by Freeman Chambers
There is a miraculous event in the New Testament that is as challenging for many as the creation account in Genesis. And as you will see, the two events are very much related.
The event was the making of some very good wine in a small Galilean town called Cana; wine that was not made in days, but in an infinitesimal fraction of time. This wine-making event is a window into the very creation account in Genesis chapter 1.
Wine in the ancient world
In 2011 the archaeological find of a 6000-year-old winery in a cave in southern Armenia, near the border with Iran, was made known to the world. From discoveries like this, and others, it is clear that wine making has been around for a very, very long time. Wine, as you may know, takes at minimum days to make, and at a maximum several months. The passage of time is very much a part of the whole wine making process due to the slow microbial chemical transformation taking place in the initial liquid of the crushed grape’s combination of grape juice and grape skins. The earliest mention of wine in the Bible is in Genesis 9:19-20, where it says:
“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.”
It’s impossible to know the flavor, body, or bouquet of the wine that Noah drank so long ago, but it is clear that the juice of grapes had fermented, producing alcohol, which caused Noah to become drunk.
Ripe organic grapes are full of natural sugars. One sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. These sugars in the grape juice are broken down by the yeast and changed into carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethanol) during the fermentation process. The grapes sugars will determine the final alcohol content of the wine and its resulting body, the body being the way the wine feels in your mouth.
Witnesses at the second “Genesis” of Yeshua’s ministry
No one was there to witness it when God said, “Let there be light”, or any of those six days of creation, but Yeshua’s very first miracle gave the guests at the wedding a glimpse into God’s power to create, and the opportunity to be eyewitnesses to the fact.
The wine-making event, as recorded by Yeshua’s good friend John, took place somewhere between the years 30 and 33 CE in Cana, just off route 77, a little north of Nazareth. Here’s what happened:
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Yeshua was there. Now both Yeshua and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Yeshua said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Yeshua said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:1-11)
The ancient wine-making site in Armenia found residue in clay wine vats, remnants of grape vines and seeds, but there is no mention of grapes here at all, and without grapes there are no sugars for yeast to convert to carbon dioxide and ethanol.
Six stone jars, six days of creation
Now let’s look at what is there, and how it takes us back to the creation account given in Genesis 1. We are told in Genesis 1 that God made all things in heaven and earth in six days. In the account at the wedding in Cana of Galilee there were six large ceremonial jars cut from solid stone. Why six stone containers? This was not an accident. Each stone container represents one day of creation.
These were not clay jars that had been fired to become hard, no, they were ceremonial containers which had been cut from solid stone. Each stone cut container could hold 20 or 30 gallons of water a piece. Yeshua told the servants in the house to fill each stone container, and they did, all the way to the brim. This meant that the water weight alone in each container weighed between 167 pounds (75.75 kilograms) to 250 pounds (113.4 kilograms), so the servants were likely taking smaller containers of water and carrying them from the water source to fill the six jars.
After they were filled, Yeshua told the servants to draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. We know that the master of the feast was not in the area where the jars were being filled, as the account tells us:
When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (v 9-10)
The master of the feast testified to the bridegroom of the wines flavor, body (the way it feels in the mouth), and its bouquet when he said,
“Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
Let there be life!
The containers were chiseled into pots from stone, but the stone itself was not made by man. The water also was not made by human effort, and we now know that one water molecule (H2O) is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom which was the constituent held in the stone containers. Genesis 1:10 declares that before any lifeforms were made on earth there was only earth and water.
Now recall, if you know; what was the first kind of living thing that God made on the third day right after he gathered the water into one place and the land appeared? It was plant life.
Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-12)
On the day after water was separated from the land, plant life was created. This, of course, included the grape varieties. Now recall the sugar sucrose mentioned earlier, which is in the pulp of the grape. Sucrose is common table sugar. It occurs naturally, is a disaccharide molecule composed of the two monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Sucrose is found in all plants and has the chemical formula C12H22O11. So in the molecule of sucrose there are 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms. Since the servants filled the stone jars with only water, there was no carbon present of any influential amount. Without carbon there could be no sugars and without the sugars there can be no ethanol, since ethanol has two carbon atoms in its molecular structure. Yeshua produced what was effectively the result of plant life – out of thin air.
The order of creation
The water in the stone containers was not living, nor were the stone containers, which came from the earth; and so it was also with the earth, just water and earth prior to plants being created.
Everything about our world’s creation was present at the wedding feast:
the water, the earth and the days of creation. The God who created all things was there, in the midst of humans, at an event of marriage, which he instituted on the sixth day.
God was in the form of human flesh, and he made known his glory, for the writer of the story stated the following:
This beginning of signs Yeshua did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)
Without speaking a word to the water in the ceremonial stone containers, Yeshua changed the molecular structure of the water into the complex molecular structure of the many different chemical compounds that gives wine its color, its aroma, its flavor, and yes, its alcohol content. This was all done in an instant! It takes days to months for humans to make wine from grapes.
I leave you with this question: What is more difficult, making all things in creation in just six days, or making wine from 150 plus gallons of water, simultaneously in separate containers, in an instant?
Yeshua was declaring to those who saw the creative event, and is declaring to us who read the account of the creative event, that he is God. John puts this very plainly in the first chapter of his gospel account:
“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.“
His disciples believed in him that day, and today he invites us to believe in him. He is Creator – all things were made through Him, he is our Savior, the light who has overcome the darkness of sin and death, and he is our only hope for eternal life.
 The findings, announced by the National Geographic Society, were published in the online edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.