120 Gallons of Wine

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 2:9-12

This miracle of Jesus, “the first of his signs” (v. 11), is not only surprising but even troubling. Would we not expect the first miracle of the Savior to be one of healing or some other act of compassion for the unfortunate? Should Jesus not have used His divine power to address some dire human condition, such as leprosy, blindness, or deafness?

No Jesus created 120 gallons of wine (the estimated contents of those six water jars) for a wedding celebration that had already been in progress several days. Would it not have been more appropriate for Jesus to provide a veggie platter, cheese wedges, or nonalcoholic punch?

Well, maybe Jesus was making a point. During the remainder of His career He used miracles to alleviate suffering and meet basic human needs. But there is more to life than basics. There is celebration. There is joy. There is love and romance. There is family. There is community.

Perhaps just perhaps Jesus looked down the hallways of history and saw that some of His followers would confuse dourness with holiness, would condemn pleasure as evil, would judge people’s faith by the length of their faces. Maybe Jesus wanted us to remember that He once performed a miracle so a party could go on.


Lord, may ours be a faith that smiles, that enjoys, that loves, that encourages, that celebrates. Amen.