The First Sign – Jesus Turns Water Into Wine

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Sermon Outline:

1. The Setting
2. The Sign
3. The Shadow and Type
4. The Significance

Sermon Text:

John 2:1-11

The Wedding at Cana

2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “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.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

Sermon Notes

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

The very first miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ, after being revealed to Israel through the Baptism of John the Baptist, was turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). This miracle is rich in meaning, as we will see in our study today. Sadly, some have wanted to reduce this miracle only to legitimize alcohol consumption or to reinvent the ministry of Jesus as a seeker-friendly, social gospel making Him more appealing to the masses. On the contrary, this first sign of our Lord is a profound illustration pointing to our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross. In God’s providence we are studying this miracle on a Lord’s Day when we are celebrating communion.

A.W. Pink so eloquently says, “One of the things that is made prominent in John 1 is the failure of Judaism, and the turning away from it to Christ. The failure of Judaism (seen in the ignorance of the Sanhedrin) is made plain by the sending of priests and Levites from Jerusalem to enquire of John who he was (John 1:19). This is made still more evident by the pitiable statement of the Baptist, “There stands one among you, whom ye know not” (John 1:26). All this is but an amplification of that tragic word found in John 1:11—”He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” So blind were the religious leaders of Israel, that they neither knew the Christ of God stood in their midst, nor recognized His forerunner to whom the Old Testament Scriptures bore explicit witness.

Judaism was but a dead husk, the heart and life of it were gone. Only one thing remained, and that was the setting of it aside, and the bringing in “of a better hope.” Accordingly, we read in Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.” Yes, the fullness of God’s time had come. The hour was ripe for Christ to be manifested. Judaism must be set aside. The Baptist wound up the O.T. system (“the law and the prophets were until John”—Luke 16:16), and in John 2:1-11 [we are shown a shadow and type of the Lord Jesus as “the best wine”, His blood shed for us in redemption at Calvary – the prophesied Messiah now come].”