In John 2, the story of turning of the water into wine, there’s an interesting detail that I’ve never seen commented on at length before. John 2:6 describes the vats of water that Jesus turned into wine: “Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.”
These aren’t just random water-jars, they are holy water. Water for the rites of purification given in the Torah. Jesus however turns out to be the enemy of purity. Instead of water for ceremonial purification, he leaves us with wine—120-180 gallons of it!
There’s a deeply transgressive quality to Jesus’s actions. In the place of a system of boundaries and morals, clean and unclean, Jesus gives people enough wine to get all of Dublin hammered. Jesus’s actions are, in a sense, shockingly amoral. Or rather, they transgress and overcome the binary structures that define “religious” morality.
Jesus doesn’t come to offer a new way for the unclean to be made clean, the profane made sacred. He comes to obviate the whole notion and throw a party instead. And this is his glory (2:11).