- Gather a group of top CEO’s for a special strategy meeting.
- Organize some kind of spectacular public event sure to draw attention.
- Launch a multi-media campaign using various social networking venues.
- Go hang out at a wedding.
Chances are, most of us would choose any or all of the first three; and yet Jesus chose to hang out at a wedding and perform His first miracle by turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). Why would Jesus start this way?
In the Old Testament, weddings symbolized the time of the Messiah (Is 54:4-8, 62:4-5), when God will again marry His Bride, Israel. And wine was a symbol of joy (Judg. 9:13; Ps. 104:15). It was a central part of the messianic wedding banquet (Is 25:6). An abundance of wine also symbolizes the joy of the last days (Jeremiah 31:12, Amos 9:13-14).
Perhaps most significant is the type of jars Jesus used for this first miracle. They were ceremonial jars, those used for ritual cleansing of their hands before eating, studying the Law and so on. This practice was all part of keeping the Old Covenant that God had established through Moses.
Jesus is making a major statement by transforming ritual water into new wine – a symbol of the messianic age. The abundance of the kingdom now fills the containers once reserved for the obligations of the law, and the result is joyful and life-giving – just like a wedding feast.
Jesus came to fulfill the Old Covenant (Mt 5:17) and usher in the New Covenant. It was a significant shift from external cleansing to internal transformation.
Jesus was making possible a whole new level of intimacy with the Father and that was worthy of celebrating; worthy of a wedding feast!