Jesus’ first miracle is not at all what we might expect. It certainly wasn’t a “burst-on-the-scene” moment, since only His mother, His Disciples, and a couple servants even knew what had happened. And it wasn’t a “wow-what-a-great-deed” moment. Jesus didn’t heal a sick person here. He saved a wedding host from extreme embarrassment by replenishing wine at his party. At the very least, it seems like an odd way for Jesus to begin.
It’s interesting that John doesn’t use the word for “miracle” here. He uses the word for “sign.” Jesus is doing more than just performing a miraculous deed. He is announcing something; revealing something. Often, in Scripture, wine is a symbol for joy, so it is interesting that the stone pots Jesus tells the servants to fill are ceremonial washing pots. Empty ceremonial washing pots. The picture of Jesus taking these empty pots and filling them with life and joy is profound.
Remember, Jesus was a Jew. God had gifted the Jews with Torah – THE LAW – the very revelation of God. But this religious system in and of itself did not bring people closer to God. The people went through the motions of ceremony without a true relationship with God. Now God was in their presence, as close as a family member or friend. And because of what Jesus would accomplish, the door to a relationship with the Father would be opened forever. That’s life. That’s a reason for joy. Maybe Jesus first miracle was more fitting than it seemed.
If your relationship with God feels cold, empty, and distant, break away from your routine and talk to Him as you would talk to a loving Father or Friend. Ritual and ceremony has its place, but Jesus made it possible for us to come close and experience JOY in the presence of God.