The Beginning of Miracles
(John 2:11) This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. Shortly after His baptism, the Lord Jesus Christ attended a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee where He turned water into wine. This marked the first public display of His divine power and glory. As a result, “...his disciples believed on him.” From that time on, His earthly ministry was characterized by incredible miracles which left hard-hearted rebels without any excuse for not receiving Him as Messiah and the Prophet of Whom Moses spoke (DEU 18:15-19). Jesus said, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (JOH 15:24). The Jews required signs (miracles, wonders) to convince them of a prophet's validity (JOH 4:48; 1CO 1:22) and their need was amply accommodated. The phrase beginning of miracles is neither accidental nor incidental. There is more here than simply an observation that this was Jesus' first public miracle. Historically, from the time of Moses (whose ministry and prophecy were confirmed by miracles, EXO 4:1-9) and forward, Israel had witnessed seasons of great miracles which (among other things) proved the divine authority and message of God's prophets among them. So accustomed had they become to the association of miraculous signs with God's prophets, that such observations as this were made: “We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long” (PSA 74:9). Prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the gift of prophecy had been long silent and, accordingly, miraculous signs of prophets conspicuously absent. But a wonderful revival of miracles had been foretold hundreds of years earlier. In the book of Micah, a Messianic prophecy of great interest was given. In MIC 7:14-20, the prophet foretold the coming of Him Who would take away the sins of God's people in fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, Jacob, etc. To Him Who should come, it was promised by God the Father, “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things” (MIC 7:15). The word marvellous is seen by comparison in Scripture to refer to things miraculous (PSA 78:12). Here then in MIC 7:15 was a promise that God would show great miracles to Messiah. Mind that it is not “...LIKE IN the days...” but “...ACCORDING TO the days...” There was going to be a time period of miracles that accorded with the forty years of miracles that began with Israel's exodus from Egypt and ended with their entrance into Canaan (ACT 7:36). When Jesus turned the water into wine, He was about thirty years old (LUK 3:23) or 30 A.D. according to our calendar. A timer started running from this beginning of miracles. For the next forty years the ministries of Jesus Christ and His apostles were confirmed as being from heaven by virtue of the miracles (signs) that they performed. They “...preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (MAR 16:20). By about 70 A.D., the divinely ordained time period of miracles would have expired, coinciding with the destruction of Jerusalem. That destruction was the wrath of God to the uttermost on those who had been given plenty of time and evidence to repent and believe the gospel messengers' message (1TH 2:14-16) but who had adamantly, arrogantly refused. In our age there is (and has been for some time) great interest amongst professing Christians in apostolic-era miracles and gifts such as healings, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, etc. Sincere inquirers would do well to consider the God-ordained limited time-frame of His miracles. As noted in a previous meditation (Jannes and Jambres), there is another spirit (2CO 11:4) and god of this world (2CO 4:3-4) who is well able to work miracles (be they real or virtually flawless counterfeits) to deceive men (ACT 8:9-10; ACT 16:16-19; 2TH 2:7-10; REV 13:14).