Click HERE to download the lesson
Introduction. The beginning of Jesus' miracles occurred apparently three days after Philip and Nathanael became his disciples (John 1:43-51; 2:1). Jesus and his disciples (those five He had called in John 1:35-51) were invited guests to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also present. Since Joseph is not mentioned here or any time after Jesus began his ministry, it is assumed he had died.
There were two stages to a Jewish marriage. First there was the betrothal which was a promise of marriage and a binding agreement. Although the betrothed couple did not live together, they were considered legally married. Breaking the agreement required a bill of divorcement. Unfaithfulness was considered adultery (Deut. 22:23-24).
The second stage was a ceremony that involved "bringing home the bride." The bridegroom's friends escorted the bride and her attendants from the bride's home to the home of the groom. Generally the procession occurred at night with the participants carrying torches. As the procession wound along the streets of the city or village, the onlookers would shout with joy.
After the wedding party entered the groom's house, a marriage supper followed. The festivities continued for a week with the bride and groom treated as royalty, wearing their finest clothes and doing no work. Love songs were sung, speeches were made in honor of the couple, and elaborate feasts were prepared for the guests.