The Lost Years of Jesus, Part 3
Something Fishy About this Wedding
A Week in the Life of Yahshua Messiah

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The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

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Check out The Schottenstein Edition Siddur: Sabbath & Festivals Prayers with an Interlinear Translation

Characters and Places in order of appearance:

Yahshua (Jesus) – the Anointed One, Teacher, eldest son of Miriam

John the Baptist – a holy man who discipled Yahshua

John – the first of Yahshua’s disciples

Andrew – the second disciple

The Poor” and “The Way” – Yahshua’s religious movement

Simon / Kefa – disciple of Yahshua, brother of Andrew

Philip – a Greek believer, an administrator, fourth disciple

Nathanael – a nationalist, Yahshua’s fifth disciple, first to call him King

Simon of Cana – Yahshua younger brother who’s getting married

Jacob Alphaeus bar Joseph the Priest – this is James, Yahshua’s older half-brother

Judah bar Joseph – younger brother of Jacob, older half-brother of Yahshua, the toastmaster of the wedding banquet

Joses bar Joseph – Yahshua’s youngest brother

Miriam (Miriam) – mother of Yahshua, Simon and Joses, head of the kitchen

Yah-el bat Cleopas – the bride, daughter of Cleopas

Cleopas of Cana – Father of the bride

Tobit – the father of the groom in the Apocryphal Book of Tobit

Deborah – the wife of Judah

Jacob II (James the Less) – eldest son of Judah and Deborah

Joanna – Yahshua’s sister

Salome – Yahshua’s sister

Mrs. Cleopas – the mother of the bride, Yah-el

Rabboni – a master teacher of the Law of Moses

Talmidim – students of the Talmud – disciples

Sepphoris – a large city not far from Cana and Nazareth

L’Chaim!this is a toast that means, “To Life!”

Asmodeus – a demon that kills newlywed husbands in the night

Capernaum – a seaside resort on the Galilee

 

Almighty Father Yahweh, whose Son our Savior Yahshua Messiah is the wine who gladdens the hearts of all people: Grant that your elect disciples, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may reflect the gladness of His glory, and that Yahshua may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth.  Amen.

John 2:1-11 ([c] 1991 Jackson Snyder) {1} And on the third day there happened a wedding in Cana of Galilee: the mother of Yahshua was there. {2} Yahshua and his disciples were called (eklethe) to the wedding. {3} When wine was lacking, Yahshua’s mother says to him, "They don't have any wine!" {4} And Yahshua says to her, "What's that to me and you, lady?  My hour is not yet come." {5} So his mother says to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you!" {6} And there were six stone water tanks left from the cleansing of the Jews standing by, each containing about 20 gallons. {7} Yahshua says to the servants, "Fill the water tanks with water," and they filled them to the brim. {8} Then he says to them, "Now draw some water and take it to the headwaiter (architriklinos)," and they took it. {9} But as the headwaiter tasted the water become wine, and not knowing where it came from (though the servants who drew it knew), the headwaiter calls the groom over {10} and says to him, "Everyone else first puts out the good wine, and when they get drunk, the worse.  You have kept back the good wine until now!" {11} Yahshua did this in Cana of Galilee as the beginning of the signs and displayed his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.

 

{“I’m Goin’ a Sing When the Spirit Says Sing” UMH 333}

 

Follow Me 

  One day, Yahshua is at Bethany Beyond Jordan at the tributary of the river, being baptized and praying when the Holy Spirit Dove alights on him and remains.  It’s on this day that John the Baptist, who was a prophet well respected by all the people, proclaims him to be the Anointed One prophesied to come: his mission – to baptize in the Holy Spirit Fire – and to become the last blood sacrifice for sin –Yahweh’s Lamb.

   The next day, two of John’s disciples hear John say that Yahshua is Yahweh’s Lamb, and they leave John’s company to follow Yahshua, whom they sought.  They ask him, “Where are you staying?” and Yahshua replies, “Come and see.”  These two are John and Andrew.  Yahshua takes them to the great prayer stone on the banks of the Jordan tributary where the prophet John baptizes.  It’s here where Yahshua was praying when the Dove descended and remained upon him, and where the Baptist heard the voice from heaven, “This is my beloved son.” 

   John and Andrew feel tremendously privileged to be invited to study with this new teacher whom the Baptist says is the Anointed one whom Israel had awaited for centuries.  John said, “We’ve waited for him and you’ll see it was worth the wait.”  It wasn’t easy to get on “The Way” with a rabbi of the sect of “The Poor.”  To become his first disciples was a privilege, for he’d been set apart as a special teacher, even the Son of G-d. 

   Andrew spies his brother Simon, brings him to Prayer Rock and introduces him to the new master.  There lots of Simons, including Yahshua’s brother.  So Yahshua gives this burly Simon a nickname, Kefa, after the rock upon which Yahshua prayed as the dove descended and remained – the rock upon which they now recline.  Kefa,” means “rock.”  Yahshua now has three disciples and one is a rock.

   The next day, Yahshua makes plans to go back to Galilee, his home.  He seeks out a Greek named Philip, an educated business administrator.  Philip is consecrated to Yahweh, having come into the covenant through baptism.  But because he’s named after King Herod Philip, religious Jews don’t trust him.  “He is a Herodian!” they say.  That makes no difference to Yahshua, for if he’s a Herodian, at least he’s a baptized, talented Herodian.  Yahshua finds Philip and tells him, “Follow me.” 

   Now, John, Andrew, Kefa and Philip are all from a town on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee called Bethsaida, which means, “House of Snares,” located just outside of Galilee, in Iturea.  These four men are seeking the redemption of Israel, filtering down to the Jordan from vocations up north to be baptized into “The Way.”  They’re not poor paupers or freeloaders with time on their hands, but they’ve put Yahweh first in their lives.  That’s why they’re with John at Bethany Beyond Jordan. 

   Philip takes Yahshua over to his mentor Nathanael, who might today be called a Zionist – Nathanael is a zealot for a free Israel.  In his zeal, Nathanael proclaims Yahshua to be “The King of Israel,” a dangerous saying, since Herod is no friend to desert prophets, religious zealots, nationalistic heroes or future kings, and he had spies everywhere.

   There’s silence between Yahshua and his new-found disciples.  After all, Yahshua has been living among “The Poor” for quite some time.  Yahshua knew lessons might be learned by keeping quiet, meditating on the Scriptures and listening for the voice of the Father. 

   Philip breaks the silence.  “Sir, what do you want us to do?”  Yahshua replies, “Do you see those great burdens over there?”  Yahshua points to his possessions, which amount to a large heap of leather sacks.  “Yes, rabbi, I see those burdens.”  “Well, then,” Yahshua replied,  Cast your burdens upon me, then go pick up my burdens, and follow.”  Hesitating, Philip musters the others and they take upon themselves the burdens of Yahshua.  Philip whispers to Nathanael as he hoists up one particularly heavy burden, “Friend, this sack smells like fish.”  Andrew breaks in and says, “To me and my brother, friend, fishes smells like money.”

   So this Yahshua sets off from this desert oasis in Perea with his five new disciples: John, Andrew, Kefa, Philip and Nathanael – all religious men; formerly Baptists.  And each one has a new burden to carry.  Yahshua intends to lead them on northward through Perea, transecting the Decapolis, then lead westward, across the Jordan valley, into the heart of Galilee, where Herod Antipas rules.  Yahshua is silent  on the long, dangerous trek, and with the heavy burdens they carry, his disciples begin to wonder what they’re in for.  And Philip’s thinking that the hotter it gets, the fishier his burden smells.  Philip’s an accountant – not used to hard work, fishy smells or dirty clothes. 

   Soon the disciples’ wonderment turns to frustration, and John asks Yahshua, “Rabbi, where are you going?”  And for three days Yahshua replies over and over again, “Come and see.  We’re almost there.  It’ll be worth the wait.”  So the five would-be disciples trail behind their Master over hill and dale, furlong after furlong. 

 

{“Where He Leads Me” UMH 338}

 

About a Wedding

   What the disciples don’t yet know is that Yahshua is on his way to a wedding in Cana, in central Galilee.  Yahshua might’ve stayed with John a little longer, but this event’s been on his calendar for over a year; Yahshua’s brother Simon of Cana is the groom.  Yahshua’s other brothers are also to attend: the eldest, Jacob (aka James), who’s a priest, comes up from Jerusalem; and there’s Jacob’s brother Judah, who took over the family building business when their father Joseph died. 

   And Miriam will be there – she’s only a few years older than Jacob and Judah.  She’s the mother of Yahshua, Simon and Joses.  Miriam and her step-son Judah are in charge of the meals, refreshments, libations and all the arrangements, there in the house of Miriam’s son Simon bar Joseph of Cana.

   Weddings (there and then) are quite different from our little ceremonies.  “The wedding itself was the culmination of long discussions between the two families.”  The marriage is arranged, the contract agreed upon, the dowry’s set, as is the time of the ceremony.  The day before the wedding, the bride and groom separate, bathe, anoint themselves with fragrant oil and dress in their best clothing.  The bride is to be veiled in public for the entire lengthy affair.  Both bride and groom have numerous attendants; the chief of these is the friend of the groom; Simon chooses his elder half-brother Judah for the honor and the responsibility.

 

The First Night

     The festivities begin at nightfall with a procession of Simon’s wedding party to the home of his bride, Yah-el, daughter of Cleopas, also of Cana.  The bride’s attendants and Yah-el’s family eagerly await their coming.  When they meet, gifts are given, tokens are exchanged, pledges are made and Scripture is recited.  Wine, in the form of toasts, is offered and drunk, one toast after the other – to the bride, to the groom, to the parents, to the prophets, to Moses and Elijah. 

   After the visit, the parties of both bride and groom return to Simon’s home where the party has already begun.  Simon’s yard is alight with oil lanterns and decorated as befits a very special occasion.  When the bride, groom and their attendants arrive, guests have already gathered, musicians are playing, and the dancing, talking, story telling and festivities might last all night.  Wine flows like water; it’s free for all who’re invited to this first night of the marriage. 

   When all are there who should be, Miriam and her helpers serve the late meal, and well into the third course, the exuberant Simon pops up from his place and calls for the traditional toast.  Simon, with the help of Judah’s thunderous voice, gets everyone’s attention, clears his throat, motions to his intended bride, and offers the traditional wedding pledge, “Yah-el is my wife and I, Simon, am her husband from this day forward unto forever.”  

   Yah-el’s father Cleopas takes the hand of his veiled daughter and raises her from her place.  He responds to Simon’s entreaty with words from the story of Tobit.  Cleopas cries, “Here she is; take her in accordance with the law of Moses.  You are now her kin and she is yours.”  Then Cleopas leads the guests in the traditional response:  “May the Elohim of heaven keep you safe and give you peace and prosperity” (Tobit 7:12).  This done, Cleopas reclines near his future son-in-law and whispers, “One more day, and you’ll have my daughter, and be my only son.  And you’ll say it has been worth the wait!” 

   For after the meal, bride and groom go back to their own homes for the night.  The big “to do” is in the morning, when all the invited guests come for the wedding banquet, and before the end of the second day, the couple will be officially wed.

 

{“His Banner Over Me is Love”}

 

Meanwhile, Up on the Roof in Nazareth

   While the first night’s wedding party is still in full swing in Cana, Yahshua and his travel party stagger into Nazareth, to the late Joseph’s home, now the home of Miriam, Judah, his wife Deborah, their son Jacob II, and Joses, Miriam’s youngest son.  Nobody’s home right now but the family goats, and Yahshua, John, Andrew, Kefa, Philip and Nathaniel lay their burdens down, draw water and wash up, then settle in for the night on the roof of the house. 

   Yahshua is tired, being the oldest of them.  But the young Kefa won’t let him sleep.  He says, “You haven’t told us anything about the kingdom, the one John was talking about.”  Yahshua takes a breath, and in sleepy wisps he tells the story,

   The kingdom is like a king who throws a marriage party for his son.  He sends slaves to call on those invited; but now they have excuses and won’t come.  The king sends more slaves, saying, “Tell those we’ve invited, ‘Look, the king’s already got the dinner on, waiting for you.’”  But this time, most of the invited make jokes; one goes to clean his barn, another goes to his business; others rob and kill the king’s messengers.  The king is enraged, so he immediately sends troops to destroy those murderers and burn their cities. 

   Then the king tells his slaves, “Those invited aren’t worthy of hospitality.  Go into the streets and bring anyone you find.”  So these slaves bring in both bad and good until the fellowship hall is bursting. 

   When the king looks at his guests, he spies that farmer who said he wouldn’t come, wearing the same clothes he cleaned the barn in.  This farmer has no respect.  He hasn’t even bothered to dress for the occasion. 

   The king says to the farmer, “Friend, how’d you get in here with smelly, dirty, indecent clothing?”   The farmer has no excuse.  Then the king says to his personal guard, “Tie him up and throw him out into the night where they weep and gnash.”  Then the king adds, “Of the many we first invited, few chose to come – ¿is that as it should be?”  (Matthew 22:1-10 paraphrase)

   After prayer, Yahshua says, “Get some sleep; we’ll be leaving first thing in the morning.”  Kefa is already asleep.  But Yahshua has one more question to answer – the same one he’s answered fifty times.  Philip asks, “Where are we going and when will we get there?”  Philip’s shoulders are sore from his heavy burden, and can’t get the smell of fish off his filthy clothes, no matter how much water he rubs in.  Already half asleep, Yahshua replies for the fifty-first time, “Come and see.  It’ll be worth the wait.”  But Philip wonders if when Yahshua spoke of the farmer with the filthy, smelly clothes, he meant him. 

 

Yahshua Goes to a Wedding

   Yahshua and his five disciples are already on the road when the sun comes up.  After “get up!” Yahshua only gives his disciples one more commandment.  Put on the best clothes you have.”  The disciples remember the story of the night before and wonder if they’re going to some kind of initiation. 

   After an hour’s walk, they reach the village of Cana and Simon’s house, right next to the synagogue, where they meet people in the yard, some sleeping, some talking, a few still drinking.  “¿We’re going to a wedding?” Andrew wonders solemnly.  Nathanael bursts out, “The Baptist would never permit us to go to a wedding.  He isn’t much for fun.”  But Yahshua replies, “All of you, take your burdens to the kitchen, then relax.  This is my brother’s house and he’s getting married today.  Now you understand why you dressed up.  We’ll start our training here at my brother’s wedding banquet, and, if you have the ears to hear, we’ll also end our training at a wedding banquet – in the Kingdom of Heaven.” 

 

{“Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast  UMH 339 or “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy” UMH 340}

 

Now In Simon’s Kitchen

   The kitchen area in the back of Simon’s house is full of activity: Miriam, Joanna and Salome, along with Mrs. Cleopas and other women from the community are preparing the high point of the wedding festivities – the wedding banquet.  (Unlike weddings of today, the wedding banquet in Yahshua’s day was in the morning – breakfast – and lasted all day long and into the night.)  Yahshua makes his way to the kitchen to greet his mother, sisters and his sleepy half brother Judah.  Happy greetings are exchanged, and the kitchen staff recognizes that Yahshua is not merely a local yokel anymore – now he’s a Rabboni, a master teacher of the Law – for his clerical robe reflects his new profession.

   Yahshua points out the leather sacks that his disciples lugged three days to the Cana kitchen.  “I’ve not come empty handed – I’ve brought five new mouths to feed – yeah, those guys standing out there.  It seems I already have some students – ¿what do you think of that?  So I brought provisions with me.  Behold!” 

   Judah opens a sack.  “Here are fresh dates and figs!”  He opens another, “More dates and figs – and raisons and currents.”  Miriam opens a sack, “Here are gourds and squashes!”  Judah says, “And here is a whole bag of spelt and barley.”  Joses has opened a bag, “And here is rice!  We never eat rice!”  The biggest sack, the one carried by Philip, is finally opened, and everyone in the kitchen is amazed.  Mrs. Cleopas cries, “My oh my!  Do you know how long it’s been since I seen – fresh feesh!”  Judah says, “Yahshua!  A whole bag of fresh fish!  How did you travel all the way from Perea and keep the fish fresh?”  Yahshua replies, “Fish conservation is just one of the many skills I learned down on the Jordan, my brother!” 

   (Meanwhile, out in the yard, Yahshua’s hungry disciples make themselves comfortable for the first time in a long time.  And Philip notices that the foul smell of spoilt fish has completely disappeared from his clothing, hair and hands.  He’s relieved, but wonders what’s happened to the stench.  Could it be a miracle?)

   Fish is a staple of the Cananaeans’ diet, but Cana was too far inland for fresh fish.  They ate salt fish, dried fish, pickled fish, smoked fish – fresh fish that made it there went to rich people, mostly foreigners.  Joses runs from the kitchen, through the house and into the yard.  “Hey everybody!  We got – fresh fish!  Yahshua brought fresh fish!”  This announcement brings a great deal of applause, and Joses notices that the crowd is increasing greatly. 

 

{The Offering}

 

Jacob Alphaeus, the Priest

   “Judas Priest!  Did you say, Yahshua is here?” howls Simon, his brother.  Simon tells Joses to go next door to the synagogue and get Jacob (James).  Jacob’s in church on his knees as usual, praying for the conversion of sinners at the banquet, even though this isn’t Sabbath.  While Joses makes his way through the house and kitchen, past the stone water jars, to the back entrance of the synagogue, Simon and his soon-to-be father-in-law, Cleopas, make for the kitchen to see Yahshua, Simon’s closest relative. 

   Young Joses finds his eldest brother praying in the sanctuary.  The youth abruptly interrupts the elder: “Brother, the bridegroom is here!  Come out to meet him.  And Yahshua is here too.”  But Jacob is not in a festive mood.  “Go back, boy!  I’ll meet the bridegroom when I’ve finished my prayers for the hopeless sinners out in our brother’s front yard.” 

   Jacob is a special kind of priest, dedicated by his father from birth.  Jacob has never tasted wine, nor has he ever been around winebibbers or sinners.  And he’s never seen eye-to-eye with his younger half-brother, Yahshua, a spoiled little snot who joined up with “The Way” in the desert.  He believes his brother the rabbi is a heretic.  Jacob will come out when he’s good and ready, not before, for he has a little surprise for the sinners in the yard next door.  He knows his brother Judah keeps the reserve wine for the wedding in the synagogue kitchen.  Well, three days ago, Jacob sold the wine to a Temple Jew in Sepphoris, and now he’s certain they’ll run out tonight, hopefully right after the wedding vows.  “When they run out of wine – that’s when I’ll come out!” Jacob plots. 

   The wedding banquet is served a little late, now that there’s fish, but nobody minds because there’s plenty of snacks and wine to fill in the cracks, and plenty of time to nap, and soon, plenty of everything for several days or a week.  Nobody minds but Jacob Alphaeus bar Joseph, who gets back on his knees and keeps praying. 

 

{“It’s Me, It’s Me, O Lord” UMH 352 and/or Service of Praise and Prayer}

 

Where’s the Wine?

   The banquet goes on all day, course after course, the most popular dish is the fish poached with raisons, currants and curry.  There are over a hundred people in attendance all dressed their best.  Songs are sung, stories are told, riddles are riddled and the couple to be married is blessed.  By nightfall, the lamps are again lit so that everyone knows to get ready for the big moment – the final toasts to the couple, to the parents, to the prophets, etc.  As the toastmaster, Judah’s been busy with guests all day, and Miriam’s kept the kitchen going relentlessly.  After all, Miriam knows that Simon may be her only son who will marry, for Yahshua has taken a vow of celibacy and Miriam’s determined to keep young Joses home as long as possible.  Joses!” she calls.  “Take Deborah and your sisters and get some of the wine out of the synagogue.  It’s time for the great toast of marriage.  And find out if your brother Jacob is dead or alive in there.”

   The quartet takes a lantern into the synagogue kitchen.  They don’t find the wine, but they do find Jacob asleep (or dead) in there.  “Wake up, big brother,” says Joses.  Jacob replies, “I wasn’t asleep, brother.  I was just resting my lips from so much praying and my knees from so much kneeling.”  Joses is panicking.  “They’re ready for the toast of marriage! The wine was right there, brother.  What have you done with it?”  Jacob says, “Remember what wine did to Noah, and the line of Canaan was cursed forever.”  Joses presses on, “I said, where’s the wine, my brother the priest.”  Jacob replies, “Remember the wisdom of Solomon, brother: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray by it is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1).”  But young Joses is ready this time, “And you, sir, remember the Psalm, ‘Yahweh brings forth wine from the earth to gladden the hearts of men’ (Psalm 104:14,15).  Mother wants that wine now!”

   “It is gone, little brother.  But consider not the loss of wine, but the gain of a new steeple on this tabernacle,” snickers Jacob.  Joses cries: “You sold it?  But it’s time for the great toasts!  What shall we do?” Jacob the Priest instructs his brother, “Go out and ask the holy man in your kitchen what to do.  I hear Yahshua preserves fish.  Perhaps he can also make wine ‘to gladden men’s hearts.’”  Deborah, Judah’s wife, snaps, “Jacob, if you weren’t a priest and I weren’t a woman, I’d slap the prayers right off your mustache.”  The quartet rushes out of the synagogue, back to the smoky kitchen. 

 

Fill the Water Pots

   Deborah doesn’t want the news of no wine to ruin the high point of the marriage.  She says to Joses, “Tell your mother!”  Joses whispers to mother Miriam, “The wine’s gone.  Jacob cashed it in.  Will you ask your other son, who brought the fish, if he has some wine among his things?” 

   Yahshua is quickly located asleep in the storage shed.  Miriam wakes him.  “Son, they’re ready to do the great toasts.”  Yahshua croaks, “So what does that mean to us, lady?”  Miriam retorts, “You know they can’t be married without the great toasts, and there is no wine.”  She calls the servants over as Yahshua stretches his bones and commands, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

   At this same time, Yahshua’s disciples sneak around the corner.  They’re going to have it out with him.

   Yahshua looks over to the synagogue and spies the water pots used for washing synagogue members.  “Fill those with water.”  Miriam reiterates the command to everyone in the kitchen.  “Hurry up!  Do what he says!”  Before Kefa and Andrew can say a cross word, young Joses grabs Philip and says, “You, get over to the well; you, get the buckets.  Get these water pots filled up fast!”  So disciples, men, servants and women form a human conveyor from the well to the pots – and, in short order, they transport over a hundred gallons.  That’s a miracle in itself.

   A long-bearded head pops out of the synagogue window, shouting, “Hey!  You can’t do that!  You’re not on the synagogue board!  Stay away from those tanks!”  It’s Jacob, out of his piety for the moment.  Yahshua shouts back, “Why hello, big brother!  I didn’t know you were up from Jerusalem!  Peace, love, dove in the name of the Father!”

 

Check out The Schottenstein Edition Siddur: Sabbath & Festivals Prayers with an Interlinear Translation

 

Water Made Wine 

  Nobody out front can see or hear what’s happening in the back, but since the sun’s down, those striving to complete Yahshua’s mission hear the crowd clamoring for the marriage couple.  “Simon!  Simon!  Simon!  Yah-el!  Yah-el!  Yah-el!  Simon and Yah-el!  Hurrah!  The toast!  The toast!  The toast!” 

   Yahshua says to the servant, “Draw out some water and take it to Jacob.”  The wind is out of Jacob’s sails, and as the servant lifts the cup to his huge mustache, Jacob merely smells it.  “Why, this is not water.  It smells like fish!  Ripe fish!  Who are you trying to fool anyway?  You’ve turned the water into fish.  Good for you . . .” 

   The shocked servant takes the cup back from Jacob, and the disciple Philip now knows where the smell went: either to the water or to Jacob’s gigantic mustache. 

   Judah finally rushes into the kitchen.  “Where’s the reserve wine?  They’re all out of wine up front, and they’re clamoring for the toast.  Haven’t you gotten the wine out of the synagogue yet?”   But Yahshua interrupts, speaking to the servant: “Servant, let my brother Judah taste the cup.”  And Judah tastes – then he gulps the remainder of the cup.  “This isn’t the slosh I ordered!  This is far better.  It’s your wine, isn’t it, Yahshua!  Thank you, brother, for the fruit, the grain, the fish and now this fine wine!  Let’s get it to our guests so our little brother can get married!”

   The lack of wine caused quite a commotion and delayed the wedding toasts.  But as Judah took the wine to Simon’s guests, he thought, “We’re a little late, but this wine is worth the wait.  Thank you Yahshua!”

 

{“Yahshua’s Hands Were Kind Hands” UMH 273}

 

The Marriage

   Back at the party, the new wine is distributed by the servants, and Judah proudly leads the toasts to the bride, to the groom, to the bride’s parents, to the groom’s mother, to the groom’s family, to Yahshua and his disciples, to marriage, to life, to life, l’chaim!   After lengthy toasts, Simon bar Joseph the Canaanaean wraps his long prayer shawl around both himself and his bride, Yah-el bat Cleopas, and, with the twelve bridal attendants, Simon escorts his new wife to the “mansion” deep within the private recesses of the house.  Simon and Yah-el are now officially married.  In the mansion, Yah-el finally removes her veil, displaying her youthful beauty to her new husband.  But the attendants stay outside to guard the door all night, lest the evil spirit Asmodeus approach (Tobit 3:8).  Now, with the wedded couple in their chamber, the entire wedding crowd begins to sing the famous blessing from Fiddler on the Roof.


May the Lord protect and defend you.  May He always shield you from shame.
May you come to be in Israel a shining name.
May you be like Ruth and like Esther.  May you be deserving of praise.
Strengthen them, O L
ORD, and keep them from the strangers' ways.

May God bless you and grant you long lives.  (May the Lord fulfill our Sabbath [wedding] prayer for you.)
May God make you good mothers and wives.  (May He send you husbands who will care for you.)

May the Lord protect and defend you.  May the Lord preserve you from pain.
Favor them, Oh Lord, with happiness and peace.  Oh, hear our Sabbath  [wedding] prayer. Amen.

 

   The marriage is complete, but the party is just beginning.  It continues for five more days and is remembered for fifty years.

 

A Little Vacation

   Yahshua and his five disciples stay the whole time.  Now these disciples from Bethsaida know for certain that Yahshua is the King, as Nathanael claimed all along.  Yahshua also acquires three other disciples during the wedding – his brothers, Judah bar Joseph, Simon the Canaanaean and Joses bar Miriam.  He also gets the respect (if not admiration) of his eldest brother Jacob, whose massive mustache would smell like ripe fish for the next seven years.  They all did so well together at the wedding that they left the mess with Mrs. Cleopas, and Miriam, Jacob, Judah, Deborah and James the Less, Yahshua, Simon and Yah-el, Joses, John, Andrew, Kefa, Philip and Nathanael all go vacationing at the Capernaum seaside until Passover (John 2:12).  Only Yahshua knows what future triumphs and terrors are in store for these first believers.  But for the time being, they soak up the spring sun of the beach so happily together, eating fresh fish from the nets of Andrew and Kefa, telling stories and listening to parables about fish and fishermen, life, death – and eternity.  But the sound of great assurance is in Yahshua’s voice as he promises them for the fifty-ninth time, “Just wait and see.  It will be worth it all!”

 (Source of wedding : The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 794ff.)

poetry