John 2:1-11

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

[Cana of Galilee] This was a small city in the tribe of Asher, and by saying this was Cana of Galilee, the evangelist distinguishes it from another Cana, which was in the tribe of Ephriam, in the Samaritan country.

Some suppose that the third day, mentioned here, refers to the third day of the marriage feast; such feasts lasting among the Jews seven days. See Judges 14:12-18.

[The mother of Jesus was there] Some of the ancients have thought that this was the marriage of John, the evangelist, who is supposed to have been a near relative of our Lord.

2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

[And both Jesus was called, and his disciples] There are several remarkable circumstances here.
1. This was probably the first Christian wedding that ever was in the world.
2. The great Author of the Christian religion, with his disciples, (probably then only four or five in number) were invited to it.
3. The first miracle Jesus Christ wrought was at it, and in honor of it.
4. The mother of Christ, the first Christian mother, was also at it.
5. The marriage was according to God, or these holy persons would not have attended it.
6. The bride and bridegroom must have been a holy pair, otherwise they would have had nothing to do with such holy company.
Marriage is ever honorable in itself; but it is not at all times used honorably. When Jesus is not invited to bless the union, no good can be expected; and where the disciples of sin and Satan are preferred to the disciples of Christ, on such occasions, it is a melancholy intimation that so bad a beginning will have a bad ending.

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

[Woman, what have I to do with thee?] An awkward translation. A better rendering would be, "O, woman, what is this to thee and me?" As if he had said, "We are not employed to provide the necessities for this feast; this matter belongs to others, who should have made proper and sufficient provision for the persons they had invited."
It is very likely the bride or bridegroom's family were relatives of Jesus mother and she would naturally suppose that our Lord would feel interested for the honor and comfort of the family.

[Mine hour is not yet come] God has a timetable. Jesus did not say he would not help but he reserved the right to act when the time was right. He makes the exact same statement on another occasion, see John 7:6. Due to our limited understanding we sometimes fear that God is about to make a mistake or miss an opportunity by not acting quickly on issues which seem urgent to us.

5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

[His mother saith...] Mary seems to have understood the respectful caution and had confidence that the miracle would be wrought when it best suited the purposes of the Divine wisdom.

6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

[After the manner of the purifying of the Jews] The six vessels were set in a convenient place for the purpose of the Jews washing their hands before sitting down to meat. The number six holds no mystery. It was probably the appropriate number of pots to serve that number of guests.

7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

Good servants. They followed instructions.

8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

[Governor of the feast] The original word signified one who is chief or head over three couches or tables. In asiatic countries they take their meals reclining on small low couches. When many people are present, so that they cannot all eat together, three of these couches are put together in the form of a crescent and one of the guests is appointed to take charge of the persons at this group. In the process of time the title become applied to the governor of the entire feast, be the guests many or few.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

[Good wine] Was this real wine? Of course. And very good wine according to the governor of the feast. Does the Bible encourage drunkenness? Of course not. See the editorial below.

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

This passage of scripture causes some Christians to be uncomfortable. "How could Jesus provide wine, an alcoholic beverage which many of us associate with drunkenness and evil, to the guests at a wedding feast?" I think the answer lies in the human inclination to add an extra measure of caution.
In the garden, Genesis 2:16-17, God told Adam, regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "Thou shalt not eat of it...". By the time Eve faced Satan her perception had grown to, "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it...". (Genesis 3:2-3).
One of the purposes of this web site is to assist people in making objective determinations of exactly what God says about issues which we face in today's environment.

How to make the tough calls in one's Christian life.

1. Make certain that you have been born again, and that the Spirit of God is a part of your life. See John 3:6-7, and also 1 Corinthians 2:11-16.
2. Pray in advance for God's guidance. Solomon prayed for wisdom and God granted it. 1 Kings 3:7-9, 1 Kings 4:29. See also John 14:16-17, John 14:26.
3. Use the concordance to examine every reference to the subject at hand. Often this will require following not just a single word but its variations and synonyms. Not easy, but this is important work. At the conclusion of this step you should have a good objective idea of what the Bible says on the subject.
4. If the issue is not already clear seek the advice of a pastor or other trusted spiritual advisor. But only after accomplishing steps 1 through 3. Don't be lazy. Come to this person well prepared to understand the wisdom and experience which he or she will share with you.
5. Make a decision based upon the information you have. Do not procrastinate. Act upon the information God has made available to you.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 10/18/2006

Copyright (C) 2000,2003,2006 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved.