The Gospel of John is one of my favorite books of the Bible, and it is certainly my favorite written Gospel account. From the very start of the book, the wording in chapter one sounds eerily similar to chapter one of the book of Genesis. For the longest time, I just thought it was a cool connection. Then one day, the story of Jesus turning water into wine came to my mind. Honestly, I always thought it was an odd miracle and wondered why this was the first recorded miracle in the book of John.
If you look at all of the gospels, the book of John is the only one that even mentions the miracle at the wedding of Cana. For those who are not familiar with the account, read John 2: 1-11:
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory. And His disciples believed in Him.
I will admit I was not as easily impressed compared to the other miracles Jesus performed, such as when He walked on water, healed the sick, or raised the dead. For the longest time, I just saw this event as a “warmup miracle” or something small so that he did not draw too much attention to Himself so early in His ministry.
Man, was I dead wrong!
When I read this chapter now, I realize this is actually a HUGE miracle! Remember that connection John made at the start of the book with the book of Genesis? Let’s look at it more closely by comparing the two:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. | Genesis 1:1-2, 26-27, 31
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. | John 1:1-3, 14
Both Genesis and John essentially start by referring to creation and the Creator who is Jesus Christ. While keeping that in mind, go back and read John 2 and what do you see different now? The miracle of turning water to wine is essentially Christ demonstrating His power as the CREATOR! I think God inspired John to write this miracle specifically.
Look at some other connections between Genesis 1 and John 2. Notice that Genesis 1 does not mention when God created the waters, but He used the waters to create other things. Jesus used water as the basis to create the wine. The account of Creation in Genesis 1 reports six days of creation before God rested. Jesus instructed that six barrels be filled with water. Maybe the number six is a coincidence, but I am inclined to believe that it was purposeful.
To go another step further, I think Christ may have also hinted at what was to come in the future… Can you think of any other times God turned water into something else? How about the first plague in Egypt? God turned the water in the Nile River into blood, and all the sea creatures in the Nile died as a result. In contrast by turning water to wine, the people were able to enjoy it… now the next time Christ speaks of wine again is during the Last Supper when He tells His disciples to drink the cup of wine which represents His blood shed for the world. Whereas Christ had to drink of the cup of wrath of God, we get to drink from the cup of salvation all because of what Christ completed on the cross!
We now can have eternal life!
Now, I don’t know if I have truly connected the dots or not, but the point I want you to realize is this:
God’s plans are beyond our comprehension!
What are your thoughts about all of this? At the very least, I hope this makes us desire to see and understand God and His Word more in the days to come.