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working His first miracle at Cana of Galilee, a village a little to the north of Nazareth. St. John alone relates it, in chapter ii. 1-11. It is the Gospel for the Second Sunday after Epiphany.
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the Mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His Mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 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, 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.
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.
Here was the beginning of miracles, as the Parable of the Sower was the first parable. The first mighty work that Moses wrought was turning water into blood; for the Law was a ministration of death: but the first miracle of Jesus Christ was a turning of water into wine-wine which maketh glad the heart of man; for He came that His people's joy might be full. It seems that the family in which it was worked was connected with our Lord by ties of kindred; for it is not said that the Mother of Jesus was invited to the marriage, but that she was there. She was at home in the house, and knew when the wine was finished. And as our Lord for our sakes became poor, this family must have been poor and lowly. There was no money at band to buy more wine. Do not suppose that their having wine at all proves them to have been rich. Judea was a land of vineyards, as England is a land of barley fields and apple orchards; and wine was the common drink of the country, as beer is of the north and east of England, and cyder of the southwest.
The Virgin Mary at once brought her friends' want before our Lord. Though He had as yet worked no miracle, she knew His hidden might, she knew His loving-kindness. She did not know when the time would come for Him to shew forth His glory. So she said, “They have no wine.' There was no want of respect in His answer. Woman’ was a word of honour then. True, He did not promise any help; but the Blessed Virgin was not discouraged. She was content to leave all in His hands. She said unto the servants, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.' And He rewarded her faith ; He gave the miraculous help which His words seemed to refuse. The Jews made it a part of their religious duty to wash before eating, so they always had plenty of
St. Mark, vii. 3.
water at hand during meals. Six large water-pots stood by. Our Lord ordered the servants to fill them with water: they did so, and behold it was wine! He, who year by year during the long summer months
the wine in the grape out of the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth, now turned the water into wine at once. The servants carried it at once to the governor of the feast—the friend who was chosen to sit at the head of the party; and he praised it as good wine, and wondered that it had been kept to the last.
How gracious it was in our Lord thus to supply the wants of those who had invited Him to their feast! He would not make stones into bread to satisfy His own hunger, but He turned water into wine to satisfy the thirst of the wedding guests.
And thus He adorned and beautified the holy estate of marriage with an honour that rests upon it still. Thus, too, the lowly house at Cana became a type of the Christian Church, in which old things have passed away, and all things have become new. The water of the Old Testament, its divers washings and purifyings, have given place to the good wine of the New Testament—to a cup that runneth over; for the Lord of Hosts hath made for all people a feast of wines on the lees well refined,' and Wisdom saith, Come, drink of the wine which I have mingled.'
The world always gives its best things first, and disappoints us afterwards ; but it is quite different in this holy house. The Heavenly Bridegroom keeps the good wine until the last. With Him there are first waters of sorrow, and then the wine of the chalice. His guests are first penitents, then communicants. At first He
THE FEEDING OF FIVE THOUSAND MEN
42 CHRIST WALKS UPON THE SEA
45 THE OPENING OF THE EYES OF ONE BORN BLIND 48 THE WITHERED HAND HEALED ON THE SABBATH 51 THE HEALING OF THE WOMAN WHO WAS BOWED TOGETHER
53 THE HEALING OF THE DROPSICAL MAN
55 THE CLEANSING OF THE TEN LEPERS
56 THE HEALING OF THE WOMAN OF CANAAN'S DAUGHTER
59 THE HEALING OF A DEAF AND DUMB MAN 61 THE MIRACULOUS FEEDING OF FOUR THOUSAND 63 THE OPENING OF A BLIND MAN'S EYES AT BETHSAIDA
65 THE HEALING OF THE LUNATIC CHILD
67 THE MONEY IN THE Fish's MOUTH
70 THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
72 THE HEALING OF BLIND BARTIMÆUS
80 THE BARREN FIG TREE WITHERED
82 THE HEALING OF MALCHUS' EaR .
84 THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES.
OUR LORD'S MIRACLES.
ALL the dealings of God with man are full of wonder. David said, O Lord my God, great
the wondrous works which Thou hast done;" and the redeemed in Heaven, who stand upon the sea of glass, sing, 'Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty." But the most wonderful thing which has taken place since the creation of the world is, that the Almighty God came down to dwell upon it; that He was made Man, and lived a Man among men for thirty-three years. This is what St. Paul calls the mystery of godliness : "Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest (or shewn forth) in the flesh. It is too marvellous for us to understand ; but we bow down our heads and receive the blessed truth, because God has revealed it to us.
The Prophet Isaiah calls our Lord Jesus 'Wonderful;' ? and His life upon earth was won1 Psalm xl. 6. 2 Rev. xv. 3.
Isaiah, ix. 6.