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Miracles of Jesus: Changing Water to Wine

Bible Records Jesus Turning Water into Wine at a Wedding Party in Cana

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Jesus Bible miracle water to wine
"The Wedding at Cana" by William Brassey Hole, circa 1906, public domain

Jesus Christ's First Public Miracle

Jesus Christ performed the first miracle of his ministry on Earth by changing water to wine, the Bible says. The story is recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter 2, verses 1 through 11.

Why, out of all the types of miracles Jesus could have chosen to do, did he choose this one? It may have been because of the powerful symbolism involved: The water that Jesus used came from jars that the Jewish people used before meals for ceremonial washing, which symbolized purifying themselves. By changing that water into wine -- which would later be used in the Christian sacrament of Communion to represent Jesus' blood washing away people's sins -- Jesus was foreshadowing his sacrificial death on the cross to pay for people's sins and connect them to a pure, holy God.

Jesus' Mother Mary Asks Her Son to Help

Jesus performed the first miracle of his ministry at the request of his mother, Saint Mary. The story begins in John 2:1-5: "On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.'

'Dear woman, why do you involve me?' Jesus replied. 'My hour has not yet come.'

His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'"

It's clear from this passage that Mary has the confidence that Jesus will grant her request to help the host and guests, and sure enough, Jesus does so.

A Quiet Miracle

Verses 6 through 8 describe what happened next: "Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from 20 to 30 gallons. Jesus said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water'; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.' They did so..."

Without the servants' knowledge, a miracle had just taken place, quietly, within the jars.

Great Taste

The story continues in the verses 9 through 10: "...and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, 'Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.'"

It's easy to imagine how delicious wine made by Jesus himself would taste, since the Bible and Torah say in Psalm 34:8: "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."

The master of the banquet was impressed, but since he didn't know that the great-tasting wine resulted from a miracle, he assumed that the bridegroom had purchased it to serve to the guests.

Revealing His Glory

This miraculous event was the first sign that Jesus used to reveal his glory to the people around him, the Bible says. The story concludes in John 2:11-12: "What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

Jesus was to go on to perform many more miracles during his 3 1/2-year ministry on Earth that culminated in his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.

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