The Wedding at Cana: A Collage of Cultures

The Wedding at Cana

 John 2:1-12

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”  5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it.  9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”  11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.   12After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.

Literary and Historical Analysis

The book of John was written around 90 B.C. at a time when tensions were high between Jews and early Christians about whether Jesus was the Messiah or not. The book of John was also strongly on the side of Jesus being the Son of God.  The book of John is different in a few way from the synoptic gospels in that it humanizes Jesus and the miracles he performs.

Gandolfi, Gaetano. The Marriage at Cana. 1766. The Walters Art Museum,


Eric Anderlik, Sarah Guilford, Eliot Herz