(Turning Water Into Wine)



John 2:1-11




Today, I want to focus on five things about this miracle:

          (1)     The Wedding

          (2)     The Wine

          (3)     The Woman

          (4)     The Water Pots

And   (5)      The Workers



1st---The wedding.

The wedding is definitely not the most important part of this story.



We are not told anything about the ceremony, the bride, the groom, the gown,         

the cake, the decorations or anything like that.

We only know that Mary attended.



And Jesus and His disciples were invited.

Jesus didn't have to go.



But He did.

And because He did, many scholars say it means that God approves of        




He does.

He ordained it.




But I think it also means that God approves of us attending social gatherings.

Social gatherings are opportunities for us to mix with people, witness to        

people, etc.



2nd---The wine.

The wine is definitely not the most important part of this story either.



But I need to talk about it because some people use this story to justify the   

use of alcohol.

They say Jesus could have turned the water into milk, tea, coffee or whatever.



But He didn’t.

He turned it into wine.



Would this wine make a person drunk?

I tried to find the answer, while I was attending school at Emory University.



I went to the school library to see if I could find any books on the subject.

I found so many books and contradictory opinions that I decided that God is         

probably the only one who knows the answer.



The Bible says, “New wine is found in the cluster” (Isa. 65:8).

“In the cluster” means while it is still in the grapes.



So grapes can be called new wine.

And grape juice can be called new wine.



The Bible says the Old Testament Jews tithed their new wine (Neh. 13:5, 12).

They were told to bring offerings of new wine into the house of God

(Neh. 10:39).


Are we to believe that God told them to bring alcoholic beverages into His    


I don't think so!



I believe they took grapes or grape juice.

Luke records an interesting Scripture.



An angel told the father of John the Baptist, “he shall be great in the sight of  

the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink” (Luke 1:15).

From that, we would conclude that wine is not strong drink.



But it’s more complicated than that.

Some wine would make people drunk.



Paul said, “be not drunk, with wine, wherein is excess;”

“But be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).



Drunkenness is not the main subject

But Paul was telling us not to get drunk on wine.



Paul said a bishop must not be “given to wine” (I Ti-m-3:3).

“Not given to wine” means he must not be a drunkard.



Paul said a deacon must not be “given to much wine” (I Tim. 3:8).

“Not given to much wine” means he was teaching temperance but not total    




Paul told Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach (I Tim. 5:23).

He was telling him to use wine as a medicine.



This is the point.

In the Bible, the word “wine” can refer to grapes or grape juice or an  

alcoholic beverage.



The Bible doesn't oppose drinking wine.

But it does oppose drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic wine.



If it was okay for Bishops and deacons to drink wine two thousand years ago,       

it's okay for us to drink wine today.

But if it was wrong for Bishops and deacons to get drunk two thousand years        

ago, it's wrong for us to get drunk today.



One more point about turning water into wine.

And I wi11 move on.



It's just my opinion.

But I find it inconceivable that Jesus would give His mother or disciples        

anything that would make them drunk.



3rd---The woman.

The woman is definitely not the most important part of this story either.



But I need to talk about her because some people put her on a pedestal.

Some people call her the “Mother of God,” the “Queen of Heaven,” the       

“Queen of Angels” and things like that.



Mary told Jesus, “They have no wine” (Vs. 3).

Jesus replied, “Woman what have I to do with thee” (Vs. 4)?



As a child, Jesus was subject to His mother.

And no one doubts that He was a very obedient child.

But Jesus was a full grown man at the time of this wedding.

He was beginning His earthly ministry.



He had just called His disciples.

He intended to do what God wanted Him to do not what Mary wanted Him to        




He mildly rebuked her.

He let her know that He didn't have to obey her any longer.



He called her woman.

He was asserting her humanity.



She was not deity.

And there's no evidence in Scripture that anyone ever worshipped Mary.



Or that God ever intended for Mary to be worshipped.

Nevertheless, Mary said, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (Verse 5).



Notice this.

Some people say we should ask Mary to intercede for us.



On this occasion, Mary interceded for the family that was out of wine.

She said, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”



That's good advice.

Let Jesus tell you what to do.



4th---The water pots.

The water pots ARE one of the main parts of this story.

They are real water pots.

But they are symbolic of empty Jews.,



Paul said, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the          

power may be of God, and not of us” (II Cor. 4:7).

“Our bodies are “earthen vessels” or “water pots.”



Our bodies hold a treasure called the Water of the Word (Eph. 5:26).

And another treasure called the Living Water or the Holy Spirit,



Paul also said, “In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of      

silver, but also of wood and of earth;”

“And some to honour, and some to dishonour.”



“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto

honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto   

every good work” (II Tim. 2:20, 21) .

Our bodies are vessels.



Some are vessels of gold and silver because we have God in our life.

And some are vessels of wood and earth because we have sin in our life.



Some contain pure water.

And some contain polluted water.



But I have good news.

A vessel of dishonor can become a vessel of honor.



We do that by letting Jesus do something about the sin in our life.

Now, let’s notice something about these water pots.


They had a special purpose.

They were “after the manner of the purifying of the Jews” (Verse 5).



These water pots were normally filled with water that was used for the Jewish         

purifying ceremonies;

Water that was used to wash hands, dishes, pots and pans, as they tried to    

keep the Law of Moses.


Jesus said, “For the Pharisees and al1 the Jews except they wash their hands

oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.”

“And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not.”



“And many other things there be which they have received to hold, as the     

washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels and of tables” (Mark 7:3, 4).

These water pots were normally filled with water that was used for keeping   

the tradition of the elders;



Water that was used to wash things over and over again.

And this is what we have.



Jesus was at a wedding.

We don't know how many people attended this wedding.



But we think it was a very large crowd.

We think it was a very large crowd because the hosts ran out of two things:



They ran out of wine.

And they ran out of purifying water.



 Their wineskins were empty.

And their water pots were empty.


They could no longer celebrate by drinking wine.

And they could no longer keep the tradition of the elders.



So Mary asked Jesus for help.

All He had to do was speak and the wineskins would be full;



Speak and the water pots would be full.

But He didn't do that.



He told the servants to fill the water pots with water.

They did.



And He could have said, “This solves the water problem.”

“Now, I will do something about the wine problem.”



But He didn't do that.

He had the servants get more purifying water.



Then, He did away with the purifying water.

Isn’t that strange.



He had the servants get purifying water.

Then, He turned the purifying water into wine.



This is what He was doing.

He was symbolically saying, “You won't need purifying water anymore.”



“You won’t have to wash things over and over again anymore.”

“All you will need is new wine.”


Now, I don't want to force an interpretation upon the Scriptures.

But I want to show you something that I think fits.



I’m saying this because it’s not something I found in the commentaries.

It’s something I think God revealed to me.



John said, “There were six water pots . . . containing two or three firkins       


Not all scholars agree on the size of these water pots.



But it’s very easy to find scholars who say they held about twenty gallons     


Six water pots at twenty gallons each would be one hundred and twenty        




Jesus said, “Fill the water pots with water.”

“And they filled them to the brim” (Verse 7).



Does the number one hundred and twenty sound familiar?




One hundred twenty people, or vessels, or water pots gathered in the upper  

room on Pentecost.

There came a sound from heaven.



And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

Someone accused them of being drunk on new wine.



Peter said, “These are not drunken as ye suppose.”

“This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,”


“It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit    

upon all flesh” (Acts 2:14-17).

When Jesus turned water into wine, He was symbolically saying, “I will         

replace your purifying water with the purifying power of the Holy Spirit.”



He turned one hundred twenty gallons of water into new wine.

And He filled one hundred twenty people with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.



It seems more than coincidence to me that His first miracle was when He      

turned one hundred twenty gallons of water into new wine.

And the first thing that happened when the Church began was that one

hundred twenty members appeared to be drunk on new wine.



The first miracle occurred at a wedding.

And the first one hundred and twenty Church members became the Bride of




5th---The workers.

Jesus didn’t need anyone to fill the empty water pots.



He could have spoken and filled them.

He could have His angels fill them.



But He had the servants fill them.

He could spread the gospel without us.



But we are servants that God uses because He wants to reward us.

A godly man answered the call to teach Sunday School at a mission Church.




He arrived at the mission Church.

But he didn’t see a Sunday School class.



“Where’s my class,” He asked?

“You will have to go out and gather a class for yourself,” replied the    




He gave it a try.

He soon had a very large class of boys from the streets of city where he lived.



These boys were empty vessels.

Do you know any empty vessels?



Empty vessels in your family?

Empty vessels in your neighborhood?



Empty vessels where you work?

Empty vessels you can bring to Church to be filled with Living Water?



Dr. George Gill was a seminary professor.

He said, “When a baby is born, the mother has to prevail.”



He added, “The reason more people are n0t being born again is that not        

enough Church members are willing to travail.”

He was saying, if we travailed more, we would see more empty vessels filled.



The Old Testament talks about a woman whose husband died (II Kings 4).

She was left with several children.




And some very large debts.

Her children were about to become slaves.



Her former husband was one of Elisha’s students.

She asked Elisha for help.



“What do you have in the house to sell,” he asked?

“Nothing but one vessel of oil,” she replied.



“Go out and find all the empty vessels you can,” he said.

“Do not hold back.”



“Do not gather just a few.”

“Go everywhere.”



“Get a11 the empty vessels you can find.”

 “Take them home.”



“Use your full vessel and pour oil into an empty vessel.”

“Set that vessel aside and pour oil into a second empty vessel.”



“Then a third empty vessel.”

“Then a fourth empty vessel, etc.”



“Do it until all the empty vessels are full.”

The widow did what Elisha said.



She gathered and filled a11 the vessels she could find.

She filled so many vessels she was able to sell enough oil to pay off her debt.


The only thing that kept her from becoming fabulously rich was the fact that

she didn’t gather a larger number of empty vessels.

How could this poor widow fill dove-as of empty vessels out of one full       




She couldn’t.

God did it.



He did it because she obeyed Him.

Her job was to gather the empty vessels.



His job was to fill them.

Today, the problem is not that God has run out of the Holy Spirit.



It’s an empty vessel problem.

We just don't bring very many empty vessels to Church.



A Scotsman who survived the sinking of the Titanic told this story.

“When I was drifting alone on a spar on that awful night, the tide brought Mr.         

John Harper of Glasgow near me.”



“He was clinging to a piece of wreckage.”

“Man,” he cried.



“Are you saved?”




“I called back, ‘I am not.’”

“As the waves bore me away, he said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and

thou shalt be saved!’”


“A minute or two later, the waves brought him back to me again.”

“Are you saved now,” he asked?



“‘No,' I told him.”

“I cannot honestly say that I am.”



“The water was exceedingly cold.”

“And John Harper was gasping for every breath.”



“Once again, but slower this time, he said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,         

and thou shalt be saved.’”

“Shortly afterward, he went down, never to be seen again.”



“And there, alone in the frozen night, and with three miles of water under me,          

I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I am John Harper's last convert.”



“A few minutes later, I was rescued by a lifeboat from the Titanic.”

Could it be that our churches are hurting because we aren't bringing empty    

vessels to Church?



Jesus has an abundance of new wine.

He is willing to fill all the empty vessels we can find.



I encourage you to bring empty vessels to Church.