Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 19, 2019

Who Got Married at Cana?

(3 Minute Read)
Wedding at Cana

Wedding in Cana of Galilee

Is anyone you know getting married this month?

June is a very popular month for weddings. One of the best-known weddings of all time occurred 2,000 years ago in Cana of Galilee.

We know roughly when and where the wedding occurred. We know who some of the guests were. We know of something incredible that happened at the wedding that made it famous.

But do we know the identity of the happy couple?

What Made the Cana Wedding Famous?

The wedding at Cana of Galilee was the occasion when Jesus of Nazareth performed His first miracle. (John 2:1-12)

Interestingly enough, Jesus’ first miracle was a miracle of creation! He turned water into wine.

It was a fitting start to His ministry since John begins his gospel by citing Jesus’ first miracle of Creation 4,000 years earlier when He created the universe and all it contains.
All things came into being through Him [Jesus], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:3)

Turning water into wine is not a big deal for the Creator of the universe. But it would be a huge deal for anyone else. Thus it was a clear sign indicating Jesus’ identity.

When the wedding celebration in Cana ran out of wine, Jesus had the servants fill six large stone water jars with water. He then turned the water into wine without a word or a touch. According to the headwaiter’s evaluation, it was first-class wine.

The stone jars contained 20-30 gallons each (John 2:6). The stone jars were comparable to large garbage cans which hold about 30 gallons each. In an instant Jesus turned about 150 gallons of water into 150 gallons of excellent wine.

This was a major miracle of creation because most of the ingredients in wine are not in water. A water molecule H2O consists of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. Just hydrogen and oxygen — that’s all!

Wine, however, has over 1,000 additional compounds that are not in water. Its chemistry is very complex. Wine has ethanol, glycerol, tannins, anthocyanins, phenolics, flavonols, organic acids, sugars, proteins, sulfites, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, methoxypyrazines, and many other compounds.

From where did all these different compounds come to make the wine? Jesus the Creator created them. Most of these additional compounds involve carbon atoms. Jesus had to create the carbon and all the other elements involved other than the hydrogen and oxygen in water.

To better understand just how non-trivial this water-to-wine miracle was, do this experiment.
1. Fill a small glass with water (just a cup instead of 150 gallons).
2. Next, turn the water into wine.
3. Finally, ask someone to taste and evaluate your new beverage.

Wedding in Cana of Galilee
Servants fill 6 stone water jars with water.

Was your taster impressed?

What, you couldn’t even make a small glass of wine? Not even cheap, rotgut wine? You couldn’t even do that?

Well, to be honest, I couldn’t make wine from water either when I tried the experiment. Nobody can do it but the Great Creator.

This transformation of water into wine was something the Creator alone could do. It was Jesus’ first sign to His disciples regarding His true identity as the Son of God.

A short time later a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus, whom Jesus called “the teacher of Israel,” drew this same conclusion. He said to Jesus,
Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2, 10)

Who Got Married at Cana?

Who got married at the wedding in Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water to wine? (John 2:1-12)

Scripture does not say who got married, so this question cannot be answered with certainty. But there are clues in Scripture which lead me to make some educated guesses. Thus what follows is speculation about the identity of the wedding couple based on the following Biblical clues.

1. Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding (John 2:2). Apparently His brothers were there as well (John 2:11-12).
2. Jesus’ mother Mary was at the wedding. She seemed to be officially involved in some capacity since she took responsibility to see about arranging for more wine when it unexpectedly ran out. Why would the lack of wine concern Mary unless she were closely connected to the wedding party?
3. The bridegroom was from Cana since he hosted the wedding celebration there (John 2:9-10).
4. The wedding occurred the day after Jesus’ conversation with His disciple Nathanael. The day John the Baptist saw Jesus was the first day (John 1:29, 35-36); the day Jesus talked with Nathanael was the second day (John 1:43-51); the day of the wedding was the third day (John 2:1).
5. Cana was Nathanael’s hometown (John 21:2).
6. Nathanael and Bartholomew are likely the same disciple, Nathanael Bar-Tolmai (son of Tolmai). John associates Nathanael with Philip (John 1:45-48) and seems to class Nathanael with the apostles (John 21:1-4). But John never mentions Bartholomew. Matthew, Mark, and Luke list Bartholomew with Philip in their apostle lists but never mention Nathanael (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16). However in Acts, Luke puts Bartholomew and Matthew together (Acts 1:13).

Based on these clues and connections, my speculation is that the groom was Nathanael or possibly one of his brothers or close friends. I think the bride was likely one of Mary’s daughters, one of Jesus’ younger half-sisters.

Questions to Ponder

1. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus told Him, “They have no wine.” Why did Jesus say, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”? (John 2:3-4)
2. After witnessing the water-to-wine miracle, which would be harder to believe — that Jesus was just a man or that Jesus was God?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 19, 2019 A.D.

Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. (John 3:1-2)

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