The setting was a wedding. Mary had told Jesus there was no more wine and then she instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus said. Check out what happened next. Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom asideand said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now (John 2:6-10). In that day, running out of wine at a wedding was a serious problem that could lead to embarrassment, and the taking back of gifts. There were some strong cultural expectations. That is not the way a couple wanted to start a marriage. Jesus is meeting a need by providing wine, but what is symbolized is so much greater. Now we are told there are six stone water jars there that hold 20 to 30 gallons each. Notice the passage says the water is for ceremonial washing. The water would be poured from these jars into a basin to be used to wash hands and elbows before eating. Now it may be good hygiene, but this was a religious ritual to try and purify one’s self before God. Using the jars for another purpose would temporarily defile them. If the guests had known the wine came out of those jars they would not have touched it! They would have been deeply offended! Jesus, however, shows more concern for this couple’s wedding than for contemporary ritual. Here we are seeing God do what God does. God takes us from empty to full. From valueless to incredibly valuable. The master of the banquet said the best wine was supposed to be served first. The wine Jesus provided was not just any wine, but exceptional wine. This story presents an awesome allegory for Jesus’ saving grace. Those attending the wedding were practicing ritual that would never cleanse them internally or spiritually. The people knew they needed cleansing and were doing the best they could with the water. The water was only going to clean the outside. What they really needed was internal cleansing. The wine is a picture of the blood of Jesus that offers true soul cleansing, not just ceremonial cleansing. What a beautiful picture of the new covenant Jesus was about to initiate by going to the cross!