Water stands for mere humanity (Revelation 17:15), wine, whose base is water, stands for man turned supernatural. In the beginning God made man supernatural, but that ended with the sin of man, just as the wine that was provided first for a wedding ceremony in Cana in Galilee (John 2:1-11).
But Jesus Christ was in the picture. Six stone water jars were filled with water at his instruction, the number six is the number of man, since man was made on the sixth day of creation (Genesis 1:24-31). At the instruction of Jesus, the servant who filled the jars took the water to the master of ceremony, and in his mouth the water turned to wine, standing for the new creature in Jesus Christ the master.
And the new wine tasted by the master of ceremony was better than the first, which meant the new creature in Jesus is greater than the old wine of man that was created and put in the Garden of Eden. Though we may not feel like it, it is like that. That was why Paul exclaimed: how amazing the wisdom of God (Romans 11:33)! Jesus said that the least in God’s kingdom is greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11), who was said to be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:31-35).
The first wine drunk by the people in that wedding ceremony has its origin in the earth, and the same way God said to man after his mishap in the Garden of Eden that: dust thou art and to dust you will return (Genesis 3).
But the new birth is different. Peter said that we are born again of the incorruptible (un-degradable, undiminishing) word of God (1Peter 1:23-25), in contrast to the decay-prone flesh of the first man, which was made from the dust and got degraded back to dust because of the influence of death, but now we cannot die again because we are not made with what can perish but with the word of God as we experience the new birth.
Jesus said that the one who believes in him will never die (John 11:26), the possibility of death was removed from him, because the eternal one, Jesus, bore our death so that we can have unending/eternal life.
The first wine was a symbol of the effort of man. Before that wine is made, there was need for planting and a long time for the plant to mature and for the fruit to be ripe, harvested and processed, before the people drunk it in a ceremony. But the new wine was made by the word of Jesus. His mother had said to the servants: whatever he tells you to do, do it.
The first and second wine batches stand for man’s efforts and the “grace and rest” of Jesus respectively. Paul wrote about the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how it needs to be with us (2Corinthians 13:14). The bible says that faith in the word of God is the key to rest (Hebrews 4:11).
The new wine which represents new creature, also represents the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, who marks us as new creature in Jesus.
The first Adam had an experience of the Holy Spirit was under his influence as the breath of God was introduced to the clay form of man (Genesis 2:7). He was emptied of that because of sin, now in Jesus we get to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the new wine.
If all the containers in the house have been filled, then there will no place for the servants to fill with water and no miracle of water being turned to wine.
So to the limit that we are emptied of ourselves that is when we can get filled with God. It was when Saul who will later be called Paul was physically blind that he could see true spiritual truth (Acts 9). Until we bow at the feet of Jesus we cannot truly stand; until we drink of the water he brings we will remain thirty.
Jesus said that those who thirst should come to him and out of their bellies shall flow rivers of living waters, meaning the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). He told the Samaritan woman whom he met at a well: “if you know the gift of God and who it is who tells you, give me water, you would have asked him and he will give you living water (John 4:10),” in reference to the Holy Spirit in the experience of salvation.
The Holy Spirit comes to meet our needs, to turn us back to God to make us stand strong in the love of God (Romans 5:5). If the devil can make us doubt the love of God then we will not be able to receive things from God. We would be afraid that he will give us snakes when we ask for bread.
That was why Jesus’ main mandate on earth was to reveal God as father, and to model that father son relationship for the disciples.
Jesus said that we being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, and will not give our child scorpion when he asks for fish, so how much more will the heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:1-13)?
Jesus sought expose us to the God of love. Through him we now know that the rain, the goodness we enjoy on earth are the result of his love (Matthew 5:45). Jesus noted: He gave food to the birds of the air clothed the lilies, how much more does he have us in mind, we the crowning of his creation (Matthew 6:25-30)?
There is a difference between the taste of water and wine, the former in the pure form is tasteless, but wine brings excitement, but Paul recommends that rather than being hooked to natural wine, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit as spiritual wine, bringing a joy (Romans 14:17) that is unexplainable, coming from God himself, heavenly joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Wine exerts control and the Holy Spirit also exerts control on us on the inside, causing us to do spectacular things, and act following divine prompting. We are changed on the inside, the Holy Spirit being our spiritual engine, stirring us from the inside, moving us with good pace in the direction of the will of God, into the increasing expression of divinity through us.
- No more excuses about how the flesh is weak. The spirit is eager and willing! (adw.org)
- Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 9:14-17. (diizebuno.wordpress.com)
- Always Learning (11) (maxdray.wordpress.com)