All joking aside, we have to ask why this miracle? Wouldn’t that have contributed to drunken guests? Ordinary humans were allowed to do that sort of thing, but God himself? What business does he have with such a miracle?
I remember the first time I really thought about this in church. I probably raised an eyebrow. In fact, if I remember correctly, some of the other younger teenagers did too. A lively debate ensued in our Wednesday-night Bible study on whether or not this wine contained alcohol. Our study leader, one of the deacons, suggested it was just grape juice. He didn’t sound very convinced when he told us that. He must have discussed it with the pastor too, because the next week he came back and told us that the wine back then was a lot weaker than it is today. Something about one part wine for everything three parts water. What a copout! At any rate, the entire discussion could have been avoided if the true spiritual significance of this event was taught in our Bible study lesson. Unfortunately for all of us, no one knew what that was.
So why did Jesus change water into wine? This story is not so much about the literal transformation of water into wine as it is about a transformation meant to happen within the individual. Wine symbolizes the wisdom and intuition that comes from the divine mind. Water symbolizes the inferior mental-emotional ego. Even as Jesus’ life will exemplify this process, so is everyone else’s who chooses to walk the spiritual path.
It is interesting that the Apostle John closes the scene with these words: “This beginning of miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee…” (John 2: 11). John wants us to know that Jesus has been officially initiated. The miracle was the seal. The miracle that Jesus has performed with the water and the wine will spiritually manifest in the rest of the Gospel.
The fact that this miracle was performed at a wedding is also significant. In marriage, two become one flesh. The transformation symbolized by Jesus’ miracle of water into wine also involves a union of the higher and lower natures into one flesh, which is then manifested in the human body. By crucifying our ego, the ego is absorbed by the higher functioning mind and then our actions become more meaningful and productive.
Please realize that this short Gospel scene is not so much about Jesus as it is meant to be about us. Jesus is the master teacher, but we are his disciples. The Gospel states:
“And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.”
Jesus wasn’t the only one called. He’s not meant to be the only one center stage. This story goes deeper than just one man. It was meant for all mankind. We, his disciples, are at the wedding with him, and should we accept the spiritual calling, we also must be initiated. By doing literal miracles? No. The real miracle is the individual life that is transformed from water to wine. And that’s us.
As I read more and more of the Bible over the next year, I use to trouble over another part of this story. Jesus’ mother tells him that the wine has run out, but Jesus is reluctant to do anything about it. John states:
“…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” (John 2:3-4).
The funny part is that his mother completely ignores Jesus’ statement and tells the servants of the wedding to do whatever Jesus command anyway. It’s as if Jesus’ mother could care less what he thought. She knew what he was capable and what he must do. It’s as she knows—through divine intuition—that Jesus is supposed to manifest his glory at the wedding.
Mothers in scripture and myth symbolize the divine feminine aspect of spirit which, according to G.S. Gaskell, “…directs human evolution, and it is eventually through her functioning and through the raising of the soul by intuition…” that a higher state of consciousness is achieved. In other words, the divine feminine helps bring out the latent potential of the divine within us. Is this the true role of Mary in this scene? Yes, and when I saw it for the first time John 2:3-4 then made complete sense.
We shouldn’t be surprise when Jesus tries to tell his mother it isn’t his time yet. Even Jesus isn’t immune to the lower nature’s resistance to evolve. How many times do we resist the higher calling? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I do it multiple times a day. I’ve never been the guru type who learned about meditation and then ascended to the mountain top to remain there ever sense. Some days I have no motivation at all. You get my drift—the point of Jesus’ reaction to his mother isn’t to say Jesus literally resisted his mother, but that we are all prone to put off spiritual maturity because it’s going to take work. The ego always resists even though it’s good for us in the end.
The last important point I want to draw out in this post is the six water pots. They also carry significance.
“And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews…” 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 [the wine] to the governor of the feast. (John 2:6-8).
As you might have guessed, it’s no coincidence as to why there are six water pots. Just as the six literal water pots become vehicles to hold the wine, we are human beings comprised of six vehicles that house consciousness. They are the physical, etheric, emotional, mental, lesser causal, and higher causal bodies (some of these were mentioned in former post). True spiritual transformation and consciousness evolution happens when we learn to integrate our awareness in all of these vehicles. Man then becomes a multidimensional being with a truly expanded consciousness.
The governor of the feast that Jesus offers the wine to in the last part of the above verse represents the divine order of the universe. Jesus is offering up his transformation according to the universal laws and order of God. This transformation and union also represents the natural order of the evolving soul. It doesn’t happen over-night. And for most, it’s highly improbable to happen in one life-time. Nonetheless, we should take responsibility for our self and be actively involved in this evolutionary process. It’s a grand ride because it’s meant to be!