Richard Whitaker- Discipleship and Connections Pastor LHBC
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (ESV) John 2:1-11
Wedding announcements are typically prepared with great anticipation of the happy union and sent to guests months in advance. They herald the joining of a couple in holy matrimony on the specified day and time so everyone can save the date and prepare to join the celebration. We find in this passage that Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding, but what Jesus does to remedy a problem goes far beyond typical wedding protocol.
With the wine gone and guests still gathered, Jesus miraculously transforms six, full water jars into approximately 150 gallons of wine! In doing so, Jesus kindly spares the concerned bridegroom (young groom) the embarrassment of running out before the celebration ended. What joy and relief the host and guests must have felt at this abundance of new wine! But, there’s more to this scene than meets the eye. In the same way as a wedding invitation announces a coming marriage, this first of Jesus’ miracles announces a pivotal point in God’s plan to save mankind.
We learn more about this astonishing announcement by connecting this wedding imagery to prophetic markers from the Old Testament. For starters, wedding banquets are associated with the coming time of the Messiah (See Isaiah 25:6-8, 65:3). The presence of wine is pictured as accompanying the coming age of salvation (Jeremiah 31:12, Joel 3:18). Finally, the abundance of wine is associated with blessings that accompany the arrival of the Messiah (Genesis 49:11-12). Like a beacon shining through the darkness, Jesus changing gallons of water into gallons of wine showed his glory and signaled the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. In a stunning moment of clarity, the disciples make the connection themselves and respond by believing in the glorified Jesus.
As disciples of Jesus, we show our belief when we announce the coming kingdom to our neighbors, coworkers and friends. How, you may ask? We announce the kingdom of God when we host parties and invite our lost neighbors to receive unconditional love and hospitality. We announce the kingdom of God when we accept our neighbors’ invitations to joyfully celebrate birthdays, weddings, and national holidays. We announce the kingdom of God when we give in abundance to serve our neighbors. Jesus explains that a faithful follower must, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (ESV) Matthew 5:16. When we combine a clear explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ with tangible expressions of kingdom life, we’ll see neighbors from all over our city respond by believing in Jesus too. And, that is something to celebrate!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Savior of the world. Thank you for loving me when I was still in sin and apart from you. I give back all that you’ve given me for use in announcing your kingdom to a lost city. Use me to establish your kingdom in my neighborhood as it is in heaven. May my neighbors respond with repentance, faith, and praise for new life in your kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
All things are possible for one who believes.