Reading between the lines, we can discern that this is a great embarrassment. We can also surmise that his hosts are not wealthy people.
I have often overlooked the last part of the next statement: “And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.” (verse 6)
But there is no filler in the Word of God. It’s all important. So try to put yourself on the scene.
- The key word is “firkins,” which is a liquid measurement containing nearly nine gallons. The pots are hewn out of stone, and polished. At 8.5 pounds per gallon, a stone pot with 27 gallons of water is heavier than a dose of xanax!
- The purpose of these waterpots is stated in the words: “…after the manner of the purifying of the Jews…” This bears the same meaning as “…the tradition of the elders…” in Matt.15:2. (So we can be sure that the ever-present religious enforcers would be watching!)
Guaranteed! Everybody was washing up before eating!
Now just think about it. There must have been some water in the pots. So when Jesus said, “Fill the waterpots with water,” he didn’t mean, “Put a little water in them.” He meant, “Fill them till they’re full.” (I call this divine OCD.) The servants took his meaning: “And they filled them up to the brim.” (verse 7)
The next verse blows my mind! “And he saith unto them, ‘Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.’ And they bare it.” (verse 8) Really! Without even tasting it to see if the trick worked? No special words: “In the name of me…” He didn’t even pray! (That’s the Jesus I know–BIG brass ones! We should always follow in his steps.)
Now you think you know the rest of the story, but you don’t.
“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
“And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (verse 9 & 10)
“…when men have well drunk…” C’mon, Christians! It’s just intellectually dishonest to try to claim that this is a story about grape juice. So let’s just say that “wine” means wine. It must have been pretty good wine, too, because it went so fast that they ran out.
So if they started with good wine, then what Jesus made was fine wine. Now I did some research on this. Fine wine sells for upwards of $250 a bottle. So do the math.
The six waterpots held “…two or three firkins apiece.” (verse 6) That sounds like 2.5 firkins, average.
2.5 x 6 = 15 firkins, in all
15 f. x 9 gal./f. = 135 gallons of fine wine
135 gal. @ $250/qt. x 4 qt./gal. = $135,000
What a sweet wedding present!
2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the story of the family of the prophet (Obadiah, according to the rabbis). Apparently, he mortgaged the house to feed all the prophets of the Lord who were fleeing from the wrath of Queen Jezebel. Then he died before he could pay the money back.
His widow turned to Elisha for help when the creditors came to take her sons into slavery to pay the debt.
After filling every vessel in town from her pot of oil (divine OCD), Elisha tells her, “Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.”
I suspect the bride and groom from Cana also lived long off the proceeds of a MIRACLE.
Eph. 5:18 Warns, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Literally, it’s “…be ye being filled [continuosly]…” (Again, divine OCD!)
Our flesh causes us to be leaky vessels. So we lose the power to live above the world’s influence when we stop drinking the Holy Spirit. (John 7:37-39) So always keep your vessel full. Take another drink!