Reflections on Water into Wine from John 2:1-11.
The Four Sentence Story on Jesus turning Water into Wine
The Four Sentence Story is a memory pattern that can be used for preaching, teaching, and storytelling without notes. Every story can be broken down into four parts. The setting, tension, resolution, and through line. Memorize these four parts, add your own creativity into the mix, and then watch the story unfold.
(setting) Jesus is at a wedding in Cana to celebrate two new lives becoming one.
(tension) The guests run out of wine which will bring embarrassment on the newly weds family.
(resolution) Jesus turns water into bringing cause for hope and celebration on the new family, not just for the day or days to come, but for weeks and months and years to come.
(through line) Jesus is the one who fills empty cups.
Every story can be broken down into a few parts. The setting, where the story takes place and why it might be important. The characters and their emotions and thoughts invested in the story. A tension that needs resolved. A resolution that brings us through the tension, and a through line (aka main idea) that carries the story through from beginning to end.
The Setting Jesus and his disciples have been invited to a wedding Cana.
- Jesus, who turns water into wine
- Mary who tells Jesus there is no more wine and puts Jesus on the spot in front of those serving at the wedding
- The servants who fetch water into ritual washing pots that Jesus then turns into wine
- The Master of the Banquet who declares that the best wine has been saved for last, an image of what’s to come
The Tension The wedding guests have run out of wine which would have been the talking point of the celebration among town instead of the newly wed couple being the talking point. You can imagine the embarrassment this would have brought on the couple and their families. It likely would have brought tension between the couples families as well.
The Resolution Jesus performs his first miracle, turning water into wine, but not just any wine. According to the master of the banquet it was better than the wine that had been been served previously. It was an extra blessing on the party.
The Through Line Jesus is the one who takes empty cups and fills them to overflowing.
How does this story help us pray to align ourselves with God?
Reflections on John 2:1-11
Why has this story endured? This is Jesus’ first miracle. It’s a miracle full of earthly blessing and heavenly promise.
What does this story tell us about God? It tells us that Jesus is the one who takes impossible situations and breathes life into them when no one else can.
What does this story tell us about humanity? It’s a story that points to one of our basic human fears, the fear of running out.
What is true for them then that is still true for us today? We still wrestle with these same sort of fears, the fear of rejection, the fear of embarrassment. Jesus still cares about our fears, no matter how trivial they seem in light of eternity.
Where is the Gospel/Good News in this story? The good news in this story is that Jesus isn’t just saving these newly weds from something. He’s saving them to something and that to something is hope and celebration.
How does this story help us love God? It points us to the one who isn’t just the cause of celebration, but the one who celebrates with us.
How does this story help us love people? It should cause us to ask the question, is there a way I can help when people have run out?