Turning water into wine.

Early on in Jesus’ ministry, there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus was there with his mother and his disciples as invited guests. When the wine ran out too soon, Mary told him about the problem.
“Why does this concern you?” he asked her. “It is not the time yet for me to perform miracles.” However, Mary told the servants “Do whatever he tells you to do.”

There were six stone jars filled with water at the wedding. They were intended for the Jewish purification ritual. Each jar could hold at least 20 gallons of water. Jesus told the servants to fill the jars up to the brim. Then he said “Ladle some out and take it to the headwaiter.”

When the headwaiter tasted the water that was now wine, he was amazed. He did not know where it had come from, even though the servants did. He called the groom to him and said “Normally people put out the best wine first, then after people are drunk they put out the cheap stuff. But you have saved the best for last!”

This was Jesus’ first public demonstration of his God-given abilities. His disciples believed in him. Afterwards, he departed for Capernaum with his mother, brothers, and disciples and they stayed there for just a few days.

JN 2:1-12

Feeding 4,000 people

Another large crowd had gathered around Jesus. He called his disciples to him and said “I have compassion for this crowd because they have stayed with me three days and they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry then they might collapse on the way, and some of them have come from very far away.”

The disciples replied “Where can we possibly find enough bread in this isolated place to feed such a large crowd?” Jesus asked them “How many loaves do you have with you?” They answered “Seven, and a few small fish.”

He then ordered everyone in the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and the fish, he gave thanks and broke them into pieces. He kept on distributing the pieces to the disciples, who then gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full. They picked up seven large baskets of leftover pieces after the meal. There were 4000 men, along with women and children, in the crowd. He then dismissed the crowd, got into the boat with his disciples, and traveled to a different region.

MT 15:32-39, MK 8:1-10

Feeding the 5000

The apostles came to Jesus and told him about all the teaching that they had done. He had them come away in a boat with him to a remote place to rest for a little bit. They needed to do this because so many people were coming to them that they didn’t even have time to eat. However, many people recognized them as they were leaving and they followed them on foot across the land from all the towns, and got there ahead of them.

Jesus saw a huge crowd as he stepped ashore and he felt compassion for them because they were lost, like sheep without a shepherd. He greeted them, talked to them about the kingdom of God, and healed anyone who was sick.

Late in the day, his disciples came up to him and said “This place is a wilderness and it is already long past suppertime. Make them leave, so they can go find food and a place to stay in the nearby villages, because there’s nothing here.”

“They don’t need to leave” Jesus said. “You give them their supper.” (For he knew what he was going to do.)

Philip answered “Should we go into town and buy 200 denarii worth of bread? It wouldn’t be enough for a crowd this large.”

Then, his disciple Andrew reported that there was a boy in the crowd who had five barley loaves and two fish, but even that wasn’t enough for so many people. About 5000 men, in addition to women and children, were there.

Jesus had his disciples get the people to sit down on the grass in groups of about 50. He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up into heaven, and then he gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish into pieces and gave them to his disciples to give to the crowd. He kept giving food to the disciples for them to distribute. Everyone ate to their heart’s content.

At the end of the meal he told his disciples “Gather up the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” They were able to fill 12 baskets full of leftovers!

When the people realized the miracle that Jesus had done, they said to themselves “This really is the Messiah who we have been waiting for!”

When Jesus realized that they were about to forcefully take him away to make him king he withdrew by himself to a mountain.

MT 14:13-21, MK 6:30-44, LK 9:10-17, JN 6:1-15

The sign of Jonah

Then some of the Jewish leaders including the scribes and Pharisees said to him “Teacher, show us a sign.”

But he said “An evil generation demands a sign, but only the sign of the prophet Jonah will be given. In the same way that Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for the same amount of time. In the same way that Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation. The men of Nineveh will stand up and condemn this generation at the Day of Judgment, because they repented when Jonah spoke to them, and something even greater than Jonah is here right now! The Queen of Sheba, the Queen of the south, will also rise up and condemn this generation at the Day of Judgment, because she traveled all the way from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and something even greater than Solomon is here right now!

MT 12:38-42, LK 11:29-32