Close Menu X

Filled To The Brim

In this Friday’s devotional I want to point out a wonderful truth in John’s gospel regarding Jesus’ first miracle (John 2:1-11) or to be more specific to John’s words the first of Jesus’s SIGNS (v.11).  

Why do you suppose that John talks about this miraculous event as a sign?

This is an important distinction for us to understand. A SIGN, as you know, is designed to point beyond itself to something of more significance.

John is saying that Jesus did His miracles not for their own sake but to point the observer and now us, the readers, beyond the miracle to something greater…something of eternal significance.  

The short section in John 2:1-4:54 we find a running theme. The Apostle Paul writes about the same thing in 2 Corinthians 5:17 saying, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Jesus turning water into wine, is not about the wine. It’s a SIGN saying that God is replacing the OLD with the NEW and living way, through person and work of Jesus Christ.


Please take a moment and read John 2:1-11


Rather than unpack the whole story let me draw your attention instead to one little detail. In verse 6 we see that there were six stone water jars that were used for the Jewish rites of purification (ceremonial washing). And that each jar held twenty or thirty gallons. That’s roughly a 180 gallons of water.

The wedding guest who came had to go through a purification rite before they could enter. If nothing else, they at least had to wash their hands and feet when they arrived for the wedding feast.

When the wine ran out (v.3) and Jesus mother came to him for help, Jesus told the servants to do two things: Fill them up to the brim” and “draw some out and take it to the master of the feast” (v.8) and they did

Why the detail “Fill them up to the brim”? What is the significance of up to the brim?

According to Jewish law and custom in order to be clean or right before God you must wash yourself, symbolized by the water and stone jars is now replaced with something better. With a new and lasting covenant symbolized by the superior wine Jesus provides.

Jesus instructed the servants to fill the stone jars to the brim meaning nothing could be added to them. And just as nothing could be added to those jars…either can anything be added to the work of Christ to purify us and make us clean before God.

Friends, we are not justified and forgiven before God our Marker and our Judge because of Jesus’ work plus what we add. We are justified by grace alone through faith in Christ.

The groom had nothing to brag about when the master of the feast praised him for saving the best wine until last (v.10)…he didn’t supply the wine. God did! And as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing (your own washing); it is a gift from God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Jesus’ work in his sinless life, his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead completely satisfied God. There is nothing else to add, nothing else to accomplish in order to be right with God. Jesus filled it to the brim and cried out it is finished!!

If anyone is in Christ…that is if you are trusting and resting in Jesus work…then you are a new creation…the old has passed away; behold the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

And the disciples believed in him - John 2:11

 Are you relying on Jesus today? Do you trust Him but then try to DO more to please God? Confess ways you’ve tried to add to Jesus’ work and run to Jesus, believe that who makes all things new.