The Wedding At Cana — страница 2

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“Do whatever he tells you.” These words hearken back to the words Pharaoh says about Joseph as he also solves a problem of scarcity (Gen. 41:55). The Pharaoh expresses his confidence that Joseph will be able to solve the situation. Mary is also confident of her Son’s abilities. As in the synoptic gospels, Jesus has a soft heart for those who express unconditional faith in him. This includes his mother. The miracle itself occurs in verse six as the water jars are described. The jars contain water, and are used in the Jewish rite of purification. They were probably used for the ritual cleansing of hands before a meal. Many believe that the changing of the purification water to wine alludes to the outdatedness of Jewish ritual law. The amount of time that passes between

Mary’s words and Jesus’ actions is not given (O’Day, 1995). The water is turned into wine. In fact the wine is of the most exceptional quality as the waiter later professes. The amount of water in the jars is excessive, archeological evidence tells us that the jars probably held about 9 gallons each, but other scholars believe that they could have held up to 20 gallons each. Not unlike the story of the fish and bread, Jesus provides for the people in abundance. The extravagant proportion alludes to the abundance of gifts that Jesus will eventually give (Haenchen, 1984). Jesus’ miracle is publicly attested to at the end of the story. The steward indirectly verifies what has happened when he speaks with the host. The steward, however, does not know the source of the wine.

He also is the one who attests to its high quality. The statement that he makes, “Everyone serves the good wine first . . . you have kept the good wine until now,” is most probably a hospitality maxim of the time. If the wedding feasts lasted only one day, the second batch of inferior wine could be brought out hours into the party, these feasts continued for days, a fact not conducive to a literal interpretation of the steward’s words. There is a second layer of meaning that can be added to the steward’s word. The steward attributes the good wine to the bridegroom. Jesus is often depicted as a bridegroom. The wine comes from the true bridegroom. The last verse, verse twelve transitions Jesus into the next story, the destruction of the temple (Funk & Hoover, 1993). The

Wedding at Cana, however, is much more than a miracle story it is a sign. A sign is “an event which is both a symbol and a channel of something greater than itself (Lightfoot, 1963).” What happened in Cana is a sign, which reveals the true identity and Glory of Jesus. It is the beginning of an entire series of signs, seven to be exact. The sign reveals the “glory” of Jesus to those who believe in him. In the Old Testament an abundance of wine is echatologically symbolic of God’s new age (Amos 9:13, Joel 3:18). Jesus is the fulfillment of eschatological hopes. The sign of salvation by the Messiah is presented (Schnackerburg, 1968). The disciples of Jesus believed in him before this miracle was performed. They were willing to give up their former ways of life and follow

him. However, as even the synoptic gospels show, the disciples did not always understand Jesus’ mission. Their concept of Jesus’ role as savior was very earth bound. This miracle added a new dimension to their faith, a much deeper dimension. The changing of water of Law into the wine of Christ has very sacramental suggestions. It is not clear, however if the story relates to a specific sacrament. The reference to wine could refer to the Eucharistic wine. In this case it would be a counterpart to the story of the loaves of bread. It is also possible that John was thinking of baptism. Water, once used to purify by Jewish Law, now is much more valuable, and purifies in a much truer sense (Perkins, 1989). This passage in John’s Gospel is very important in the Christian faith.

It says a lot about believes. Not only can it be used to understand Christ, as stated above, this story has a few other, less Christological uses. Jesus was never married. Blessed Mother was married, however whether it is true or not Church doctrine holds her as an eternal virgin. Christ’s presence at the wedding in Cana is a sign that he blesses the love between a man and a woman who are joined in marriage. God institutes marriage at the beginning of creation (Gen. 1:27-28), and then Jesus re-confirms it. This part of the gospel is also very important for the church’s view of Mary. Throughout the entire gospel Mary is never referred to by name. She is described as the Mother of Jesus, but given the title “woman” by the Lord (St. John: 1995). She appears only twice –