Cana is not Judea. Galilee is not the place that a prophet would want to launch his revolution – or so it seems. Standing on the steps of the temple in Jerusalem would be a better fit than at a wedding for an unknown couple. And yet, with his followers chosen, Jesus first public act is turning water to wine at a wedding on the outskirts of Galilee. There is no wonder he will be accused of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 11:19).
The first clue we get that something more is going on here is when John calls the miracle a sign. In the gospel of John there are seven signs that take us through the story. In John 1:14 the author tells us that he has “seen his glory.” The signs serve to reveal the glory of God’s Son.
A sign points beyond itself. The purpose of a sign is to refer to something/someone else. Towards the end of the gospel of John we are told what the purpose of Jesus’ miracles and why they are called signs. The author says,“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the messiah, the Son of God and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
For the gospel of John, the miracles of Jesus, the signs, serve as markers along the road of faith pointing us toward the One who reveals to us the nature of God. If we pay close attention, we will notice that God has placed signs along our journey that point to the presence of God among us.