Jesus’ First Miracle: A Lesson From Turning Water Into Wine

Shared on April 7, 2024

Jesus’ first miracle is one that still takes place today! This week’s Sunday School lesson takes a look at Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana. The first miracle of Jesus was Him turning water into wine. Have you ever noticed the symbolism shown in the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine? Join Pastor McCrary for this week’s lesson to see how this first miracle can be performed in you!


For the next month, our Sunday School lessons are going to take a look at the miracles of Jesus.  Throughout March, we saw Jesus confirm His deity through His authority over death.  This month we will see Jesus confirm His deity through His miracles.  Again, the importance of this quarter of lessons is to see that Jesus is God— God came to the world in the flesh.

Let’s also keep in mind that Jesus was moving to carry out the Father’s will.  What is the Father’s will?  The will of the Father is for sinners to repent (Luke 5:31-32).  The Lord’s will is for everyone to believe in His only begotten Son and have everlasting life (John 6:40).

The Wedding Miracle in Cana

Our lesson opens on the third day of a wedding that was taking place in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1).  You may be wondering to yourself, ‘third day of a wedding?’  It was custom for wedding celebrations to last for an entire week.  It was custom for loved ones and the community to come together and celebrate the couple’s coming together in marriage.  It is believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have been related to one of those being married.

With that in mind, Mary was at this wedding.  Jesus and His disciples, were also invited to and present at this wedding (John 2:2).  By the third day of celebration, there was a big problem. Mary approached Jesus and told Him there was no wine for the celebration (John 2:3).  The married couple was expected to be able to provide for the entire week of the wedding celebration. The fact that the wine could not be provided for the full seven days tell us of the lack of wealth of this married couple. 

Mary’s prayer

So, as we have seen in recent weeks, there was a bit of desperation and Mary went to Jesus about this problem.  Jairus, when he was desperate for his daughter to be healed, he sought for Jesus to come to his house.  When the woman with the issue of blood was desperate to be healed, she also sought Jesus.  Martha and Mary were desperate to save Lazarus from death, so they sent word to Jesus. All of these moments of seeking Jesus I equate to our seeking Him in prayer.   

What did Jesus do in those moments of prayer? He moved, right? To Mary, His mother, Jesus responded, “what does your concern have to do with Me?  My hour has not yet come.” 

One may think to themselves that Jesus sounds annoyed. You may think to yourself that it does not sound like Jesus wanted to help.  Did Jesus not want to help? If you think Jesus did not want to help, I ask, why do you think that? You might feel like way because this problem may not seem like that big of an issue to you.

To under Jesus’ response to Mary, lets take a look at what He meant by “My hour has not yet come.”  What is the hour that Jesus was speaking about? The hour would be of the revelation of His full purpose of being in the world.

Jesus did not truly begin to confirm His identity until He revealed His identity when He asked the disciples who they thought He was (Matt. 16:16-17).  Peter said correctly that Jesus was the Son of the living God to which Jesus confirmed. Later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up on a high mountain and transfigured Himself before them (Matt. 17:1-2). When His hour had finally come, Jesus said to Mary while hanging on the cross, “Woman, behold your son (John 19:26)!”

At this wedding, Mary desired for Jesus to reveal Himself as she knew His true identity.  Mary knew Jesus’ true identity through Gabriel’s announcement of her conceiving Jesus in her womb (Luke 1:26-33). So, Jesus’ verbal response was about revealing the fullness of His identity. Was Jesus annoyed? Absolutely not.

Was Jesus not going to help this married couple?  I’m sure you know the rest of the story but let’s keep moving forward and see the answer.

Turning Water Into Wine Miracle

Without responding back to Jesus’s response, Mary said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it (John 2:5).”  I always picture this scene with a mother suggesting her son do something and not paying much attention to any back talk.  What I love about this moment is that Mary knew Jesus would help!  When you make a request to the Lord, don’t doubt that God is going to move for you!

Obedience of the servants

Let’s also point out that Mary told the servants to listen to Christ and do as He says.  In other words, Mary told the servants to be obedient!  You should know, obeying God’s word – listening and doing – is how you receive His blessings.  Let us remember that Jesus said, “whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man (Matt. 7:24).”  Those that are wise in spirit are truly blessed.

So, Jesus instructed that six waterpots be filled to the brim with water (John 2:6-7).  The servants listened and did.  Jesus then instructed the servants to get some of the water out the pots and serve the master of the feast (John 2:8).  Again, the servants listened to Him and did. Now, let’s notice that scripture doesn’t tell us that Jesus did anything else to the water.

When the master of the feast was served, he tasted it and immediately asked to speak with the groom (John 2:9).  Was there a problem?  After all, these pots were stone pots used for washing feet! The master of the feast didn’t know where his drink had come from! That being said, he looked to the groom and said with a smile, “you have kept the good wine until now!”  The master of the feast was blown away by what he had drank!  

You see, at the midway point of the wedding celebration, the lower tier stuff started to be served.  Yet, the wine from Jesus was the best wine that had been served at the celebration!  But how?  How did this happen?  How did the water turn into wine? The only thing we see is that the servants filled the pots up with water and served him water! Yet, the master of the feast said he was drinking wine?

The work of the Spirit

While this was the first miracle of Jesus, I would tell you that this miracle is still being done today.  What do I mean by that? Well, to understand how Jesus turned water into wine, all we have to do is take a look in the mirror. The child of God is being changed on a constant basis.

I preached a sermon several years ago – You Are More Than What You Think – where I used this miracle to talk about the believer.  You see, there is a lot of symbolism in the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine.  Let me explain the symbolism to you.

Jesus didn’t use fancy water pots to perform this miracle.  Jesus used stone pots that would have likely been beaten and worn down.  Those stone pots represents us. You see, life does nothing but beat us down over and over again, doesn’t it?

However, when we confess our faith, the Holy Spirit enters into us. The water entering into the stone pots are representative of God’s word and the Holy Spirit entering into us. The Holy Spirit works to transform us on the inside around the clock (Rom. 12:2).  As Paul said, we are a new creation through our faith and the old has passed away (2 Cor. 5:17). 

While our old man (our old nature) may still be present, the law of God overrides his commands. What once came out of us was defiled (Matt. 15:11), but no longer is that the case through the inner dwelling of the Spirit. This is the miracle of the Holy Spirit within us.

How did Jesus turn the water in old stone pots into wine?  It was through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in all believers a work that, at first, is invisible.  However, over time, the work of the Spirit becomes noticed.  Yes, there is a wonderful change that will come over you that you will notice and even those around you will notice. This change is a change that pleases the Lord and glorifies His work. 

Scripture tells us that this was the beginning of signs that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee (John 2:11).  This miracle began to manifest His glory and His disciples believed in Him. I would encourage all people to let Jesus perform this miracle in them today if they haven’t already.  This wonderful miracle can happen in you if you choose to believe and live in obedience of His word.

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