Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:7–10)
After the pots were filled, Jesus instructed the servants to draw some out and take the instantly created wine to the headwaiter. Jewish sources do not make clear whether this individual was the head servant, or a guest chosen to preside over the banquet. That he summoned the groom and spoke to him as at least his equal (vv. 9–10) suggests the latter. In either case, he served as the master of ceremonies at the feast. Since he was responsible for making sure that the guests were supplied with food and drink, the servants took the wine to him.
To make sure it was acceptable, the headwaiter sampled the food and drink before it was served to the guests. Therefore after the servants brought it to him, he tasted the water which had become wine. Though he did not know where it came from (though of course the servants who had drawn the water did), he was astonished at the high quality of this new batch of wine. He called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine.” There is some historical evidence that most hosts did, as the headwaiter suggested, serve the best wine first. In any case, it was only common sense to serve the good wine first and save the poorer wine for later when the people had drunk freely. The verb methusko (drunk freely) literally means “to become drunk,” and is so translated in its only other appearances in the New Testament (Luke 12:45; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:7; Rev. 17:2). That does not mean, however, that this particular banquet had become a drunken orgy; the headwaiter was speaking from his own experience. But much to his surprise (and no doubt the groom’s as well), it seemed that the groom had kept the good wine until the last. Surely it was the sweetest, freshest wine ever tasted. This wine did not come from the normal process of fermentation, from grapes, vines, the earth and the sun. The Lord brought it into existence from nothing. Truly this was evidence that He is the Creator (John 1:1–4).