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From Jeffrey John - the wedding at Cana

There is a barely concealed implication that Jeffrey John considers this story to be allegorical rather than factual. Many Jewish writing symbolise the messianic days as a wedding feast, and many of the stories in the Gospels are about weddings as well.

There are two particularly important points from the story, and the first is the production of the wine itself. There are reminders of Jesus saying "can the wedding guests fast while the groom is still with them?" and "no one puts new wine into old skins".

The production of a huge abundance of wine, and a production of a similar abundance of bread at the feeding of the five thousand, suggests an allusion to the Eucharist, the sacramental means by which the believer is united with Jesus. [I am reminded of the communion liturgy which says "let us make a huge loaf of bread, and let us bring abundant wine."] The story of the wedding, like communion, is also about celebrating a corporate as well as an individual relationship -- and the story does not hesitate to compare the joy of the celebration with drunkenness. In the Western Church we are not good at joy, though the joy does not necessarily have to be expressed in loud and visible joyfulness.

The second point concerns Jesus' words to his mother -- a verbal slap in the face which suggests hostility between them. Jesus' view of the family was, to say the least, ambiguous, and he himself clearly had problems with his own family. His teaching that all human relationships and all human institutions need redeeming -- including motherhood and apple pie -- is important to keep in mind, especially when our relationships prove difficult. God comes first, and everything else needs ordering in the light of our relationship with him.

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