Turning water into wine was the Savior's first recorded miracle. But why did he do it? Sherrie Mills Johnson, who teaches in the department of ancient scripture at BYU, thinks Jesus was doing more than just providing refreshment at a marriage in ancient Cana.
"What we find in this very first miracle … is that Jesus is proclaiming his mission. That he came to earth to change peoples' hearts," Johnson told a class during BYU's Campus Education Week on Aug. 16.
The story in John 2:1-11 is familiar to readers of the New Testament. Mary, the mother of Jesus, tells him the wedding feast is out of wine. Jesus asks servants to fill some pots with water, and then miraculously the water is transformed into wine.
But there is more going on here than first meets the eye.
"The people that were observing (Jesus') miracles … were trained in symbolism," Johnson said. "Symbolism has dropped out of American culture pretty much. There are still a lot of symbols that we use, but for the most part it isn't part of our daily life."