Forest for the Trees: John 2 and Grape Juice

Some people just don’t get it. ‘It’ could be a thousand different things, but at any given moment when you are trying to make a point about something, there will be people that for one reason or another will never understand what you’re trying to say.

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It’s a forest for the trees situation. Lost in translation. It’s a thousand yard stare, and it’s super frustrating.

I imagine that about how John would feel if he heard all of the discussions from our teetotaler, American based cultural view of his account of Jesus’s first miracle.

At a wedding in Cana of Galilee, at the request of his mother, he changed water into wine.

He wouldn’t do that. It wasn’t really wine. It was just grape juice.

Forest for the trees.

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I’m not going there. I’m not telling you what I think about the alcoholic content, or lack thereof, in the water-turned-grape-beverage that Jesus made that day.

That’s not the point, and we need to stop trying to make it the point. It’s demeaning and petty and distracting from what actually went on in Cana.

John chapter two is about so much more than fermentation. It’s about so much more our particular cultural perspective. However, before quickly peeking at this second chapter of John’s gospel, let me just ask you one question.

Do you trust that Jesus did the right thing? Whatever he did, was it right?

Or, do you think that he made a mistake?

If he made wine, like we know it today, would you judge him for doing it? I’m not going to.

Jesus can do what he wants, and that is really what John chapter 2 is about. It’s not about grape juice. He can do what he wants because he is God. None of us have the right to question his decisions or his motives.

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

Now we’re seeing clearly. There’s the big picture. When we look at it that way, we can see forest.

John wants us to know all we can about Jesus’s power, and he wants us to trust in Jesus and his power. 

So, let me give you the Cliff Notes of the sermon from this chapter today.

After roughly the 20th reading of John’s recollection of Jesus’s first foray into public ministry, I see:

  • His power over creation revealed by changing water into wine. 
  • His power over Himself restrained when He cleansed the temple.
  • His power over death remembered after the resurrection.

No one has power like Jesus. He has power to transform. He has power to limit. He has power to raise, even himself, from death.

Because of that, the disciples believed on him, they followed him, and they served him.

What do you see when you read John 2? Please don’t tell me grape juice.


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  • Dani

    You know you are so right. If Jesus turned the water to wine, the wine we know today, the best kind, wow what a miracle it was! I think so many have made issues over things that Jesus never wanted us to argue about.

    I believe in His power and Trust in His judgement.

    Would have been great to hear this message.


    • Michael

      Amen. He’s all we need.

  • diny tuik

    The power of Jesus is amazing, He certainly knew what He was doing, back than and right now!

    • Michael

      Exactly, Diny! He’s knows exactly what He’s doing, and He always has. Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by.

  • the domestic fringe

    I think sometimes we limit God so much. We want to explain everything away and fit Him into our little boxes. My husband and I talk about the way we (just talking about the two of us here, not everyone in general) interpret Scripture based on our American viewpoint and how that messes things up.

    I’m just glad He does miracles, the fermented kind or the unfirmented kind.
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    • Michael

      FringeGirl, 1st, get better soon! 2nd, I don’t like little boxes at all, especially the kind that we try to put God in. I know what I think Jesus did that day, but if He did something else, who am I to question that? He’s God, not me.

  • Mom

    How great our God is and how small is our ability to understand His word. I can read the scriptures with my human mind or I have the choice of praying that the Holy Spirit will speak truth into my spirit as I read His word. As christians, our lazy and half hearted study of ths Bible is certainly born out in the petty arguments we cling to and despute with others, while our awsome Savior is jumping off the pages if we would devote ourselves to prayer and true study. He can transform out thinking from questioning to praise. Hallelua, what a Savior! Thank you for reminding me that God is God and I must always trust Him.

    • Michael

      How often I need to be reminded, Mom. God is God and we must always trust Him. Daily, we must trust Him. leaning not to our own understanding.

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