Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” (John 4:48)
On the third day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities.
It was a huge problem: no more wine for the guests filled with the house, who came for the wedding celebration. The wedding celebration was about to be interrupted by disappointing the guests. Jesus’ mother, who had been treasuring Jesus in her heart since He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, stepped in with faith. She knew Jesus as a special and blessed child by God since his birth.
However, she did have no idea what Jesus would do if she asked Jesus. Thus, Jesus’ mother told Jesus, “They have no more wine.” Upon hearing this, Jesus replied, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4) It was a rather abrupt and cold answer to Marry, Jesus’ mother. She believe her son would do something, but Jesus’ answer was essentially “no.” Additionally, Jesus called his biological mother “woman.” This must have been an unexpected answer to Marry. Although she spoke to Jesus in faith, the faith was quickly turned down by Jesus. How many times do we experience this type of rather cold answer from God when we pray? Especially, although we pray to God what we really wanted for a long time in faith that God surely would answer our prayer, God’s answer was simply “no.” How much devastating was our heart?
Jesus’ mother was called “woman” instead of mother and heard His denial, “my hour has not yet come,”, but she was not discouraged at all. Jesus’ mother’s faith was not deterred, and she calmly answered by telling to the servants at the banquet, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5b) What a faith she had! Jesus must have waited for this great faith.
Upon hearing what she told to the servant, Jesus quickly pointed the six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Then He authoritatively told to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” As they heard Jesus, they filled the six stone water jars with water to the brim. (John 2:7)
The six stone jars were now filled with water (120 to 180 gallons, 450 to 700 liters, 600 to 900 wine bottles of water). Then Jesus looked at the servants, and told them “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” (John 2:8b) What? Draw some out the ‘water’ and take the ‘water’ to the mater of the feast. Does this make sense? Just drawing water from the jars, and take it to the master for the feast, who was in charge. Is it a rational request? Absolutely not. How many of us would actually take the water from the jars to the master of the banquet, who was really stressed due to the wine completely run out.
Bible continues telling. “So they took it.” (John 2:8c) The servants obediently drew water from the jars, and took to the master of the wedding feast. What a faith the servants had! They knew exactly what they brought to the master was in fact just water. Even so, they were not deterred. In faith, they presented the “water” drawn from the jars.
The banquet master, without knowing the fact, tasted it. Then, he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
This was the first miracle performed by Jesus through the absolute faith of Jesus’ mother and the servants. In fact, the Jesus’ intension was not to make his mother and the banquet guest happy by supplying the huge amount of the top quality wine, but to reveal God’s glory. Especially, those who knew the reality – the guests were drinking wine made out of water, and they saw the glory of God. Then they believe in Jesus. Soon this miracle quickly spread throughout the region of Galilee. All of the Galileans talked about the miracle and the best wine that they ever tested, which was made out of plain water.
Later Jesus came back to Galilee. When He arrived, the Galileans welcomed Jesus because they saw, tasted or heard about the miracle and Jesus. When Jesus visited Cana in Galilee, where Jesus had turned the water into wine. All Galileans gathered around Jesus.
There was a certain royal official whose son laid sick at Capernaum. Capernaum was about 20 miles (36 kms) away from Cana. This man heard that Jesus came back to Galilee from Judea. Then he quickly went to Jesus and begged Jesus to come and heal his son, who was close to death. The official bowed down to Jesus for his son. Jesus stopped and looked at the official in royal lobe who really stood out among the people around Him. Then Jesus told the royal officer, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” (John 4:48) Although the royal officer did not speak even a single word out of his mouth, Jesus first spoke out to him “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” What a discouraging word! Despite of being a high rank royal officer, he traveled to Cana, and bowed down before Jesus. Jesus talked about the faith of the people around Him. Again, this was not a welcoming message to the royal officer.
The royal official coming with only one purpose without hesitance said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” (John 4:49b) It was a true confession of the royal officer in faith. However, his confession was too logical, which was crafted by his own rationality and wisdom. It was clearly the maximum that he could go with faith. Jesus, who was full of mercy and love, saw his faith. He just came for his dying son. He did not come not because he saw the miracle, but because he loved his dying son with a faith that Jesus could heal his son. Yes, his faith was not perfect, but Jesus loved his faith. Then Jesus replied:
“Go, your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (John 4:50)
As soon as he heard Jesus’ healing message, he believe and went back to his home to see his son. On the way back, he met his servants coming to him. The servants carried a good message, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” (John 4:52b) The official was so happy and praised the Lord. He realized that the time of his son’s healing was when Jesus told “Go, your son will live.” Yes, it was yet another miracle of Jesus. Jesus really loved the royal officer who had a faith in Jesus (although it was imperfect) and traveled to Cana from Capernaum (traveling about 20 miles) for his dying son.
Oh God, please give us faith to believe you without our own rational judgement: as the servants who drew water and brought to a banquet master, or as the royal office who departed and traveled back to his dying son upon hearing Jesus’s healing word. Yes, our faith is not perfect. However, Oh God, you love our imperfect faith, and answer with your grace, mercy and love. Give thanks to God! Your mercy and love are abound. Praise God! Your mercy and love endure forever!
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)