Jesus Turns Water into Wine: Bible Story

The Gospel book of John in the New Testament tells us of the first miracle that Jesus performed at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Mary, Jesus's mother, was attending a wedding that had run out of wine. She came to Jesus and asked him to do something to help and he tells the servants to fill six jars with water and take it to the director of the feast. The director of the wedding tastes what is given to him and is astonished when he realizes the fine quality of the wine.

"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." ~ John 2:11

The Wedding in Cana

The setting of this story is significant. In the Old Testament, marriage feasts symbolized the union of God with His Bride, Israel. Jesus began His ministry at Galilee, which had a large Gentile population; this was a sign of the spread of the gospel to all the world. That this wedding took place "on the third day" infers to the resurrection, showing that the marriage of God and His church will be fulfilled in Christ's Resurrection.

The wedding in Cana is the setting for the first of the seven signs performed by Jesus in the Gospel of John. John uses the term signs to show that these miraculous actions point beyond themselves to the truth that the Kingdom of God has come among us in the Person of Jesus Christ. The seven signs include:

  1. Changing water into wine (John 2:1-11)
  2. Curing the nobleman's son ( John 4:46-54)
  3. Healing the paralytic (John 5:1-15)
  4. Feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-14)
  5. Walking on water (John 6:15-21)
  6. Opening the eyes of a blind man (John 9:1-41)
  7. Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44)

Bible Meaning of Jesus Turning Water into Wine

It is very desirable when there is a marriage, to have Christ own and bless it. Those that would have Christ with them at their marriage, must invite him by prayer, and he will come. While in this world we sometimes find ourselves in straits, even when we think of ourselves in fulness. There was want at a marriage feast. Those who are come to care for the things of the world, must look for trouble, and count upon disappointment. In our addresses to Christ, we must humbly spread our case before him, and then refer ourselves to him to do as he pleases. 

In Christ's reply to his mother, there was no disrespect. He used the same word when speaking to her with affection from the cross; yet it is a standing testimony against the idolatry of after-ages, in giving undue honors to his mother. His hour comes when we know not what to do. Delays of mercy are not denials of prayer. Those that expect Christ's favors, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy, and Christ's methods must not be objected against. 

The beginning of Moses' miracles was turning water into blood, (Exodus 7:20); the beginning of Christ's miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and makes them comforts indeed. And Christ's works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ's works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best of its kind. 

Though Christ hereby allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, (Luke 21:34). Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him. (Source: Matthew Henry Commentary)

Read the Scriptures below that give the Gospel accounts of Jesus turning water into wine. Below the Bible verses, you will find helpful articles, videos, and audio to aid your Bible study of this miracle of Jesus.

Image: Bartolome Esteban Murillo, The Marriage Feast at Cana, 1672