Water to Wine: The Wine Miracles Begin

In a wedding,
Jesus turned water into wine.
He is Savior, indeed.

The Gospel of John speaks of the Wedding in Cana, which Jesus, his mother Mary, and his entourage, a.k.a., disciples attended.  When the party ran out of wine, the Virgin Mary, perhaps1 intuitively knowing that her son will (or ought to) do something about it told Jesus, “They have no wine.” Jesus replied, “Woman, how does your concern affect me?2 My hour has not yet come.”3

Despite a seemingly snappy response to his mother’s factual statement, and perhaps4 realizing the perfect opportunity to debut his career as Savior, he asked that six stone water jars be filled with water to the brim and a sample served to the master of the house, who was then impressed with the quality of the wine. This crisis intervention happened behind the scene, and the party continued with fine wine. Jesus saves the day. This miracle becomes his early claim to fame.5 It was the first miracle attributed to Jesus that truly made his disciples believe that he’s legit6, and it was the fabulous social event that launched Jesus’ high profile and very public ministry.

Some fundamentalist Christians argue that the wine Jesus miraculously made was non-alcoholic.  This seems to be desperate attempt to support a claim that any level of alcohol consumption is evil, leads to evil, and condemned by God.7 Even the Holy Book disproves such silly claim: The Gospel captures the traditional practice of serving good wine8 first and then eventually serving lower shelf, mass-produced wine when the guests are already so happy and inebriated to notice the difference:9

And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:9-1010

Turning water into grape juice is no miracle; it’s a simple Cool Aid trick; but turning water into fine wine, now that takes supernatural skills only a Man-God-Messiah can deliver.  Whether you are a believer or not; Christian or other, you must admit that this legendary story is noteworthy at a theological, symbolic, and literary level.

When wine is present as the cornerstone of an event (just like in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and many other religious rituals and secular celebrations), the event becomes even more poetic, filled with drama, and gloriously miraculous.  As a child, the story of Jesus turning water into wine captured and captivated my imagination. Now, as wine-drinking adult, I am still captivated with the spectacle and poetry of such miraculous tale; and find it most fitting as the beginning of the Fine Wine Poet’s11 new life and literary journey.

wedding feast at cana

Wedding Feast at Cana | Paolo Caliari | Louvre | Paris 12

  1. Be warned that quirky conjectures will be plenty here.
  2.   I’m sure the context in the original language is not equivalent to our current interpretation of its tone.
  3. Ask Theologian friends regarding statement’s context. Was Jesus saying that he’s saving his miraculous powers for when it would matter the most, i.e., his resurrection.
  4. I warned you, didn’t I?
  5. I wonder how many will call me blasphemous.
  6. So typical: You have to wine and dine to impress and get support.
  7. I think the argument is silly and insulting toward Jesus.
  8. Good wine = alcoholic wine.
  9. Remember this for next party.
  10.  This was the Gospel reading for my recent birthday weekend.
  11. Formerly California Wine Stars.
  12. I originally did not know that this painting was at the Louvre, but like all tourists, I had to see The Mona Lisa, and she happens to overlook this gigantic painting. Finally, the mystery behind her smile is solved.

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1 Response

  1. Jamal says:

    Great post by the way.

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