Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water.
And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast.
And they bare it.
And when the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants that had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast calleth the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man setteth on first the good wine; and when men have drunk freely, then that which is worse: thou hast kept the good wine until now.
This beginning of his signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him.John 2:7-11 ASV
Far from being presented as a mere parable, Jesus’ action in changing water into wine is here denominated the first of his mighty miracles, a positive manifestation of the Lord’s glory, and the event which issued in the faith of his disciples.
As the first of those mighty deeds which proved him to be God in the flesh, this sign of Jesus has a breadth of meaning and depth of importance fully compatible with its priority in the time sequence.
Compared with the first great miracle wrought by Moses, in which water was changed into blood, this sign resembles that one, as should have been expected of type and antitype; but it also contrasts dramatically.
Moses’ sign impoverished; this one enriched.
The superiority of Christ over Moses, so starkly visible here, was to appear in all the miracles that followed. Moses’ miracle was a curse; this was a blessing.
This beginning of miracles is truly an introduction to all other miracles which Christ wrought, as the parable of the Sower to all the other parables which he spoke.
No other miracle has so much of prophecy in it; no other, therefore, would have inaugurated so fitly the whole future work of the Son of God, a work that might be characterized throughout as an ennobling of the common, and a transmuting of the mean, a turning of the water of earth into the wine of heaven.
CHRIST AND MARRIAGE
By such a choice of platform, performing the miracle at a wedding, from which to launch his world-saving ministry, Christ conferred upon marriage his approval, encouragement, and blessing.
Fittingly, the traditional wedding ceremony has the lines:
“… in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, and signifying to us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee… etc.”
How appropriate it is that he who was to become the great Bridegroom of the Church in heaven and upon earth should have begun his ministry with such a wonder as this and upon such an occasion as the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
And manifested his glory … Of some mere prophet, it might have been declared that such a sign manifested God’s glory; but the glory here manifested was essentially of Christ himself, who was God incarnate. As Westcott said:
The manifestation of his glory in this “sign” must not be sought simply in what we call its miraculous element, but in this connection with the circumstances, as a revelation of the insight, sympathy, and sovereignty of the Son of man, who was the Word incarnate.
The enrichment, that came of Christ’s presence at that ancient wedding was a literal endowment of the new family unit with an exceedingly valuable and ample supply of the choices: wine, removing the new couple at one stroke from a status of poverty and embarrassment to a position of abundance and plenty.