"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Wedding at Cana
John 2:1-11 Commentary
by Gilberto Ruiz
The structure of John 2:1-11 is typical of a miracle story: the setting is established (verses 1-2), a need arises (verses 3-5), a miracle addresses that need (verses 6-8), and there is a response to that miracle (verses 9-11).
The changing of water to wine is Jesus’ first public act in John, the inaugural “sign” of God’s presence in the world through him.
The “third day” language in verse 1, suggestive as it is of Jesus’ resurrection after three days, clues us into the symbolic nature of this particular miracle story. So does the wedding setting, as wedding and banquet imagery is used to symbolize the messianic era (Isaiah 54:4-8; 62:4-5; Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:9). Present at the wedding are Jesus, his disciples, and Jesus’ mother, never called Mary in the Fourth Gospel (see 2:1, 3, 5, 12; 19:25). She is introduced first because of her prominent role in the story.
The need that arises is a lack of wine, which Mary reports to Jesus in verse 3. Without explicitly requesting that he do anything, her telling Jesus they have no wine implies that she wants him to do something and that she believes he can solve this problem. Jesus’ response to her in verse ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 111: Wedding at Cana
January 12, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for Jan. 12, 2014: John 2:1-11. Accompanying reading: Psalm 104:14-16.