So far in our study of Jesus’ first miracle, we’ve focused on the feast, the faux pas, and the feat. But we can’t leave it at that. We need to take a step back before we finish and ask the question: Why does John tell us the story in the first place?
4. The Faith
The answer is to help us relive the experience with him and discover with the disciples who Jesus is. Remember they’re only a week into following Him and walking by faith is a new thing to them. So Jesus performs a miracle, and John tells us about it, so that both we and they will believe. Having been to the feast, witnessed the faux pas, and seen the feat He performed, it’s now time to solidify our faith in Him. That’s what this miracle did for them and should do for us. Verse 11 says, “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”
Remember there are only 6 disciples at this time: Andrew, John, Peter, James, Philip, and Nathanael—all of them good friends, fishing partners, and strong believers in the God of the Bible. But not one of them has seen a miracle. Nathanael witnessed the omniscience of Jesus when He said to him, “Before Philip found you under the fig tree, I saw you!” But not one of them has seen a miracle like this. Nor have you and I! We’ve seen amazing answers to prayer but nothing of this magnitude! 150 gallons of water instantly turned to wine!
The impact was so great two things immediately happened. First, all six disciples believed in Him. Of course, they already believed to some extent or they wouldn’t have followed Him to Galilee. They called Him Rabbi. They called Him Messiah. And Nathanael added, “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.” But Jesus said they’d see greater things than these. And this is the first and of the greater things they saw—their God standing before them and creating something out of nothing just as He had in the beginning. And for what purpose? To help them and us believe!
Even more important, however, is the second thing that happened. John says they saw His glory! After all, isn’t that what we’ve longed for since the day we met Him? I want to see His glory. And they did, at least in part! What glory? The eternal glory He shared with the Father before time began! You know the verse. Say it with me if you know it. John 1:14, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The best thing is you didn’t have to be there to witness it. You can witness it this very moment if you have faith to believe. As Jesus said to Thomas the Doubter who, when he saw His glory, fell at His feet in worship saying, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus said, “Because you have seen, you have believed. But blessed (That means happy, joyful, elated!) are those who have not seen and yet believed!” And so we believe without seeing, and we behold “His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
But someone will say, “I’d believe too if I saw a miracle like that!” Don’t be so sure. The Israelites witnessed the 10 plagues of Egypt and the Red Sea splitting in two before them, and most of them still didn’t believe, but died in the wilderness as a result! The people of Jesus’ day saw even greater miracles than that. In fact, nowhere in the Bible does anyone ever question Jesus’ power to do miracles. What His enemies claimed is that He did His miracles by the power of Satan, blaspheming the Spirit, committing the unpardonable sin, and earning for themselves a place in hell.
The truth is Jesus performed miracle after miracle, day after day, for 3 years until He virtually eradicated all disease from Israel. But the vast majority of the people still didn’t believe. In fact, only 120 believed enough to gather together for prayer in the Upper Room after His ascension into Heaven. Because faith isn’t about evidence! It’s about a willing heart.
That means, if your heart is willing, you can know Jesus this very moment through simple childlike faith. So if you’ve never believed before, open up your heart to Him right now by saying this prayer of faith. If you truly mean them, Jesus promises to come into your life this very moment and live with you forever.