The Wedding at Cana

How many times has God blessed you more than you expected?

John 2: 1-11: On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Marriage-at-Cana-Italian-Renaissance-Tintoretto

The Marriage at Cana by Jacopo Tintoretto (1561)

The wedding at Cana is one of the most popular Biblical stories for artists. This painting emphasizes the culture of a Renaissance wedding with the finest dinnerware and clothing. The use of light and perspective demonstrates Tintoretto’s skill as a master artist. The spiritual importance of the painting is lacking as Jesus just appears as one of the guests and He is not the central theme. The calling of the apostle John is omitted and the presence of Mary, Jesus’ family, and his disciples lacks emphasis.

Luther: Martin Luther analyzed the miracle at Cana in his sermon on the second Sunday in Epiphany in 1525. He took the opportunity to apply the importance of God’s Word, faith, and the responsibility of parents to nurture their children (God’s children) according to God’s command.

“For father and mother are in duty bound, yea, God made them father and mother for this very purpose, not to teach and lead their children to God according to their own notions and devotion, but according to God’s command; as St. Paul declares in Eph 6, 4: “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord;” (i. e. teach them God’s command and Word, as you were taught, and not notions of your own.) Thus in this Gospel lesson you see the mother of Christ directing the servants away from herself unto Christ, telling them not: Whatsoever I say unto you, do it; but: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” To this Word alone you must direct everyone, if You would direct aright; so that this word of Mary (whatsoever he saith, do it) is, and ought to be, a daily saying in Christendom, destroying all doctrines of men and everything not really Christ’s Word. And we ought firmly to believe that what is imposed upon us over and above God’s Word is not, as they boast and lie, the commandment of the church. For Mary says: ‘Whatsoever he saith that, that, that do, (sic) and that alone; for in it there will be enough to do.‘ Here also you see, how faith does not fail, God does not permit that, but gives more abundantly and gloriously than we ask. For here not merely wine is given, but excellent and good wine, and a great quantity of it. By this He again entices and allures us to believe confidently in him, though be a delay. For He is truthful and cannot deny himself; He is good and gracious, that He must of Himself confess and in addition prove it, unless we hinder Him and refuse Him time and place and the means to do so. At last He cannot forsake his work, as little as He can forsake himself–if only we can hold out until His hour comes.”

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

 

 

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