Monday, March 22, 2010

Water to Wine

The first recorded miracle of Jesus is the changing of the water to wine and is found in John 2:1-11. This miracle is especially rich in symbolism and ends by John explaining, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory” (John 2:11). The Greek word translated as miracles could also be translated as signs. “This beginning of signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.” Which raises the question, what is the sign?

The answer is found in the details John gives us concerning how this miracle took place. “And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim” (John 2:6-7).

The waterpots are of stone not pottery because under the Law pottery was considered unclean. Therefore, these are large (a firkin is about nine gallons) containers hewn out of stone. This means the waterpots were much too large to pick up and carry to the water source. Instead the servants had to fill smaller containers and bring the water to the pots until they were filled. If they had a three gallon vessel in which to fetch water this means they had to make about 36 to 54 trips to the water source in order to fill the pots.

Now for the symbolism. We are the pots! Our bodies, like the stone pots are made from the elements of the earth and in the scriptures we are sometimes called the vessels of the Lord. John also tells us that these stone pots were set apart for sacred purposes, the purifying of the Jews, and we have been foreordained or set apart for sacred purposes, to help in the work of the Lord. Jesus Christ is the fountain of Living Water and prophets and teachers (servants) help bring that water to us until we are filled to the brim. It doesn’t happen at once, but is a lifetime process. Once we are as full as we can be (filled to the brim) Jesus Christ changes us—He makes us into something better.

Thus we see that the “sign” is that Jesus Christ has come to change us. If we will "fill" ourselves with His gospel and with Him, He will change us into something better!


Wendi said...

Thanks for sharing those insights, Sherrie. I love your symbolism posts! :)

Jenny said...

Wow, thanks for this post! Especially the part about filling our vessels little by little, and then Christ changing and making us better!


Beautifully explained. Powerful message. Thank you.