Wedding at Cana

Home exercise: Interpreting Holy Scripture

Reading the Bible can leave people feeling like they’re reading a story they’ve heard a thousand times, or reading a story from the past that doesn’t make sense. It can seem irrelevant. However, learning about God (and getting to know God better) is not a passive thing. Listening to others talk about God is not the same as talking about God yourself.

Read this bit of the Bible… a familiar story from the Wedding at Cana:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When 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 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.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:1-11, New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and are used by permission. All rights reserved

Here are some ways to use the Bible passage to get to know God better, why not try one and comment below with your answer – or email me you artwork to include on the website.

  • Re-tell this story in art: paint or draw it.
  • Memorise this story and re-tell it to your family.
  • Re-write it as a poem
  • Re-write the story in only one sentence while keeping the essence of it.

Or how about:

  • Re-imagine this story from the point of view of:
  • the Wedding guests
  • The Servants
  • Mary
  • … or how about from God’s view?

For example…

I was at this wedding the other day. We were all having a good time when – would you believe it – the wine ran out! So one of the guests I presume, told the servants to fill up some jars with water. The bridegroom had a drink and it was wine, not just ordinary wine but very good wine. What magic was that!!
We must watch this guy – he will go far!

Carolyn (Shred)

Isn’t Carolyn’s story interesting… look how Jesus’ first miracle looks like magic to those who don’t know him. Is this maybe why people today don’t believe in the miracles of Jesus? Is it because they don’t know him either?

On the third day, Jesus prompted by his mother Mary, turned Jewish Purification water into the best wine – representative of his cleansing blood of the New Covenant.

Ali Baxter

I love the way Ali Baxter has taken the whole gospel story and brought it together in one sentence… it takes a lot of time to summarise the paragraph, and demonstrates the time and effort to put it into her own words… here is Ali’s working out:

I’m really interested in your Biblical interpretation, email me your work and we’ll include it below (art or story).


  1. I went to a wedding last week,it was a lovely day we met a lot of friends we havent seen for ages,ill tell you who was there you remember Mary and joseph they were there with some of their sons and do you remember the one called jesus,well the strangest thing happend they ran out of wine and someone told me that he changed the water that was in the jars into wine,i am not sure i believe it ,anyway ive decided to call in on mary next week to see if i can get a right story and maybe jesus might be there.

    1. I love this Val, the way Jesus sparks curiosity and the hope of meeting him again! Brilliant.

    1. Thank you for emailing me your poem Glennis… I love the way you’ve put the Wedding at Cana into your own poetic words:

      The Wedding at Cana got underway just an ordinary Wedding, just a ordinary day.
      There was laughter, Tears, Dancing and fun.
      There was love in the Air and more to come.
      Mary whispered quietly in Jesus ear, she said wine and he thought she said beer.
      The bridegroom was worried, the wine had run dry,
      Jesus got up not asking why.
      Servants were filling jars with water, some were saying they didn’t ought to, but on that day when water became wine for generations it was a sign that Jesus was not only a man,
      He was God’s Son and part of a plan.
      So if you want Jesus to help change you, just ask Him, He will do!

  2. Melanie emailed me with:

    I went to a wedding at Cana last week. The party was a real hoot! The wine was flowing and everyone was having a great time but then the wine ran out. This was a real blow to me as I always needed a bit of Dutch courage when at a party! This man was there who had a real presence. Although he clearly was having an enjoyable time he wasn’t like the other bawdy and rowdy men at the party. He had a definite presence, had an air of authority yet was gentle and he drew people to him. Wonder of wonders he performed a miracle – he turned some water into wine! Everyone was really grateful to him for doing this. The wine was better than anyone could have ever imagined! Someone said that this was the son of Mary from Nazareth but could a mere man do this?

    1. I love the way Melanie gets to the heart of the question: who is Jesus? Surely not just a man?

      Thank you Melanie!

  3. The Wedding and wine story is typical of the bible stories put out by the church putting Jesus and God in such
    a pinnacle of excellence. This all well and good but when I ask questions about the horror stories perpetrated
    by God which are well documented in the Old Testament the clergy I speak to just walk away. Nobody seems to have any answers.
    Anthony Lockwood

    1. I’ll help you Anthony. I won’t walk away. You have my contact details. I’d love to meet up and talk about the Old Testament.

  4. Some of the old Testament readings are pretty horrendous and bizarre. Mind you there are pretty horrific and bizarre things happening today too but God is not a puppet master and does not control the actions of people. I probably focus on the more positive messages in the Bible and try and understand the other passages in the context of the time they were written. I don’t profess to have any deep answers, but I know how empty my heart and soul felt when I turned away from my beliefs a few years ago and what a huge sense of comfort when God welcomed me back. Some people may say that’s not God but that’s how it is for me. When Jo was talking about the Bible passage account of the wedding in Cana she made me think about it again. Jesus was pretty rude to his mum when she mentioned the wine situation, I wonder if it’s because he thought once I start doing one miracle, that’s it everyone will want one, and maybe he didn’t feel ready for all that. But non the less he wanted to save the wedding parties from embarrassment and appease his mother and I guess God said sorry son but now’s is the time so quietly and with out any fanfare performed his first miracle and made lots of people very happy.

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