There is no right or wrong way to study or read through the Bible; yet, following a pattern can help us find gold in the stories. Finding these treasures will help us apply truth to our own lives. An omer was a biblical unit of measure for dry grain. During their wilderness travels, an omer of manna was God’s provision for each person each day.
The first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding. To understand the background of weddings in the time of Christ, there are some things we need to know. Wine was used at weddings and at all functions because drinking water was impure. The wine in New Testament times was not like wine used today. Because of amoeba in water, wine was added as a purifying agent. This was three parts water to one part wine. In today’s standards, one would need to drink 11 glasses of “wine” to have the equivalent of only one martini today. What is referenced in the Bible as wine is not the wine we have today.
Also in Bible customs, the best was served first so that when people became full, they would not notice the taste of poorly-made food or wine. At this first miracle Jesus performs, His mother Mary is in attendance. She is just like other mothers: proud of her Son and willing to extol His gifts.
The Wedding Miracle
When the host runs out of wine at this wedding, Mary tells her Son, “They are out of wine.”
Typical son, He says to her, “What do you want me to do about it?” as if to say, “It’s not my problem.” Ah, but Mary knows Jesus, and she knows what He can do. She simply turns to the servants and says, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Nearby are six stone jars, each capable of holding twenty to thirty gallons of water. Jesus tells the servants to fill the jars with water. They fill them up, completely to the brim.
“Now,” He says, “go serve the wine to the Master of the feast.”
The master takes a sip and tells the bridegroom, “You have saved the best wine for last!”
It appears that this man was a connoisseur of wines. He knows he has just tasted the best of the best. The servants know Who made the wine, but the master doesn’t.
The point of this story is not that Jesus turned water into wine, but that He took what was present and asked for obedience so He could perform a miracle. The servants had to obey, filling the vessels with water – or the miracle would not have happened. Jesus uses what we already have and turns it into something beautiful and good. What is the omer of this story, found in John 2:1-22?
Recapping the event ~
What is the Setting? A wedding in Cana
Who is Speaking? Jesus, his mother Mary, and the master of the ceremony
Who is it Spoken to? Jesus and Mary speak to the servants, and the master speaks to the bridegroom
What Vessel is to be used? 6 common, earthenware vessels used for water
What Action is to be taken? the vessels are to be completely filled with water
What is the Result? When the water is poured out, it becomes the best-tasting wine in history
What is the Omer of His goodness (provision) in this story? Jesus took something common – an earthen vessel and water – to perform a miracle. He wants to fill us and use us, too.
Journal: Does this story remind you of times God has been ‘enough’ for you and you felt beloved? Has God used you to meet someone’s need? How are you being changed and allowing God to pour you out to meet the need of others?