I’ve always found it interesting that the first recorded miracle Jesus ever did was change water into wine, aka the best miracle ever. I know, I know, the whole “raising people from the dead” thing gets more publicity. But if you ask me, changing water into wine puts him in the Wedding Guest Hall of Fame.
If you don’t know the story, allow me to enlighten you:
This was a wedding of a close friend or family member of the Jesus clan because not only was Jesus and posse invited, but Jesus’ mother was there as well. Everyone’s having a good time, the bride and groom cut the cake, everyone dances to the old-timey version of The Funky Chicken, the usual wedding stuff.
Then the unthinkable happens: they run out of booze. I think most people would agree that they would rather the bride run off with a Federal Express guy, à la Runaway Bride, than run out of alcohol. At least then the abandoned groom would have all that alcohol to console himself.
Okay, so they’re at this wedding and there’s nothing to drink other than water. A bunch of people who (most likely) can’t stand each other, forced to sit at a crammed table eating cold chicken and limp salad. And there’s nothing to drink.
At this point, Jesus’ mom (you may have heard of her—she’s not too well-known outside of Christmas but the Catholics love her) Mary realizes what happened and says to herself, “Wait a second, my kid is the son of God.”
Mary elbows Jesus in the ribs. “There’s no wine,” she hisses.
Jesus, however, just shrugs it off. “So? Not my problem.”
Mary then does what any mother would do at this point: she ignores him and goes on with her plan like he agreed to it. She marches up to the servants—who are freaking out at this point, by the way. “They’re all going to turn on us!” There’s nothing worse than half-drunk wedding guests who were thwarted in their attempt to get full-on drunk on free booze. Those poor servants had already resigned themselves to their fate: Stabbed to death with empty wineglasses.
Anyway, Mary tells the servants, “See that man right there? That’s my son. He’s gonna get you some wine. Don’t listen to him if he says he’s not. Believe me, he will.” I’d like to think at some point she said, “Son of God or not, I’m still your mother.”
So Jesus, probably rolling his eyes, tells the servants to fill these six stone jars with water and take them to the master of ceremonies, which is apparently a thing people had at weddings back then. (For some reason, I picture him wearing a purple sash.) He tastes the water that is now miraculously wine, impressed that the groom saved the best wine for last.
So not only did Jesus turn freaking water into wine, he turned it into fancy-schmancy wine, the kind you usually serve first, while everyone’s sober. Then when everyone’s sloshed you give them bottom-shelf, gas station wine. That’s standard wedding procedure.
I’d love to have seen the groom’s facial expression at that moment. Because I bet he was in charge of picking up the wine. He was the groom, he had only ONE job to do, and what was the one thing that got screwed up? Exactly. Just like a man, he went to the liquor store, picked out a couple bottles and was like, “Eh, that’s good enough.”
I remember one year we had a ton of people coming to our house for a holiday dinner. And I told my husband to pick up rolls and he comes home with eight rolls. Eight rolls total. One sad, little bag of eight measly rolls. I looked at it, and then looked at him. “Is that all you got? You know we have like, 25 people coming over, right?” His face at that moment looked close to what this groom’s face probably was when he realized they were out of wine.
I’d also like to think that at some point the groom was looking frantically at all his half-drunk relatives lurching around shouting, “Who’s hiding the wine?” He’s freaking out, thinking they’ll turn on him at any moment (once they were done with the servants, of course). He buries his face in his hands, moaning, “Oh, Jesus. Jesus Christ, what am I going to do?”
Jesus smoothly appears behind him as if from nowhere. “Don’t worry, bro,” he says, clasping his hands on the startled groom’s shoulders.