- Religion and Philosophy
Water into Wine
His First Sign
Jesus Christ is a symbol of love and reconciliation for Christians. He is the manifestation of God's love for humanity and the messenger of peace. The Bible is full of symbology to explain the meaning of Jesus Christ in a theological sense. One of this symbols is wine, which represents among other things His blood, in other words, life. Water, on the other hand, is related to healing, purification, conversion and also life, among other meanings in the bible.
John 2:1-12 narrates the first miracle performed by Jesus at a wedding in Cana, where he converted water into wine. The verses narrate that Jesus commanded the servants to infill six jars with water. These jars were used for the Jewish purification rites. He converted the water into wine at the third day of the wedding celebration.
After drawing the mandala and meditating on these verses, I could see this miracle as a Christophany performed by Jesus himself. I interpret the jars as the law that He came to fulfill, I also see them as the humans that in their effort to keep the commandments lost compassion and replaced it with judgment and self-righteousness. Jesus first poured them with water and then changed it into wine. He then commands to one of the servants to take the wine to the master of ceremonies, who acknowledges it is an extraordinary wine. This sample of wine was a symbol of a new covenant and of redemption. This sample carried to the master of ceremonies, make the number of recipients containing wine, seven, a number that is related to perfection in the Bible as I found in many websites touching numerology in the scriptures.
Jesus not just brought life to the cold and empty jars but he also made them extraordinary through his love and power. God worked through Jesus to bring back love and reconciliation. I interpret this passage as a representation of God with men.
It is interesting to compare John 2:1-12 with 1 John 5:
"This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son". 1 John 5:6-11
Making this comparison brings to the fore Mary's faith. Mary was Jesus' mother that begotten Him through the holy spirit. Mary also plays an important role in the wedding of Cana, as she is who asks Jesus to reveal his power to bring wine to the celebration as it was finished. She asked by faith knowing who was her son.
Jesus replied to her:
“Woman, why do you involve me?” “My hour has not yet come.” John 2:4 NIV
His Hour Came
He died crowned with a crown of thorns, crucified and tortured as a criminal. He changed the world when his hour came. For Christians, Jesus died to reconcile us with God. His death was not in vain and was expected as he told to Mary at the wedding in Cana. Although it is a very painful passage to read, for the Christian was not the end but the beginning of a new covenant. it was the end of His life as Human but his message was completed, leaving it as a gift to humanity. His spirit returned to God as expressed in John 19:28-30 NLT
"Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
This was the miracle that changed the world for the Christian. At this moment He changed the emptiness and imperfection into love. Humans were reconciled to God and now they can trust and give love to other humans and God without fear. The symbology in John's Gospel also implies water (I am thirsty) and wine was given to Him before he released his spirit. This was his last miracle before his resurrection as narrated in the Bible by the gospel of John.
Spreading the Gospel
I drew the mandala below inspired by a proverb of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples".
I drew it before the two mandalas above, and it was not inspired by the topic of water and wine. However, as I started composing this article, I saw it fitting to finalize it. Jesus died on a cross, which was a torture method of the Roman empire to deal with criminals and enemies. However, for the Christian, it means the power of Jesus to overcome death, sin, temptations, fear, hate and bring reconciliation to the world. Jesus is not anymore on the cross but his message is broadcasting since then to reach all the horizons on Earth. As a stone that still moves the waters creating ripples of joy. His spirit is still with us hovering above the earth.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." Genesis 1:1-2.