Friday, Feb. 24
The account of the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) harbors a host of interesting questions. John obviously chose a different format from the synoptic gospels. He chooses just a few events in Jesus’ life, some of which are also recorded in the synoptic gospels. This event, the first of the chosen events, John calls a “sign” (as he does with the other chosen events). Each event is a miracle which is a sign pointing to Jesus as the promised Messiah, which is John’s stated goal as recorded in John 20:31. My “questions.” 1. Changing water into wine seems an odd way to start. No critical need such as a demon to cast out, a blind man to heal, or feeding a multitude of people. 2. Then we have an odd assortment of people involved, most of them not named—the wedding couple, the master of the banquet, the servants. 3. No mention of the wedding ceremony, just the banquet. Was it before or after the wedding ceremony? 4. Jesus’ mother is mentioned first as being invited to the wedding. But Jesus and his disciples were also invited. No mention of Mary’s other children. 5. The very first statement having to do with the wedding was that the wine had run out. 6. Mary evidently expected Jesus to do something about this, but did not stipulate exactly what he was to do. 7. Jesus rebuked his mother, saying that his time had not yet come. 8. Mary was not dissuaded by the rebuke, turning to the servants to tell them to do whatever Jesus told them to do. 9. Jesus then went ahead and performed a miracle—with the implication that it was to please his mother? 10. There were six stone water containers, each capable of holding 20-30 gallons of water, a total of between 120 and 180 gallons—obviously enough for the entire population of the village to get drunk. And the biggest question of all: Why did John use this miracle—one that is not recorded elsewhere—to launch his core message? I confess I don’t know. Maybe it was to catch our attention. It obviously caught mine.