The "beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee" (John 2:11) tells us something of God's creative effort. In Cana, Christ turned water to wine. Mankind had an essential part of this miracle, for, at His command, those at the wedding feast "[f]ill[ed] the waterpots with water" (verse 7). Nevertheless, the miracle was God's, who works through Christ (John 5:19). Tasting the new wine, the master of the feast tells the bridegroom, "You have kept the good wine until now" (verse 10). The wine God created—with man's help—is better than the wine made by man alone.
Choosing the New Man (Part Three)
Normally, the water pots supplied water for the ceremonial washings in accordance with Jewish tradition (Mark 7:3-4). Each water pot could hold two to three firkins of water, equivalent to 17 to 25 gallons. This means that the six water pots could hold a total of about 150 gallons of water! When Christ blesses, He does it abundantly! On other occasions, Jesus miraculously provided more than enough food (Mark 8:8; John 6:13). His generous abundance in giving coincides with the wealth of His lovingkindness.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part Two)
Not only did Jesus condone the proper use of wine, but He knew what the qualities of a good wine were, a fact confirmed in Luke 5:39: "And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"
Some have argued that, at the Cana wedding, Jesus changed the water into unfermented grape juice, not wine. However, the Greek word translated "wine" throughout John 2:1-10 is oinos, which means "fermented wine."
Is It a Sin to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?
The first miracle Jesus Christ performs during His ministry is changing water into wine at a marriage feast in Cana (John 2:1-11). When we compare what Christ and Moses each did with water, Jesus' miracle shows the contrast between law and grace. Moses changes water to blood, and Christ changes it into wine. Earlier, in John 1:17, the apostle John writes, "For the law was given through Moses, [and] grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Moses' turning of water into blood suggests judgment (Exodus 7:14-17), while Jesus' turning of water into wine implies generosity and joy. In John 3:17, John comments, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world [what the law does to sinners], but that the world through Him might be saved [what grace does for those who repent]."
This miracle demonstrates at the earliest possible time that Christ's ministry would be one of grace and truth, as an extension and complement of the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus had come to fulfill God's law, that is, to teach it and live it as an example of how to apply it to everyday life (Luke 24:44-45).
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part One)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing John 2:6: