And Mary told him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus replied, “Woman my time has not come.”
What a curious response. At first blush it even appears disrespectful. I so wonder what Mary understood that we don’t?
His first miracle of turning water into wine, occurs after John baptized all the repentant believers in the river Jordan along with Jesus himself.
Three years later, Jesus is in the upper room with his disciples. He first gives them bread then wine. He declares the bread is his body and the wine his blood.
Can John’s baptisms, the wedding miracle in Cana, and the bread and wine of the Last Supper be connected?
Ancient Jewish weddings have three sequential parts. The first is the shiddukhin where bride and groom sign the marriage contract called the ketubah. The second is the erusin when the bridegroom pays the bride price and the bride gives blood proof of her purity. The last part is the nissuin, a great wedding feast.
The water purification ritual called mikvah was always performed by the bride and the bridegroom before signing the marriage contract. This is what John’s baptism is. The Father’s voice declares his approval as the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus. The marriage contract is now signed and sealed at the river Jordan. Only divorce can break what it now binds.
It is now the Last Supper before the Last Passover. Jesus is serving the disciples bread and wine. He must first pay the bride price, so he serves them bread as a token.
His bride, the church, must prove her purity. But his bride has no blood proof. And Jesus knows it. But still he serves them the token wine.
Just hours later the real bride price hangs on a cross. Jesus gives his own blood as proof that his bride is indeed pure.
And then he dies.
Three days later Jesus rises incorruptible from the dead. The bread and the wine have done their work. The second part of the wedding, the hardest part, is done.
The final part will be a great feast. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, Jesus will suddenly come and take us to celebrate our nissuin wedding feast table in heaven.
Let us remember. The risen bridegroom is coming. He will certainly come.
Take the bread and drink the wine because you remember that your bridegroom is coming for you.