons of grapes to a certain amount of water. Jesus started with, let's say, 150 gallons of water and he ended up with 150 gallons of wine! There was no mixing ---- no adding to a concentrate. The water switched to wine with no help from grapes or anything else other than the power of God which manifested through the thought and spoken word of his Son, Jesus Christ. This shows that Jesus can use everyday things to draw us to Himself.
How do you personally relate to Jesus first miracle?
What has He switched up (changed) in your life?
It takes faith to believe this miracle happened. Faith is a common theme throughout the book of John. Keep in mind, though, that the Lord seeks to increase your faith no matter what your current level of faith is. He wants to make you first of all, a believer, and if you're already a Christian, to make you a stronger one. Faith is like love, there is no end to the amount you can possess and share.
There is one more thing this miracle signified: The transforming power of Jesus Christ. Just as he changed the water into wine he can take a sinner who loves his sin, and transform him into a righteous saint who despises sin and evil. Jesus can change a person's heart by changing a person's mind. God is an awesome and personal being, and he wants to introduce himself and his transforming power to you. He wants his absolute BEST for you, but, he's waiting for your response to his word and power. Jesus is the True Vine, and you're his fruit.
Here is your responsibility...You have to allow God to crush you like a grape. You can’t drink a grape that hasn’t been squeezed and pressed through a wine press. There not even finished then….they would still need filtered, and finally poured into new wineskins.
God is waiting for you to desire that very thing. He wants to miraculously turn you into fine wine.