The Sign: Turning Water into Wine

water into wineDid you know that according to the Gospel of John, the first miracle Jesus performed was that of turning water into wine? That’s really amazing to me! I mean, think about it! You would think that the first miracle would have been something like giving sight to the blind or making a lame man walk. But according to John, the first miracle was turning water into wine!

What is that telling us? Well, I did some reading in my Greek New Testament and I discovered that the Greek word that is translated into the English word: “miracle” in the Gospel of John in the King James Version of the Bible is more accurately translated as the word: “sign.” In fact, everywhere the King James Version has the words “miracle” or “miracles” in the Gospel of John, a more accurate translation would be the words: “sign” or “signs!” In John’s gospel, the miracles of Jesus were signs that pointed to the greater reality of the deity of Jesus!

But, aside from pointing to the greater reality that Jesus was and is indeed the Son of God, what was the “sign” of turning water into wine? Well, I believe there were couple of things Jesus was doing by turning water into wine (beside the immediate context of supplying the need of the wedding feast, thereby sparing the host of potential social embarrassment)! First of all, I think Jesus was trying to tell us that his presence provides the potential for turning the ordinary (water) into the extraordinary (wine)! If you read the story in John 2, you will discover that the host was amazed because it wasn’t just wine, but it was extraordinary good wine! There really is no such thing as an ordinary Christian life because the presence of Jesus via the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer makes life extraordinary and exciting!

I also think that Jesus was giving an indication of what life is like with him with this sign! He turned water into wine, not because they had ran out of wine for communion; but rather they ran out of wine for a wedding feast! Too many people think that being solemn and sour is the mark of a Christian. But I think Jesus was saying with this sign of turning water into wine that a dominant characteristic of the Christian’s life is joy! A wedding was and is a joyous occasion and wine makes it even more jubilant! The message is this: Don’t be such a “stuff-shirt!” Life in Christ is meant to be joyous and exciting, not dull and boring!

Well, that’s what I think! So the next time you meet someone who is supposedly a Christian, yet there is no joy in their life, it may be because they didn’t “read” this sign right or it may be their wine has run out! The life of faith is not primarily about following rules and laws (although there are rules and laws we must follow), but more so about a joyful relationship with the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit! So loosen up my brother; let your hair down my sister! Enjoy your life (in Christ)! I believe that was the message of the sign of turning water into wine!

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