“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding” (John 2:1–2).
A wedding was a major social event in first-century Palestine, and the ensuing celebration could last as long as a week. It marked the culmination of the betrothal period, which often lasted for several months. The couple was considered legally man and wife during their betrothal period. They did not, however, live together or consummate the marriage during that time (cf. Matt. 1:18). On the night of the ceremony, the groom and his friends would go to the bride’s house. They would then escort her and her attendants to the groom’s house, where the ceremony and banquet would be held.
John states that a particular wedding was held in Cana. That both Jesus and His mother attended suggests the wedding involved relatives or friends of the family.
By attending this wedding and performing His first miracle there, Jesus sanctified both the institution of marriage and the ceremony itself. Marriage is the sacred union of a man and a woman whereby they become one in the sight of God. The ceremony is an essential element of that union, because that’s when the couple publicly vow to remain faithful to each other.
That Jesus attended the celebration also reveals the marked difference between His ministry and that of John the Baptist. Instead of being a voice in the wilderness, Jesus had the more difficult task of mingling with the crowds and ministering to them in their daily existence.
Does your faith travel with you into social settings like this? When your time is your own, when the conversation is light, when you feel a long way from the workweek or the usual pressures of life, are you still looking for opportunities to be used of God and helpful to others?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610