John 2: Jesus Turns Water To Wine: Amazing Symbolism

slide-8-water-into-wine

Most people have heard about Jesus turning the water into wine, but do they really know what it means? Do you really know what it means?

If you have not read this portion of scripture, please read John 2:1-12 now so that we may be taught of the Spirit together as we analyze this passage! This miracle of Jesus packs a deep meaning that radically sets the stage for the rest of his life, ministry, and purpose.

First, its important to know the setting for where He performed his first miracle. We see that he performs it at a wedding feast (John 2:1), one of the most treasured celebrations in 1st century Jerusalem. He is attending with his mother and a few of his disciples, and it is brought to his attention that there is no more wine to be served. To us, this doesn’t seem like a big issue, but the point of all Jesus’ miracles is to demonstrate spiritual truth, and what a amazing truth he reveals through this miracle!

Key Point: Jesus uses the ceremonial cleansing jars to create the wine. (John 2:6)

We need to note what Jesus used to turn the water into wine. He used ceremonial cleaning jars, which probably already had a decent amount of old water sitting in them. The Jews would use these water jars to purify themselves: to wash themselves, and make themselves “clean” before God. By using these jars, Jesus is giving us a sneak peek of what is to come. Jesus is showing us that the cleansing of His blood (as we know, in the Bible, the blood of Christ is represented by wine -Matt 26:28) is far greater than any ritual washings – and the transformation of this very water into wine symbolizes the transformation of Judaism.
The fact that Jesus changed the ceremonial washing water into wine proves that he will do away with the rituals of Judaism, and that we will be made clean before God through his blood. Jesus filled the containers to the brim (John 2:7) to show that no space is left for ritual washings after his sacrifice.

Jesus instructs the servants to take a pitcher of this water to the master, and so they did. We don’t actually know when the water turns to wine, but when the master of the feasts takes a sip, he says, “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” (John 2:10). Is this recorded just to show us that Jesus should start a new career as a wine-maker? Certainly not. The Spirit is showing us something here:

The statement made by the master of the feast implies this: That typically, the best wine is served first, so that the people “get their fill” (get drunk) and can’t tell when a cheaper wine is introduced. In the same way, The Jews had been “drinking wine” (aka. performing their ritual washings) for so long that they weren’t able to recognize when something better came along (Jesus)!

Jesus conveys this truth again in the same chapter when he drives out the temple. He exclaims, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Jesus was talking about his own body, and it was through the “destroying of it” and his rising from the dead that was able to accomplish this new system, where his blood covers our sin, not our ritual washings or other works.

Jesus came to make everything new, and he clearly demonstrated that by turning old water used for bathing into brand new wine. He also came to make the heart new. We will see that tomorrow in John 3!

(please email me at jrfletch@uga.edu for further explanation or questions)

Anxiety: Responding Biblically

As I have experience plenty of anxiety with regards with what to do about future opportunities, jobs, ministry, I’ve decided to look back at God’s Word to see how He tells me to deal with anxiety.

Do you ever lie awake at night, worrying about a situation, or ever feel paralyzed by anxiety? Although we all (including myself) experience moments of anxiety, we don’t have to let fear control our lives. The scriptures actually teach us that we can acquire peace in the middle of these stressful circumstances.

1.) We must carefully watch our thought lives.

Philippians 4:8 says, ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  In the last part of the next verse ends with the tagline “-and the God of peace will be with you.”

Dr. Charles Stanley says that, “anxiety is an emotion caused by fearful thoughts.” Changing our pattern of thinking generally causes anxiety to go away. When your thought life becomes negative or counterproductive, deliberately choose to set your mind on something else; something true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable. For instance, you can praise the Lord and thank Him, think about your beautiful children, family, or even the opportunity to know where your next meal is coming from!But perhaps the best way is to meet God in prayer and focus on biblical truths- and the one truth we get from Philippians 4:8 promises that if we focus on our mind on the things listed, the God of peace will be with us!

2.) Set your mind on scripture

It will benefit you to remember certain promises that our Lord makes through his Word. A couple of my favorites are:

“Our heavenly Father is sovereign and in control over all situations.” (Ps. 91) and, “He lovingly provides for the needs of His children” (Matt. 6:25-34).

I had a conversation with a coworker yesterday at my place of employment about anxiety and God’s provision. He was telling me how he was wondering what God was even doing with him in his job, but he reminded himself of a promise in scripture and told me, “ I just stopped thinking about it. He promises me that I don’t have to worry about it. He’s got it!” I was able to also encourage him of the passage in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?It is so true that we are much more valuable than birds, he created US to have a relationship with him, so why would he not care for us more than the birds!
Also, for a cool little side note, birds are chosen because they pretty much inhabit all areas of the earth. So Jesus uses them with the idea of, every time we see a bird, we could be reminded of his sovereign provision and promise to take care of us! I encourage you to think of this every time you see a bird this week!

3.) Turn your anxieties into prayers.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to let all of our requests be made known to God with an attitude of thanksgiving. Take some time at first to thank him for the things that you do have, (because you might even need to be thankful for the ability to even have the issue your dealing with!) Then place your worry on him. What works best for me is to get down on my knees and try to tell my Father everything that’s weighing heavy on me. Or, write him a letter containing your present worries. Let him know that your giving him control and transferring your anxieties to him! Again, he makes another promise in the same verse –and the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)

4.) Fulfill our responsibilities

When we fail to perform our duties, we sometimes end up with anxiety-causing situations. For example, a person who fails to maintain his car will typically end up with a vehicle that doesn’t work properly.

Those who neglect their responsibilities will face many unnecessary hardships in life. Let’s look at this biblical principle as it relates to money. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus promises that the Father will provide for our basic needs. But Scripture also teaches that in most cases, believers have a role to play in meeting financial commitments (2 Thess. 3:10).

  • Proverbs 10:4 tells us that “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hands of the diligent makes rich.”
  • The Apostle Paul also had an outside job for a living so that he would not be a burden on anyone, and he encourages us to do our work quietly and earn our own living.  (2 Thess. 3:7-9)

Taking responsibility doesn’t guarantee a resolution to the problem. If the situation doesn’t resolve, you can still find supernatural peace by applying the concepts in the rest of this study.

Worry can cripple us emotionally and hinder our productivity. OR it can drive us to prayer and prompt our spiritual growth. Choose to respond to worry in a way that aligns with scripture. Not only will the Lord be glorified, but you will be set free from anxiety’s paralyzing grip!