The most famous of weddings in the Bible is no doubt the wedding at Cana. This is the first time that Jesus is recorded as having performed a miracle. He had also gathered disciples by then and this miracle was very significant. It is no coincidence that Jesus chose a wedding to perform His first miracle. So let’s explore how this relates to my other post of the Galilean Wedding and how it is a foreshadow of the Wedding feast that will take place after the Rapture of the Church.
From reading my other post, you will be familiar now with how a Galilean wedding took place. Now let’s compare the wedding at Cana. At this wedding, there are some significant numbers to consider and some significant things to take note of. One of the first things I would like to point out is that this wedding at Cana most likely took place on a Wednesday. “According to the Mishnah the wedding would take place on a Wednesday if the bride was a virgin and on a Thursday if she was a widow (Ket. 1:1). The bridegroom and his friends made their way in procession to the bride’s house. This was often done at night, when there could be a spectacular torchlight procession. There were doubtless speeches and expressions of goodwill before the bride and groom went in procession to the groom’s house, where the wedding banquet was held. It is probable that there was a religious ceremony, but we have no details. The processions and the feast are the principal items of which we have knowledge. The feast was prolonged, and might last as long as a week” (Morris, 1971).
In John 2:1, we read that on the third day, there was a wedding in Cana. Three is a significant number because 3 represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but 3 also represents what day Jesus would rise from the dead (the third day). In John 2:1, it states that the wedding occurred on the third day. If Sunday is the first day of the week, three days from Sunday would point to Wednesday. This would indicate that this Bride was a virgin. Like the church, this Bride is considered pure and worthy to be taken as a righteous Bride, she would be dressed in white to indicate that. Now when we read the following verses, it says, “When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” John 2:3-5. Here, we see Jesus call Mary Woman, I do not think that Jesus was being disrespectful to her. Yes, she was his earthly Mother, but Mary was just a vessel used by God to incarnate Jesus into Mankind. Jesus also called Mary Woman when he was dying on the cross. I believe that since Jesus is God, He was merely referring to her as His created being, a woman. It could also be looked upon as a term of endearment.
When Jesus answered, “what does this have to do with me?” He was asking a question that only He could answer. I don’t believe that Mary was commanding Jesus to perform a miracle, I believe she was merely stating a fact. There was no wine and it was a problem for the Bridegroom and His family. It was culturally frowned upon if the Bridegroom’s family was unable to provide wine for the guests of the wedding feast and perhaps Mary was close friends with the family and just mentioned it to Jesus, in a state of worry. Although Jesus answered by saying it really was not His problem, He also added another statement, “My hour has not yet come.” Jesus was saying that He is the Bridegroom and the Messiah and His hour to provide the wine or (His blood as a sacrifice) had not yet come). I like Mary’s response, although she was His Mother, she did not cross the line of His authority. She simply directed the servants to listen to His orders, not her own. Mary was a wise and respectful woman.
John 2:6 says, “Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.” Six is the number of man throughout the Bible. This is the first time that the number 6 is mentioned in the New Testament. Jesus had come into the world to redeem this number, by coming in Human flesh. The fact that these jars were “empty” was symbolic of Mankind’s spiritual condition. Mankind was empty, needing a spiritual fullness in order to enter into eternity. Here, we see that Jesus was the only one that could fulfill and complete this process, not Mary, only Jesus.
Having no wine would not only be a disgrace on the Master of the feast, but it would also prevent the wedding celebration from continuing, which was to last seven days. This was a foreshadow of how Jesus would call Himself the water of life. It is through Him that we have eternal life. The water that was placed in these jars were symbolic of the eternal life that only comes through Jesus. In John 4:13-14,“Jesus answers, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” At this wedding, Jesus was showing that although they were focused on a physical need, it was really a spiritual need that He would also be revealing. Their physical need was a sign of a more serious matter, their spiritual need. There would be no wedding celebration without the wine for the New Covenant, likewise, without the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross, there would be no wedding feast to celebrate in the future either!
In our case, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb could only take place after the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross for the redemption of mankind. This act would make His Bride (the church) purified into a New Covenant. It would only be then, that the 7 day wedding celebration could take place. In our case, the church will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb for 7 years in Heaven after the Lord raptures the church from the Earth and takes us into Heaven. During that time, the 7 year Tribulation will be taking place on the Earth, which will seem like only 7 days to us while we’re celebrating in Heaven.
So now, we see how every story in the Bible truly is a foreshadow of future events. God is able to use each story for the people of that time period, but it also serves as a purpose of telling a future event. There is a lot of symbolism throughout the Bible that speaks a powerful message to all who read it. I hope you are blessed by seeing the importance of the First miracle Jesus performed and how He had His own future Bride in mind, which is you and me (the church and Bride of Christ). We look to our blessed hope, the day that we will be reunited with out Bridegroom, Jesus Christ!
Sources Sited: Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), pp. 178-179.