Two things strike me when I read about the miracle of water into wine. The physical transformation stands out, for sure, but it’s the nature of the circumstances sparking the miracle that catches my attention. The event says something specific about Jesus as a person.
I don’t claim exhaustive expertise on the ancient Near East, or even on Jewish culture and customs. So I have difficulty understanding why Jesus’ mother thought he should involve himself. Certainly any host would feel a little embarrassed to run out of provisions for all his guests, but does this really qualify as a moment for divine intervention? Doesn’t the Lord have more important things on his agenda than an open bar?
Yet Mary definitely thought this merited the attention of her son. So she said, “They have no wine.” She didn’t say anything else, but from Jesus’ response, we can tell she implied more.
“They have a problem, and they need help. The bridegroom certainly does, given that some of his reputation rests on how well he can entertain. Won’t you help them?”
Mary had a precious sensitivity. Jesus did as well, and saw fit to bless the people at the wedding in general, and the bridegroom in particular. The opportunity he chose, providing more wine, wasn’t one of life or death. But it communicated affection in a small way.
Jesus provided somewhere between 120 and 180 gallons of the finest wine, depending on the size of the waterpots. Yet who received the credit for this wine? The bridegroom.
“The head waiter 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.’”
Honor fell on this man. Jesus chose to receive no credit for the gift of the wine. He didn’t ask for any sort of gratitude. He gave even that to the bridegroom.
Jesus never simply told us to honor others more than ourselves; he lived it, and the cross was not the first time. Some fellow whom Jesus may or may not have known had a small problem that wouldn’t have haunted him all his days. His party may not have been remembered as the greatest, but that would blow over fairly quickly.
Yet Jesus saw it fit to provide this man with ample wine, and the best wine of the party, at that. The gift arrived secretly, and blessed abundantly and extravagantly. The giver asked nothing in return.
Whom have I sought to bless recently, and what did I ask in return?
In what circumstances do I look to bless people: only in the most dire, or in the everyday and mundane?
Do I look for God’s hand in my life and seek to give Him the credit He hasn’t asked for?
Ⓒ Revolworks 2005