Last weekend I was at a wedding. The bride stood elegantly at the front--full of confidence, excitement and beauty. The groom stood at the front--sweating, clammy, knees bent as to prevent fainting. It was beautiful. I love weddings! They are a time when the sacred collides with the common--two individuals becoming one flesh before God in holy matrimony, and yet has anyone ever been to a wedding where everything went perfect? Nervousness abounds, people faint, unity candles refuse to light, awkward speeches are made, the flower girl picks her nose...
We've been looking through the life of Christ in Youth group. Last week we looked at Jesus visiting a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12). Like every other wedding in history, things didn't go exactly as planned. Jesus' mother comes to him and says they have ran out of wine. Considering that weddings were week long celebrations in Jesus' time, this is no small blunder. There are several lessons we can take from Jesus' response to this problem. Jesus says,
“Woman, why do you involve me?”...“My hour has not yet come.”(John 2:4)
Interesting response. I admit I don't fully understand it. We don't know exactly what Mary expected Jesus to do, but apparently she believed that Jesus could do something. Yet, Jesus responds, "Its not my time yet." This is a good reminder to us--sometimes we may have good questions, good goals, good desires, but when we bring these things to God we must always remember that His time table is not our own. It might not be time yet.
Mary tells the servants of the wedding to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. This is where the next lesson I see in the story comes. The servants could panic, they could run searching the town for wine to share, they could admit defeat apologizing emphatically. Instead they go to Jesus, listening to and obeying him--even when he suggests something strange! When things get tough where do you run? Do you take it to Jesus first? Do you lean in faith on the arms of Christ?
And then Jesus does something amazing. His time has come! The servants fill six stone jars with water to the brim. Jesus tells them to dip a cup, pull it out, and bring it to the master of ceremonies. What was once water is no longer. It is transformed into wine. That's significant--Jesus doesn't make water into really good water, and he's not offering watered down wine either (Koolaid really wasn't an option back then). He turns water into wine. Jesus is in the transformation business. This is the third lesson I offer. Are we like water made to wine? Have we been transformed? I hope when people encounter me I give off a sweet fragrance and flavor that points out the transforming miracle Christ has worked in my life.
The last lesson is found at the end of the story. verse 11 says,
"What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him."
Didn't the disciples already believe in Jesus? In the previous chapter we here them call him "Messiah" and "Son of God". Before they believed because John the Baptist had pointed Jesus to them, or because they had spent time talking with Jesus themselves. Now they had seen what Jesus could do. We may believe on Christ because he was once pointed out to us, or because we have heard his words. The more time we spend with Jesus, however, the greater our belief becomes because we become witness to the worker of miracles.