Ways To Tell The Story:
This story can be told using a variety of methods. Always remain true to the facts found in the Bible but help children connect to its meaning by using drama, visual aids, voice inflection, student interaction and/or emotion.
or .Be selective. Each teacher is unique so only use the illustrations that best relate to the way YOU are telling the story in THIS lesson. Too many illustrations can be confusing so eliminate any that cover other stories or details you do not wish to emphasise in this lesson.
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There is definitely a Jesus connection to Cana, parallel to the one that Mark reports regarding Capernaum. Peter Richardson of the University of Toronto has written a significant academic article on this point titled What Has Cana to Do with Capernaum? , pp. 314331) that I highly recommend. He argues that the significant differences on geographical matters between the Synoptics with their sources and John with its sourcesespecially the question of Jesus placeshould not be resolved simply in favor of Mark. Cana as a place in John is as significant as Capernaum in Mark. In fact, Richardson argues that Cana served as an operational base for Jesus according to the tradition that John reflects. It is interesting to note that during the Jewish Revolt, Josephus, commander of the Jewish forces in Galilee, made Cana his strategic headquarters for a time . Its prime location, overlooking Sepphoris and the cities of the Bet Netofa Valley, made it an ideal location. Also, Jewish tradition locates the priestly family of Eliashib, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 24:19 as one of the 24 orders of Cohanim or priest, as from Cana.
What Happened At The Wedding At Cana
The story of the wedding at Cana is told in John 2:1-12. Early in Jesuss ministry, there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his mother were invited and so were his disciples. During the celebration, the wine supply ran out. Mary must have known the bride and groom well and didnt want anything to bring down the excitement. She went to Jesus to inform him that there was no more wine. Mary knew Jesus was special and could help. However, Jesus politely replied that his time hadnt arrived yet. So, Mary, still hoping that he would do something, told the servants to listen to Jesus and do whatever he says.
Six stone water jars that held twenty to thirty gallons each were in the serving area. Jesus simply said, Fill those up with water. The servants did that. Then Jesus added, Now dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies. The servants followed his instructions, although they were probably wondering why they were serving plain water.
The master of ceremonies tasted it and called the bridegroom over. The master of ceremonies gushed over the superb quality of the wine. At every other celebration, people would serve the best wine first and then later when the attendees were rather tipsy and not discerning, they would bring out lesser wines.
At this wedding at Cana in Galilee, the best wine was saved for last. After the wedding, Jesus went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.
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Learning Activities And Crafts:
- Use wooden or plastic spoons to make puppets. Draw faces on the inside of the spoons and wrap a piece of fabric around the handle as clothing. Let children use these to act out the story.
- Provide a plastic goblet or cup and various stickers, glitter, stick-on jewels, etc. so younger children can decorate a cup. Alternatively, use this printable Water to Wine craft.
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
John : 1 Meaning And Commentary
And the third day there was a marriage Either from the second testimony bore by John the Baptist concerning Christ, and from the call of Simon Peter, which seem to be of the same date see , or from Christ’s coming into Galilee or from the conversation he had with Nathanael from either of which the date is taken, it matters not the first is as agreeable and plain, as any. There is much dispute, and many rules with the Jews about the times, and days of marriage:
“a virgin, marries on the fourth day , and a widow on the fifth, because the sanhedrim sit in the cities twice in the week, on the second, and on the fifth days so that if there is any dispute about virginity, he may come betimes to the sanhedrim.”
“before the order of Ezra, a woman might be married on any day ”
“they do not marry women on a feast day, neither virgins, nor widows:”
“now they are used to marry on the “sixth day of the week”.”
“it is lawful to marry, and to make the feast on the sabbath day.”
“to me it appears that Cepher Chanania, is Copher Cana or the village of Cans, as is clear in Misna Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 1. for there is the beginning of lower, Galilee,”
“there are three countries, for the celebration of marriages Judea, the country beyond Jordan, and Galilee ”
“they do not bring them out from city to city, nor from town to town but in the same country they bring them out from city to city, and from town to town.”
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Related Reading In Bible History Daily:
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A Summary And Analysis Of Jesus Turning Water Into Wine
The miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana is the first of Jesus miracles recounted in the Gospel of John, and as such it marks a decisive moment in the story of Jesus divinity. But there are several mysterious details about the story which are worthy of closer analysis, not least the matter of where Cana exactly was.
The miracle is told of in John 2:1-11. Jesus, his mother, and his disciples attend a wedding in the village of Cana. When the wine runs out at the feast, Jesus turns water into wine, thus demonstrating his divinity to his disciples.
Lets take a closer look at the water into wine miracle by analysing what John tells us.
Jesus turning water into wine: summary
In John chapter 2 verses 1-11, we are given an account of the marriage at Cana, where the miracle takes place.
John tells us that there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee and the mother of Jesus, i.e., the Virgin Mary, was present. Jesus and his disciples were also called to the marriage. At the wedding, they ran out of wine and Jesus mother told him that theyd run out, implying that he could perhaps help out.
Jesus replied rather sharply: Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. In other words, woman, what am I going to do with you? Youre hopeless! Im not ready to announce my divinity to the world .
But Jesus seems to have come round. Mary told the servants at the wedding, whatever her son tells them to do, they should do it.
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The Imitation Of Christ
He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ and they direct us to imitate his life and character. The Imitation of Christ is a guide to following the example of Jesus Christ. It should be our most earnest study to dwell upon the life of Jesus Christ. The Imitation of Christ.
Wedding At Cana In Galilee John : 1
Bible Verse of the Day Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine. And Jesus said to her, Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the servers, Do whatever he tells you.
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Way To Introduce The Story:
Show the class some of your wedding pictures or have a guest come to class and show their wedding pictures. Discuss the wedding and the celebration afterward. Was there a meal? Did you have plenty of food and drink or did you run out. What would you have done if you had run out? What weddings have the students been involved in? In todays story we are going to learn about a wedding that Jesus and his mother attended. Lets listen to hear what happened at the feast following the wedding.top
Cultivate A Humble And Obedient Heart
But his mother told the servants, Do whatever he tells you. John 2:5
Since you cant make Jesus do your will, resign yourself to do whatever he says. Obey him and youll have much more peace.
All believers in Christ should seek to have the heart of Mary. Her heart sought to glorify the Lord, rejoice in him, and humbly serve him. She stored up his mighty deeds within her heart. She knew that his mercy was overflowing for those who fear him. He fills up the hungry and waits for the rich to realize their emptiness .
When you resign yourself to doing his will, you may also get what you asked him for. He doesnt work on cue, but he does help us in our need. He is a very good and loving Father and Shepherd.
Jesus told the servants, Fill the jars with water. When the jars had been filled, he said, Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies. So, the servants followed his instructions. John 2:7-8
The servants followed his instructions even though they had just seen those jars being filled with water. Were they shaking the whole time they walked to the master of ceremonies? Would they be fired if he took a sip of plain old water?
Sometimes we need to do things that dont seem to make sense to our human minds. When we step forward in faith, despite our doubts, we may see a miracle!
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Identification Of Biblical Cana
The exact location of “Cana in Galilee” has been subject to debate among scholars. Modern scholars maintain that since the Gospel of John was addressed to Jewish Christians of the time, it is unlikely that the evangelist would mention a place that did not exist. However, Dominican scholar Jerome Murphy-O’Connor cautions that Cana is a very common name, with no known text offering any clue as to which of the dozen towns going by the name would be the correct one, and calls the common choice of Kafr Qanna near Nazareth “probably just a pious guess”.
The main candidates for the town from the Gospel of John are:
- Khirbet Qana, also in Galilee
- Qana, Southern Lebanon, in an area that was part of historical Galilee.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914, a tradition dating back to the 8th century identifies Cana with the modern Arab town of Kafr Kanna, in Galilee, about 7 km northeast of Nazareth, in today’s Israel.
The ruined village of Khirbet Qana , about 6 miles ) further north, is an option presented as certain by William F. Albright in 1923, whose name “Qana” is also etymologically closer to Cana than “Kanna”.
Some Lebanese Christians, especially the Lebanese Melkites , supported by their Church, believe the southern Lebanese village of Qana to have been the actual location of this event.
Points Of Interest From Cana Wedding
The exact location of Cana is still debated by Bible scholars. The name means “place of reeds.” In the present day village of Kafr Cana in Israel stands the Greek Orthodox church of St. George, built in 1886. In that church are two stone jars which locals claim are two of the jars used in Jesus’ first miracle.
Several Bible translations, including the King James Version and English Standard Version, record Jesus addressing his mother as “woman,” which some have characterized as brusque. The New International Version adds the adjective “dear” before woman.
Earlier in the Gospel of John, we are told that Jesus called Nathaniel, who was born in Cana, and “saw” Nathaniel sitting under a fig tree even before they met. The wedding couple’s names are not mentioned, but because Cana was a small village, it’s likely they had some connection to Nathaniel.
John referred to Jesus miracles as signs, indicators pointing to Jesus divinity. The Cana wedding miracle was Christ’s first sign. Jesus second sign, also performed in Cana, was the healing at a distance of a government officials son. In that miracle, the man believed through faith in Jesus before he saw the results, the attitude Jesus desired.
Some Bible scholars interpret the shortage of wine at Cana as symbolic of the spiritual dryness of Judaism at the time of Jesus. Wine was a common symbol of Gods bounty and of spiritual joy.
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What Is The Meaning Of The Six Stone Jars At The Wedding In Cana
The miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana comes early in Johns gospel, in John 2.111, and it offers us a first taste of Johns remarkable ability in story-telling, where he combines an intense attention to realistic detail with powerful evocation of the scene. In 11 short verses, we are taken into both the reality and the emotion of the event, so it is no wonder that the story is so well known that is has become something of a cultural trope.
We have become used to reading Johns gospel on two levels, the literal and the symbolic, and so it is not surprising that we should be alert to anything that might suggest symbolic significance in this story. Already John the Baptist has proclaimed Jesus as the symbolic lamb of God , and the first disciples ask Jesus Where are you staying? using the word later translated abiding, which becomes a symbolic term for the incorporation of the faithful disciple in the presence of God through Jesus. The Cana episode is introduced with one of Johns characteristic temporal markers: on the third day . and C K Barrett disagree on whether this implies the wedding takes place on the sixth or seventh day of the narrative so far, as indicated by the cumulation of temporal markers:
|on the third day||The first day of the week?|
So it is not surprising that many readers interpret the six stone water jars symbolically. Barrett comments:
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Take Your Requests To Jesus But Humbly Accept His Answer
The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesuss mother told him, They have no more wine.Dear woman, thats not our problem, Jesus replied. My time has not yet come. John 2:3-4
Mary couldnt make Jesus do anything even though she was special to him. No matter how close you feel you are to Jesus, you cant make Him do anything if the time isnt right. Jesus wanted to be sure he was working on the Fathers schedule toward the ultimate goal of redemption for his people.
God doesnt work on our cues. We must trust hm with our plans and the timing of those plans. In doing so, we bring our plans in conjunction with his master plan and things work out much better. We must always wait patiently for the Lord, be brave and courageous, and continue to wait patiently for the Lord .
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Remember That In Gods Hands The Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from , he called the bridegroom over. A host always serves the best wine first, he said. Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now! John 2:9-10
Ordinary things can become extraordinary when theyre blessed by God. God uses ordinary people. The disciples themselves were ordinary people before they were called. Believers today are similar. Before God called you, you werent necessarily wise by human standards. You werent necessarily influential.
God chooses the lowly people of the world so that they will not be able to boast in their own goodness. The goal of a follower of Christ should be that Christ becomes more and more noticeable in their life. We want people to see him in us. When people see the courage and wisdom of ordinary people that are simply obeying God it stands out as being from God because their own meager efforts arent that spectacular. But with God, ordinary things and people become extraordinary.
God takes our empty places and fills them. He supplies our needs from his glorious riches, and we end up getting much more than we asked for originally.