John 2:1-11 - Water To Wine

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“Water To Wine”

John 2:1-11


For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

1.       Many Christians today are lacking “supernatural joy”.

a.       The fruit of the Spirit is joy.

b.       Psalm 32:11 declares: “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

c.        Psalm 16:11 we read: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”.

d.       Jesus declared, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”.

2.       According to these verses the life of a Christian is to be characterized by joy, not shallow joy which the world brings.

I.                   The Wedding in Cana – (v.1-2)

A.     The “third day”

1.       Three days after the Nathanael’s encounter with Jesus (John 1:45-51)

2.       Also the day on which Jesus began His public ministry officially.

B.     Mary the mother of Jesus was there.

1.       Note that Joseph was not mentioned. Most commentators think that he was already dead.

2.       Jesus, being the older child, had stayed home to take care of the family until the other children were old enough to go out on their own.

                                Thought: Jesus experienced:

·         the death of a parent

·         being the child of a one – parent family

·         having to go to work at an early age to provide for His mother and half-brothers & sisters

C.     Jesus & His Disciples Attended the Wedding.

1.       Why was Jesus invited to the wedding?

a.       He may have been invited to it in advance on had been on His way to it when He called Philip & Nath.

b.       Nathanael may have invited Him (John 21:2), for he was from Cana in Galilee. 

c.        Mary is never called by name in John’s Gospel.  She was probable a relative or intimate friend of the bridegroom’s family & was already there assisting in the preparations.

2.       Jesus was a sociable person.

a.       Jesus accepted invitations to social events, even though His enemies used this against Him (Luke 15:1-2).

b.       Christ’ ministry was focused upon people & helping them (Matthew 11:16-19).

c.        Jesus was always welcome among those who were having a good time.

Thought: we must be sociable people to.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.   "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.   "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:12-14)

3.       Jesus honored marriage.

D.     There is Another Wedding Coming! (Revelation 19:7-10)

·         Christ began His ministry at a wedding & will conclude at a wedding

·         Jesus is the bridegroom & we are the bride.


Verses 7-8

The Bride is Ready

1.       The Church has already been through the judgment seat of Christ and is now ready for the marriage supper.

2.       The Bride is the Church and she is ready due to the fact she has already been through the judgment seat of Christ and has been rewarded for her faithful service (1 Cor 3:10-15).

3.       This purity of the Church is also seen in Eph 5:25-27, which describes the Church in its perfected state, as seen in Rev 19:7-9.

It Was Given to Her

1.       The garment is supplied for the bride, which is the righteousness of Christ and then secondarily, the righteous acts of the saints.

·         The word righteous act is one word and plural and literally means “righteousnesses.”

·         We must first start with the righteousness of Christ as seen in Rev 7:14, and then allow it to work out its way in our lifestyles.  We will then be rewarded for the works we do in the name of Christ.

·         The rewards will be based on faithfulness to the abilities, gifts and talents the Lord gave to us.

Verse 9

The Blessed

1.       The ones who are truly blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

2.       This needs to be seen in contrast to Matt 22:1-14. 

One man was kicked out of the marriage feast due to the fact he was not wearing the right wedding garment. 

He symbolizes a person who attempts to get into heaven based on his own goodness and not upon the merits of Christ alone.

3.       Notice the fact we are invited by the grace of God since it is not by works. 

This is why we are to praise the Lord and will not be so impressed with ourselves in heaven over a decision “we made.”


The True Sayings of God

1.       This is such good news (almost unbelievable) that God Himself wanted the believers to be assured that this is what the Lord has in store for us in heaven.

2.       There is a heaven, a judgment upon the ungodly and a Kingdom where the Omnipotent God reigns in righteousness and peace.

The Marriage Supper

1.     This supper is not in heaven but on earth where the Jewish believers as well as all Gentile believers will participate.

Additional Notes On The Marriage Supper

The Greek word (gamos) used by John here literally means the “marriage supper.”

In John’s day, there were three major steps to any wedding:

STEP #1- A marriage contract which was consummated by the parents when a dowry was given to the parents of the bride by the parents of the bridegroom.  At this point the marriage was legal and it took a divorce to bring about a separation.

STEP #2- About a year after the contract was signed, as the bridegroom was accompanied by his male friends, he would go to the house of his bride at midnight as the streets were lit up by torches.  The bride would be ready for him and would be escorted back to his house along with her maidens (virgins of Matt 25:1-13).  The bridegroom’s house was usually an addition to the house of his father, which he himself would prepare.  This is exactly what Jesus meant in John 14:1-4 when he referred to going to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us.

STEP #3- The third phase of the marriage was the marriage supper (gamos) and would often last for days as seen in John 2:1-12 where Jesus preformed His first miracle.  


Important Point:

The word used in verse 7 is the one for step #3, the marriage supper.  That means in John’ mind the first two-steps have already taken place.  The Lord has paid the dowry price at the cross and has already brought His bride to His Father’s house (heaven) through the rapture.  The third phase is the feast, which will last for 1,000 years on the earth as a celebration. 

Application – Luke 12:35-40 – we must be ready to meet our bridegroom.

II.                Mary’s Concern  - Jesus’ Miracle – (v.3-11)

A.     They Have No Wine (v.3)

1.       Wine was a Symbol of joy.

a.       The Rabbis said, “Without wine there is no joy.”

b.       Psalm 104:5 praises the Lord for giving “wine that gladdens the heart of man.”

c.        Isaiah 55:1 we are invited to “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

2.       Mary’s concern.

a.       The wine was already gone & the celebration had just begun with a whole week yet to go.

b.       It was necessary for the groom to have adequate provisions for a week.

c.        To run out of either food or wine would be embarrassing & they could be fined

d.       The joyful spirit of the guests was to be dampened.

e.        The couple was to be shamed and humiliated, becoming the object of jokes among some.

f.        Mary, the mother of Jesus, probably one of the hostesses, was to be embarrassed.

To run out of wine would almost have been the equivalent of admitting that the guest or the bride & groom were happy.

3.       Apart from Jesus the joy of man is limited & will run out (John 4:13-14).

B.     My Hour Has Not Yet Come (v.4)

1.       “woman” was a title or respect much like our word “lady”: “Why are you getting Me involved in this matter?”

a.       He was no longer under His mother’s supervision, He would be doing what the Father wanted Him to do.

b.       Jesus lived on a heavenly timetable marked out for Him by the Father (Luke 2:40-52). 

2.       The Hour of His Crucifixion.

a.       Jesus had a deeper concern: to meet mans spiritual need!

b.       His hour was to become a constant symbol of His death (cp. John 7:6, 8, 30; John 8:20; John 12:23-24, 27, 33; John 13:1; John 17:1; Matthew 26:18, 45; Mark 14:41).


Jesus was always focused upon His purpose for coming to earth: to face His hour, to die for man’s salvation.

But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.   "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain… "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? `Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour… "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."   This He said, signifying by what death He would die.  (John 12:23-24, 27, 32-33 NKJV)

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1 NKJV)

                The point Jesus made was that His hour had not yet come...

·         the hour when He could really meet man’s needs.

·         the hour when He must die for man’s regeneration.

C.     Service For God – “Whatever He says to you do it” – (v.5)

1.       It would be wise for us to do all that Jesus says!

2.       The water turned into wine because the servants cooperated with Jesus & obeyed His commands.

3.       Whatever we do for the Lord we are assisting Him in doing a miracle!

"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14 NKJV)

Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:22 NKJV)

Luke 5:1-11 – Ministry directed by the Lord results in full nets!

Acts 9:1-6 – Saul’s conversion: “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

III.             The Spiritual Lesson – (v.6-11)

A.     The Six Water Pots

1.       The Outward Cleansing—Ceremonial & Religious cleaning of the hands & utensils.

a.       The waterpots were used both for drinking water and for the purifying and cleansing of the Jews.

b.       A Jew seen the waterpots both for satisfying his thirst and for his religious cleansing.

2.       The Inward Cleaning

a.       Jesus used the waterpots to show that He had the power...

·         to purify, cleanse, and satisfy men.

·         to create and produce whatever was necessary to cleanse and satisfy men.

b.       Jesus brought fullness where there was emptiness, something internal for that which was only external.


And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (Revelation 1:5 NKJV)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.   And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV)

B.     Being Filled With the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18b)

1.       Jesus Himself was filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:1).

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35 NKJV)

2.       Jesus uses us as waterpots today.

Vessels for Honor – 2 Timothy 2:20-23

a.       He wants to fill us with water, the Word of God

b.       In order to do this we must first run out or empty ourselves, & put in us the everlasting water.

c.        Spending time in the presence of the Lord & His Word will fill us.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, (Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

Simon Peter answered Him… You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68 NKJV)

Luke 10:38-42   Mary & Martha

#1 – Martha’s problem is she was distracted:

"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. (Luke 21:34 NKJV)

#2 – Mary had a spiritual hunger for the Word of the Lord.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)

Luke 9:12-17  the five thousand

After He fills us with the Word of God, He wants us to ladle it out & give it away!

                Philippians 1:11  is the result of abiding in His presence

We will be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”


a.       When it reaches those to whom it is destined to it becomes wine:

b.       the wine of joy through the working of the Holy Spirit.

c.        The Holy Spirit takes the water & performs a miracle in the life of an individual.

3.       If you ever find yourselves empty of joy, it’s because “you” have drawn away from Him.

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:35 NKJV)

                Certainly our God is able to supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

C.  Empty Water Pots

1.       The empty water pots and lack of wine represent the emptiness of religion & lack of time spent with Jesus!

a.       Religion & time not spent with Jesus is a cold and lifeless thing.

b.       Apart from the joy that Christ brings, religion is joyless and hardens personalities.

2.       You don’t have anything to give away when you are empty.

Do you have religion? It will profit you nothing.  Religion brings anger.

Or do you have Christ?  Christ & Him alone can put a new song in your heart and give you true and everlasting joy!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)

Do you hunger & thirst for righteousness?  If you do you shall be filled.


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)

People who use John 2:1-12 as a reference to say they can drink, “after all Jesus turned water into wine” are sadly mistaking.  The reply is: if you use Jesus as your example for drinking, why don’t you follow His example in everything else?

"for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." (Luke 22:18 NKJV)

D.     The Results: (v.9-11)

1.       The bridegroom’s need was met. What he needed was provided.

2.       Christ’s glory was revealed. His power to create anew was demonstrated.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

3.       The faith of the disciples was strengthened. They “believed on Him” even more. He had given evidence that He was the Messiah.

IV.              The Moral Lesson – “do not get drunk with wine” (Ephesians 5:18)

The verse which these words introduce is one of the most crucial texts relating to Christian living, to walking “in manner worthy of the calling with which [we] have been called” (Eph. 4:1).

1.       To live life by God’s standards, the Holy Spirit must control us.

2.       Before the command “be filled with the Spirit”, is the negative command “do not get drunk with wine.”

a.       Getting drunk is a counterfeit of being “filled with the Spirit.”

b.       Getting drunk is a mark of darkness (vv.8-14) & foolishness (vv.15-17).

3.       Many reasons are given for drinking:

a.       The desire to be happy, or at least to forget a sorrow or problem.

b.       The desire for happiness is both God-given & God fulfilled.

Þ      Ecclesiastes says there is “a time to laugh” (3:4), Proverbs says that “a joyful heart is good medicine” (17:22).

Þ      David proclaimed that in the Lords “presence is fulness of joy” (Ps. 16:11).

Þ      Jesus began each beatitude with the promise of blessedness, or happiness, for those who come to the Lord in the Lord’s way (Matt. 5:3-11).

Þ      The apostle John wrote that his own joy might “be made complete” (1 John 1:4).

Þ      Paul twice counseled the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord” (3:1; 4:4).

Þ      At the birth of Jesus, the angel announced to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

c.        Drinking in order to be happy only bring artificial happiness.

d.       It is a temporary escape that often leads to even worse problems.

e.        Being intoxicated is never a remedy for the cares of life

A.     Scripture Always Condemns Drunkenness

B.     Scripture Sometimes Condemns Wine

C.     Guidelines for Christians


1- Is today’s wine the same as that in bible times?

2- Is it necessary?

3- is it the best choice?

4- Is it habbit forming?

5- is it potentially destructive?

6- will it offend other christians?

7- will it harm my christian testimony?

8- is it right?

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