On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11, NRSV)
Six stone jars. Why six?
Maybe because there are six days to labor and six days on which we need to be purified. As the Seventh day is for rest because that is what the Lord did on the seventh day.
And why water into wine in the jars used for purification.
Well, what is purification? Merriam-Webster Online defines purification as “the act or an instance of purifying or of being purified.” Ok, so what does purifying mean? Again according to Merriam-Webster Online purifying is “to remove dirty or harmful substances from (something), or to free (someone) from guilt or evil thoughts.”
So the jars are used for ritual cleansing. And Jesus has the servants fill them with water, that He then turns into wine. The jars used to cleanse are filled with wine. A link to the last supper, where the wine becomes the new covenant poured out for all people, where the wine, as His blood, cleanses us and makes us pure to stand in the presence of God.
Here Jesus’ first sign is a link to the New Creation we become in the covenant of His blood poured out for all of us.
Cleansed of all that can harm us, or make us dirty. Ritually purified!
Water to Wine!