Reflections on the Signs in the Gospel of St John

January 2006

Water to Wine – One – Changing Feeling into Thinking

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

This series of Reflections will explore the so called signs in the Gospel of St John. These signs are also associated with miracles performed by Jesus after he was baptised by John the Baptist. If we take the life of Jesus as a blue print for our own spiritual development, we can use events such as these signs and miracles as a barometer of our progress.
Essentially the signs point to the changing consciousness of the human being who is connecting up with their I AM, their Real Self, their spiritual individuality. Until the Cosmic Christ fully entered the body of Jesus when he was crucified at Golgotha it was not possible to have a personal connection with our I AM (except perhaps for a few high initiates like Buddha and Zarathustra).

A sign, semeion in the Greek, means a mark or an indication. We can interpret the signs that St John writes about as indications of how we are integrating our I AM into our soul. This is a most difficult task and we must be fully aware that our soul treats our I AM as a foreign body, a foreign presence that upsets the status quo.
The story of the marriage at Cana can be seen as a sign which shows that our consciousness changes when a marriage occurs between our I AM and our soul. Some writers have dared to say that this story is about the marriage of Jesus to his mother. By today’s standards this is a shocking concept. If we look beneath the surface however, where Jesus is our I AM and the mother is our soul – and if the mother is Mary then it is a very pure soul indeed – then it is logical that Jesus marries his mother.

This marriage has to take place in Galilee because Galilee has a particular soul mood, as does every region of the earth. Galilee was a place of mixed races, unlike Jerusalem where the purity of the Jewish race was to be found. When a race or culture group together they are bound by their tribal customs. There is no opportunity to be an individual, or to have a mind of your own. All those who had a mind of their own gathered in Galilee because there they were less at odds with others.

Cana means the place of reeds and reeds are very useful and versatile. They can be used for various things including a staff, a measuring rod, a musical instrument as well as for clothing, rooftops, basketry, floor mats, and shoes. Reeds are used in the bible to indicate instability and frailty but reeds also contribute to the health of the water they grow in. This is the environment of the marriage.

The other elements in the story are water and wine. Wine can indicate our thinking and water indicates our emotions. So this marriage ceremony, where our I AM marries our soul involves changing our emotions into thinking. Our soul does not really like to think, it is the feeling element within us. In the presence of the I AM feelings can be changed into thinking as if by magic. First the water is purified and then it is made into fine wine – not just ordinary every day wine/thinking but pure thinking.

It is worth noting that the active agent (the I AM) alone is not sufficient; a response is required from others. We need to experience community with others in our spiritual development. We build associations outside our family with those whose soul and I AM are also experiencing the refinement and marriage. Emotions are not spilt nor suppressed, they are filled up to the brim and they become wine.