In John Chapter 2 Jesus manifested His glory. He attended a wedding at Cana in Galilee and saved a party from peril. The feast was soon to run dry of wine when Jesus changed ordinary water into the best wine any of them had ever tasted.
Here are a few observations from the text:
HE COMES TO A PEOPLE IN NEED OF JOY
Shortly after His arrival it was brought to His attention by His mother that they were out of wine. Disgrace and shame would be the theme of this day should nothing be done. The bride and groom would surely be remembered forever as “the ones who ran out of wine and could not keep the joy alive”. In a culture where wine symbolized joy, abundance and the blessings of the Lord’s bounty, it would be a most shameful cloud to have looming over such a glorious day. It is precisely this reason why the Son of man chose this as His first of miracles on earth. Here, He sets the tone for the rest of His ministry. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He came that our joy may be full. He would not leave His people in misery and sin, but took it upon Himself to be poured out as a vessel upon the altar, so that through faith and repentance we might be filled with eternal joy.
HE CALLS MEN TO PARTICIPATE IN HIS WORK
His glory is manifested in calling men to participate with Him in His work. Couldn’t Jesus have made every goblet and wine pitcher full of the best wine anyone had ever tasted, and done it in a moment? Yes, but He chooses to use man. Later in His earthly ministry He will ask the blind man to wash in the pool before receiving sight. The man with a withered hand is commanded to stretch it out before being made whole again. Even Lazarus, dead in the grave for days, was commanded to “come forth”. Jesus, here, calls the servants to “fill the pitchers” and in doing so they are allowed the joy of taking part in Christ’s power and glory, yet the glory is all His. When we join Him, and through faith do what He says, we get to witness God effecting miraculous change in us and around us. When we refuse, we miss out.
SERVE HIM TO THE FULLEST
The servants filled the jars to the brim, over 180 gallons of water, all at the risk of making fools of themselves. A glass of water served to the master of the feast would have proven most embarrassing. But when asked of the Lord to do something, how well do you do it? How faithful are you in it? Are you a “stop short” kind of person or an “above and beyond” kind of person in your service to Christ? The key to serving the Lord is believing that in the faithful and sometimes ordinary service of every-day-life we will see great things. When you serve others by ordinary means for the glory of God, God will use you to bring miraculous and eternal change to the lives all around you. But it starts with pretty ordinary things, like, fill the water pots, draw out the water, bring it to the master of the feast (hard work done with faith in Jesus). It starts with a willingness to, “do whatever Jesus tells you to do.”
THE BEST IS YET TO COME
It all culminates when the master of the feast tasted the water turned to wine and marveled at its goodness. Not only the taste, but the fact that the bride and groom would save the best for the end. This was unlike any other feast he’d attended. And so it is with Christ. There is nothing like Him. There is no one else who offers what He offers or does what He does. And the one who finally tastes of His salvation, no matter what they’ve tried before, will marvel.
Christianity teaches that the best is always in the future, and therefore, is worth enduring the “bad wine” for a while. Jesus would have you share the good wine with others; letting them taste and experience the goodness and joy of the gospel. This is how were are to spread the truth; by proclaiming that it is eternal life offered to guilty and poor sinners who through faith and obedience come into everlasting joy and forgiveness. It’s a joy that will not run dry. In the end we will feast with the Lord in His Kingdom, having escaped the judgement of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
EVERYONE else serves the good wine first (That’s this world). Jesus alone can save a soul, fill him with everlasting joy and hope in this life, and still, guarantee the best is yet to come.