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Yah'shua (Jesus)





    "Was Yah'shua (Jesus) Married?"

    4. The Marriage at Cana

    adapted from Jesus Was Married by Ogden Kraut

    Circumstantial implications at the marriage in Cana of Galilee infer that Yah'shua (Jesus) was the bridegroom at this occasion. These implications become vividly clear when the story is carefully read. First, the story as recorded in John 2:1-12:

      "On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Yah'shua's (Jesus') mother was there, and Yah'shua (Jesus) and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding*. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to Him, 'They have no more wine'.

      "'Dear woman, why do you involve Me?' Yah'shua (Jesus) replied, 'My time has not yet come.'

      "His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever He tells you.'

      "Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

      "Yah'shua (Jesus) said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water'; so they filled them to the brim.

      "The He told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.'

      "They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, 'Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.'

      "This, the first of His miraculous signs, Yah'shua (Jesus) performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.

      "After this He went down to Capernaum with His mother and brothers and His disciples. There they stayed for a few days." (NIV)

      (*The AV reads: "And both Yah'shua (Jesus) was called, and His disciples, to the marriage")

    It is important to note that Jewish marriages were always arranged by the parents. From the account of this marriage at Cana, there is little doubt that Mary, the mother of Yah'shua (Jesus), was the person responsible for making the wedding arrangements. Many writers comment upon the unusual situation without indicating or assuming any more than "...the incident had a personal interest for the mother of Jesus" (Abingdon Bible Commentary, p.1069).

    Noted scholar Dr. James E. Talmage also mentions the relationship between this marriage event and Mary's responses:

      "She manifested concern and personal responsibility in the matter of providing for the guests. Evidently her position was different from that of one present by ordinary invitation. Whether this circumstance indicates the marriage to have been that of one of her own immediate family, or some more distant relative, we are not informed" (Jesus the Christ, 1979, p.144).

    Again, Talmage noted a similar circumstance which revealed this interesting affiliation with Jesus:

      "'What have I to do with thee?' He asked and added: 'Mine hour is not yet come.' Here we find no disclaimer of the ability to do what she apparently wanted Him to do, but the plain implication that He, not she, must decide when that time had come. She understood His meaning, in part at least, and contented herself by instructing the servants to do whatsoever He directed. Here again is evidence of her position of responsibility and domestic authority at the social gathering" (Ibid., p.145).

    Another, and more widely acclaimed writer on the life of Christ, gave further suggestions about the circumstances of this marriage:

      "...but the presence of Mary, who must have left Nazareth on purpose to be present at the wedding, seems to show that one of the bridal pair was some member of the Holy family. Jesus, too, was invited, and His disciples and the use of the singular implies that they were invited for His sake, not He for theirs" (The Life of Christ, Farrar, p.123).

    Traditional Jewish records explain that a "call" is usually made to the Bridegroom and his groomsmen when the wedding preparations are complete. Jewish traditions explain this call was made in the evening. We note, according to John, that Yah'shua (Jesus) was "called" to the wedding.

    In Jewish marriage the guests were provided by the host with fitting robes, wine, and other amusements. At this marriage at Cana when the wine had been consumed, Mary appealed to Yah'shua (Jesus). Why did Mary assume a responsible concern for the wine if the wedding was not for a member of her own household? Why would she appeal to Yah'shua (Jesus) if it was someone else's wedding? If Mary was hostess and Yah'shua (Jesus) was the Bridegroom, then they were fulfilling their proper obligations at this wedding!

    Note that Mary gave direct instructions to the servants that "Do whatever He tells you". It is evident that Mary was not assuming authority or unwisely directing the servants if she was hostess.. And why would she give strict orders to the servants of the wedding to obey the jurisdiction of Yah'shua (Jesus) over them, if He were not the Bridegroom? Yah'shua (Jesus) then acting as provisionary host directed the servants to "fill the jars with water," and then continued to meet His obligation by providing the needed wine.

    The "master of the banquet (master of ceremonies)...called the Bridegroom aside and said, '...you have saved the best (wine) till now'. He was undoubtedly talking to Yah'shua (Jesus) as the Bridegroom! (Would you say that to a guest??) And when the master of the banquet said to Yah'shua (Jesus), "you have saved the best till now," he indicates that Yah'shua (Jesus) had also provided the first wine. Yah'shua (Jesus) then had fulfilled the obligations of a Bridegroom on both these occasions!

    Yah'shua (Jesus) regarded Himself as a Bridegroom (Matt.9:14-15). And John, the most beloved disciple of Yah'shua (Jesus), had declared that he was the "friend of the Bridegroom" (John 3:29, AV). These cannot only be references to the symbolic "bridegroom and bride" (Christ and the Church) as this marriage is to take place later in heaven (Rev.19:9); moreover, the concept of a heavenly bridegroom and bride is purely Johannine and is not used by the synoptic gospel writers, Matthew, Mark and Luke. The latter use it only in terms of fasting -- since Yah'shua (Jesus) was newly wed, fasting was inappropriate. (Matt.9:15f; Mark 2:19f; Luke 5:34f).

    One 19th century evangelist who had memorised the Bible in three languages, had a debate with a Roman Catholic priest, and maintained that Yah'shua (Jesus) was the Bridegroom at Cana:

      "Did the Saviour of the world consider it to be His duty to fulfil all righteousness (Matt.3:15)? You answer, yes. Even the simple ordinance of baptism He would not pass by (Matt.3:13-16), for the Lord commanded it (John 5:19-20), and therefore it was righteousness to obey what the Father had commanded, and He would fulfil all righteousness (John 5:19-20). Upon this hypothesis I will go back to the beginning, and notice the commandment that was given to our first parents in the Garden of Eden. The Lord said unto them, 'Multiply and replenish the earth...' (Gen.1:28).

      "...Our first parents, then, were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth; and if the Saviour found it His duty to be baptized to fulfil all righteousness, a command of far less importance than that of multiplying the race, (if indeed there is any difference between the commandments of Jehovah, for they are all important, and all essential), would He not find it His duty to join in with the rest of the faithful ones in replenishing the earth?

      "'Sir, do you really wish to imply that the immaculate Saviour begat children? It is a blasphemous assertion against the purity of the Saviour's life, to say the least of it. The holy aspirations that ever ascended from Him to His Father would never allow Him to have such fleshly and carnal connections, never, no never.'

      "This is the general idea; but the Saviour never thought it beneath Him to obey the mandate of His Father; He never thought this stooping beneath His dignity; He never despised what God had made; for they are bone of his bone, and flesh of His flesh (Gen.2:23); kindred spirits, that once basked in the rays of immortality and eternal life. When He found them clothed upon and surrounded with the weaknesses of mortal flesh, would He despise them? No. It is true, I have seen some men who became poor and miserable all at once, and then those who were their friends in the days of their prosperity turn from them, and scarcely deign to bestow them a look, it being too humiliating to associate with them in poverty. But this was not so with the Saviour; He associated with them in other spheres, and when they came here, descending below all things, He did not despise to associate with these same kindred spirits.

      "'Then you really mean to hold to the doctrine that the Saviour of the world was married; do you mean to be understood so..?'

      "When does it say the Saviour was married? I believe I will read it for your accommodation, or you might not believe my words were I to say that there is indeed a (New Testament) Scripture (indicating that this is so). We will turn over to the account of the marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there...(John 2 is then quoted).

      "Gentlemen, that is as plain as the translators, or different councils over this scripture, dare allow it to go to the world, but the thing is there; it is told; Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee; and He told them what to do.

      "Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Saviour of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error".

    Certainly, if anyone was married to Yah'shua (Jesus) it would have been Mary Magdalene. Her life can attest to a devotion as deep and faithful as any loving wife to a husband. Yah'shua (Jesus) was often found in the home of Mary giving her instruction and consolation, as a devoted husband would do. Even in death Mary showed a bereavement and sorrow that only a wife would manifest. Why was she so bereaved at the tomb? Is not a widow usually the last to leave and the most often to return to a tomb? If Mary was not His wife, why was her grief so great that it required an angel to comfort her? How faithful and devoted Mary was to Yah'shua (Jesus)! She stood willingly at the cross at the death of Yah'shua (Jesus) (John 19:25). She was with the body of Yah'shua (Jesus) when it was taken down (Matt.27:61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55). She came to anoint the body with spices (Mark 16:1). In the early morning hours before anyone else, she was at the sepulchre (Matt.28:1; Mark 16:2).

    There at the tomb Mary wept bitter tears "because they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid Him" (John 20:14). This grief could only be known to a widow whose concern was for the body of her husband. It was under such grief that she saw two angels (Matt.28:5).

    And later when Mary saw Jesus and recognized Him, she cried, "Rabboni", which means, "my great Master" or more often, "Husband!" With exulting joy at seeing Him alive, she rushed to embrace Him but He said:

      "'No!...do not hold me now. I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go and tell My brothers that I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God'" (John 20:17, J.B.Phillips transl.).

    Most of the older versions of the Bible, such as the Authorized King James Bible and even the modern New International Version (which is a very conservative Protestant translation) use the verb "touch". But this is not the meaning of the Greek which is either correctly translated as "hold" or "cling to". Thus you will find the J.B.Phillips translation (Protestant) and the Jewish New Testament (Stern) (Messianic Jewish) using "hold" whereas the vast majority of Bibles use "CLING TO", such as:

    • Knox Version (Catholic)
    • New English Bible (Church of England Protestant)
    • The Amplified New Testament (Evangelical Protestant)
    • The New King James Bible (Evangelical Protestant)
    • The Berkeley Version (Evangelical Protestant)
    • The Jerusalem Bible (Catholic)
    • Smith & Goodspeed Complete Bible (University of Chicago)

    The well-known Amplified Bible renders this passage thus:

      "Jesus said her (Mary Magdalene), Do not cling to me {do not hold me} for I have not yet ascended to the Father..." (Ibid.)

    Would Mary, whose profound grief at the loss of Jesus, run to "touch" Him? Indeed, her astonishment and joy at seeing Yah'shua (Jesus) would have caused her to rush and embrace Him as she had done while He lived. But now He was immortalized -- resurrected -- and she was yet but a mortal, and He had to restrain her while He went to the Father.

    Actually, this passage is one of the most important pieces if evidence for the resurrection. Many have wrongly supposed that Yah'shua (Jesus) was a spirit and not solid, and that the reason Mary was forbidden to touch Him was because she would not have encountered a solid, material body. But the text confounds such a notion. She clung on to him and had to be restrained. Jesus was alive and physically resurrected!

    Many's love appears almost unbounded in her devotion and affection for Yah'shua (Jesus). But more outstanding than Mary's love for Yah'shua (Jesus) is the love that was manifest by Yah'shua (Jesus) towards Mary. It was the closeness and attention that Yah'shua (Jesus) paid to Mary before considering any others. It was to Mary, before any other disciple, that Jesus first appeared after His resurrection. Mary was the first mortal to see (and hold) the resurrected Christ (John 20:14-15)! Although Peter, James, and John were the chief apostles and had been so devoted to the Lord, they were all to take second place in this grand manifestation of the resurrected Saviour! Mary was comforted and then given instructions to relate to the apostles and disciples. It seems as though she stood foremost amongst any other mortals. Why? Only the bonds of marriage could have placed Mary within a mutual devotion more intimate than those of the apostles. This touching experience is a grand manifestation of the love which could only exist within the bonds of a devoted man to his wife!

      "For neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord" (1 Cor.11:11, AV),

    for this was the Gospel Law.

    Yah'shua (Jesus) set the example of what a perfect marriage should be, just as He set the example of what righteous living was in every other sphere. Paul wrote:

      "For because He Himself {in His humanity} has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able (immediately) to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried {and who therefore are being exposed to suffering}" (Heb.2:18, Amplified Version).

    God is the author of marriage and is the redeemer of it also. Yah'shua (Jesus) entered into flesh to redeem all human activity, including those activities associated with marriage. In marriage, Yah'shua (Jesus) was tempted, as we are, to either allow marriage to descend into carnality or ascend into spirituality.

    The tradition that Yah'shua (Jesus) was not married is not Biblical but is a tradition which began in early Gnosticism and later emerged in Catholic pietism, and has continued in most of the Protestant world today. Let us remember that it was the Jews who accused Yah'shua (Jesus) of blasphemy when He claimed to be God's own Son and when He forgave the sins of fallen men and women. He is certainly the Lord of marriage and entered into marriage to redeem it for believers. Else marriage would ever be impure.

    Yah'shua (Jesus) said: "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom" (John 3:29) -- perhaps there is more in those words than most Christians have realized. Yah'shua (Jesus) began His adult life as all adult Jews began theirs -- by getting married. The resistance by the majority of Christians to this truth is doing more harm than good as secular researchers like Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln expose what Catholic divines have tried to suppress over the centuries -- that the Son of God entered human life in every respect. To deny the evidence is a bad witness of truth and the Lord of Truth, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (John 14:6).

    Christianity lost much of its moral authority when Galileo overturned the unbiblical dogma that the earth was at the centre of the physical universe and will do so again unless it wakens up to the truth of the Bridegroom -- a Bridegroom not only to the saints in an allegorical sense, but a bridegroom to a wife in the earthly sense too.

    The truth of Yah'shua's (Jesus') marriage is written plainly in the pages of Scripture for those who are willing to remove the blinkers of tradition and let the Lord speak to them. The challenge to all Christians is to respond to the Lord's guidance:

      "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them..." (Isa.42:16, NIV).

    There was a marriage at Cana. And it was the Saviour of Mankind's.

    Further Reading

    1. Would a Married Jesus Have Been Sinful?

    This page was created on 16 May 1998
    Updated on 7 July 2001

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