Apologetics, Archaeology, Bible, Main, z110
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Have archaeologists discovered the place where Jesus turned water into wine?

Vineyard in Soragna, Italy Credit: Andreas Metz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Vineyard in Soragna, Italy Credit: Andreas Metz/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Apostle John records that Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding in Cana. When the bridegroom of wedding that Christ and the disciples were attending ran out of wine, Jesus changed six pots of water into wine.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, archaeologists are convinced that they have found the location where this miracle took place and it’s five miles north of the spot traditionally considered the most likely site of the Cana miracle.

The new location is called Khirbet Qana and includes a series of tunnels inside a hill and with its addition, there are now four possible Cana sites.

So what makes Khirbet Qana special?

According to archaeologists, evidence found in the tunnels at Khirbet Qana suggest early pilgrims believed this was the original site of the Cana miracle.

Inside the tunnels there are Christian markings that include crosses and the name Lord Jesus carved into the wall indicating early Christians venerated this site.

They also found an old stone vessel typically used to store wine and it was found on a shelf that would have held five more.

In the miracle at Cana, Christ told the head servant to fill six stone vessels with water that he miraculously transformed into wine (John 2:6). This suggests that early Christian pilgrims may have connected the site to the Cana miracle.

According to lead archaeologist Dr. Tom McCollough, Khirbet Qana also aligns with statements made by Flavius Josephus, an ancient Jewish historian, who said it was located in lower Galilee near the Sea of Galilee which fits this location.

They have also found evidence of an early Jewish village at the site.

The Apostle John said that Cana was Christ’s first public miracle:

11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11 NASV)

So why did Jesus’ first miracle involve turning water into wine? Was it just the way it worked out or did God orchestrate this miracle as a “sign” as the Apostle John suggests?

If it was a sign, what was God telling us?

I think a clue lies in a statement that the head waiter made about the wine’s quality. He was stunned that the bridegroom had reserved the best wine for last. Typically it was the other way around.  After a day of drinking, hosts served poor wine at the end when people were less discerning (John 2:10).

I think this miracle is connected with the falling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The prophet Joel spoke of day when the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all people:

“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29 NASV)

Peter quote this verse in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost to explain what was happening as the 120 disciples poured into the streets speaking in tongues (Acts 2:16-21).

But when Joel prophesied about the coming of the Holy Spirit he also referred to something else. Part of this promise included God sending New Wine:

“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with [b]them; (Joel 2:19 NASV)

The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. (Joel 2:24 NASV)

And in the lead up to this Joel even included a reference to a wedding (Joel 2:16).

So was the miracle at Cana a prelude to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. And it maybe it was just a coincidence that when the disciples poured out into the streets speaking in tongues that people in the crowd also accused the disciples of being drunk (Acts 2:13-16).

I don’t believe they were referring to the speaking in tongues, something else was going on that made it look like the disciples were drunk. They were spiritually drunk which was symbolic of the promise of the New Wine, the best wine that God had reserved for the end of the Age.


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