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The first sign....

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding two or three metretes. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2: 1-11

Back in AD 30 (see above) there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee (present day north Israel). The wine ran out.

Back in AD 1828 there was a wedding in St Helier, Jersey. We can be pretty sure that the wine didn’t run out for two reasons. First, the father (Noe de Gruchy) of the bride (Nancy Esther de Gruchy) was a wine and cider merchant at 10 Halkett Place. Second, the groom (Antonio Poch) was the son of a Spanish wine producer.

The new family made its home in Jersey. One of their descendants is Gwyneth Syvret nee Poch. Antonio Poch’s only brother-in-law (Philippe de Gruchy) inherited the family business and became a manufacturer of cider and perry. For many decades cider was Jersey’s own “wine” – the symbol of harvest and great rejoicing.
‘Man's need can only be met by a new creation.’ (Geoffrey B Wilson, pastor and writer)

Come back now to AD 30. This “sign” was amazing. First, note the quality of the wine: it was the very best. Second, note the quantity of the wine: six stone water jars each holding 2 or 3 metretes – full to the brim. This volume of wine would fill between 640 or 960 of our 75cl bottles…..

A huge amount of the very best wine… This was the very first sign which Jesus gave. What did the sign mean? Was it merely a sign of his power to do miracles? Was it just a sign of the rejoicing which he had come to bring to the hearts of mankind? 

But there is a third thing to note. Those six water jars were in that place because they were used for the specific and important purpose of purification, cleansing, forgiveness. The six jars would be filled with water and carried to a large bath where they would be emptied. Immersion in that water would be an outward sign of inner cleansing from sin.

Such groups of six water jars for Jewish purification were often set aside solely for that purpose and never used for anything else – so that they would not be defiled or defile the cleansing.

Shortly after this wedding at Cana in Galilee Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well near Sychar in Galilee. She was carrying an empty water jar and had come at midday to draw water. Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”… “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

She says to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water….” But there’s a problem – a purification problem, a cleansing problem. Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
‘The act of God in our regeneration is so momentous that no single category of thought is sufficient to describe the changes it brings about in us and for us.’ (Maurice Roberts, preacher and writer, 1938-)

She admitted it all and, in brief, the outcome was that she was cleansed and purified and forgiven – and received that water of life. In effect her life was altered from water to wine – the best wine in abundance within.

Gwyneth Syvret also received the same regeneration.
Richard Syvret

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