It seems Mary, Jesus' mom, was hosting a wedding ceremony in a burg called Cana, about twenty miles from the family stomping grounds in Nazareth. You couldn't take a cab or hop on the bus back then, so there must have been a pretty good reason for Mary and young Jesus to be attending a wedding that far from their home turf. Everybody's best guess is that it must have been a relative's wedding, considering Mary didn't usually cater gigs like this.
Where hubby Joe was is anybody's guess. What can a palooka do when his wife takes the kid out of town for a few days? I have my suspicions, and all of them involve a hangover and a few pieces of silver dropped at the local whorehouse...but that's just me.
Anyway, Mom comes up to Jesus after the party had been in full wine-swilling glory for awhile and describes to him the worst nightmare of any party hostess. They've run out of booze!
You can easily imagine her horror. Every last ounce of wine has gone down the gullets of the tipsy party-goers. Mary knows full-well how ugly a half-drunk crowd can get when they hear the happy news that the party is over, just when they're just starting to get all-mellow.
So what does she do? Naturally, she dumps her problems straight into the lap of the young Jesus, as many will for centuries to come. She tells her son that the booze well is dry.
To which he responds, "Woman, what does that have to do with me?"
Just imagine some drunk overhearing this conversation and saying, "These kids, today!"
In any event, the young fella was having a hard time coming to grips with the idea that he was somehow responsible for the plight of a bunch of thirsty vino-suckers. I mean, it's not like he's been on the trail performing miracles or anything. All that is still waiting down the road.
Sure, he'd been baptized by a guy named John and heard a voice from Heaven yakking at him, but that's about all. He wasn't through being a kid yet! But there was Mom, looking for answers from him concerning her little social embarrassment problem.
What does the lad do, you ask? He tells Mom that his hour has not yet come, meaning..."Hey, Mom, I'm just a kid! Leave me alone!"
It really looks for all the world like Mary's acting just like your regular, garden variety stage mom, trying to shove her son out into the floodlights before he's had a chance to rehearse his act. It's like she knows what the boy's destiny is and wants to out him and get the glory show on the road.
Still, Jesus caves in to his mom and tells the servants to fill six nearby ceremonial stone water jugs with fresh water, which they do. Each pot held somewhere between twenty and thirty gallons. The servants then drew some wine out of the water pots and hot-footed it over to the master of ceremonies, who said to the bridegroom, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink, but you have saved the best until now!" (v. 10). And the party was right back on track.
OK...as miracles go, this ain't exactly raising the dead. There were a lot of folks who thought it was nothing more than a clever parlor trick. You gotta remember, this water-to-wine trick was not something Jesus had planned to do, or even wanted to do, for that matter. He was just knuckling under to a little pressure from Mom.
I mean, this wedding took place in a fat cat's palace, after all! It wasn't like they couldn't send a couple of slaves down to the local hooch store for more wine. for chrissakes!