On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now standing there were six stone water jars 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 chief steward." So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.'
Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." Note: The jars were empty.
The purity laws had served the early monotheists while they moved into and settled the strip of land bordering the Mediterranean on the east. For millennia they had been in the midst of peoples with polytheistic religious beliefs; the purity laws had kept them apart, maintaining their identity as a separate people called by the one God. The rites had kept everyone and everything locked in place: what was clean and what was unclean; what could be touched and not touched; to whom one could speak and not speak; when help could be given and when it could not.
Purification rites had served a purpose in the development of monotheism, but the rites were no longer fulfilling a purpose: They were empty.
Jesus was about to teach about a new relationship with one's neighbors. At the joyous occasion of a wedding, joining together two people and two families, Jesus transformed the rites that had kept people separate into a celebration -- with wine! -- of the joining together of all people. Henceforth there will be no Other: All peoples are chosen, all are one in God