The Gospel text for this Sunday is the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine [John 2:1-11]. But, because that text is within the Gospel according to John, it is not always that easy to describe.
Certainly, much more could be written. And, certainly, much more HAS been written.
Since I have recently been at the Fort Wayne seminary for their annual symposia, and since that city is currently in a different time zone than much of the Midwest, I have experienced what it is like to have a different time frame. And that is similar to the Gospel according to John; it uses the Roman way of telling time instead of the ‘Old Testament way’ (for more detail about this, see The Lutheran Study Bible, page 1567).
The Romans started counting the hours of the day earlier than the Jews. And that difference actually fits with the ‘time frame’ of this gospel account. Very early within this account you hear some wonderful confessions of faith. And the ‘hour’ that Jesus talks about for a long time within this account comes to him BEFORE he is put on the cross. And it is interesting that the hour comes to him when Jesus is told that some Greeks have come to Jerusalem to worship, and they say, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus (John 12:21).’ That is actually when Jesus says that his soul is troubled (12:27). In the Garden of Gethsemane, and even on the cross, Jesus seems not to be having too much trouble. (On the cross he says, ‘I thirst’, but even the text says THAT was done to fulfill scripture; 19:28).
With that in mind, much already has been written about the way in which this miracle text begins: ‘On the third day… (John 2:1a).’ Most connections have been made to something in the Old Testament, and that should be expected.
Since there are three ‘next day’s in the previous chapter (vs. 29, 35, 43), some have seen a connection to the six days of creation (since, of course, three plus three is six; see The Lutheran Study Bible, p. 1778). I appreciate that connection, especially since there is, within the first creation account, a division between the first three days and the last three. (If you are interested in more specifics, the first three ‘set the stage’ in a way, and the second three fill that stage. There is also a way to see this layout as also pointing to the structure of the entire book of Genesis, with its two divisions being 1:1-11:26 and 11:27-50:26; in this way, God sets the stage with his creation and then fills that stage with his story of redemption—at least the very beginnings of that redemption story.)
I would much rather see within the mention of the ‘third day’ a connection to Jesus’ resurrection—since it also was on the third day that he came back to life. In the same way that Jesus hides the miracle of turning water into wine, he also has hidden the miracle of his resurrection from the eyes of many.
Just imagine how easy it would be for Jesus to show many more people that yes, he really did rise from the dead. And as the servants of the wedding feast knew that the water had turned to wine, Jesus’ servants today know his current whereabouts.