Filling the Jars
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
Do you remember as a child, ever wondering why a parent, teacher or adult asked you to do something that seemed to make no sense to you, but which you did simply because that person commanded authority? Usually the reason became clear down the line, and your part in obeying came into focus, but not always.
We have wondered if the servants who did as Jesus requested thought He must be crazy or if they feared for their lives if they presented water to the master of the house rather than the wine he needed. Yet, how amazed (and relieved) they must have been to be in on this incredible miracle and to see the fruit of their obedience!
Many of you have seen the funny picture on the Internet that shows the wine section of a grocery store, with the wrong sign in front of it: “Water.” The caption of course reads, “Jesus was here!” The turning of the water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana was one of the simplest of Jesus’ miracles, yet significant enough to be one of seven miracles that the Apostle John designates as “miraculous signs.”
What made the miracle particularly significant was the original purpose of the six stone water jars that were involved in the miracle. Strict Jewish homes would have jars like this to go through elaborate ceremonial cleansings before eating. In a subtle but clear way, Jesus demonstrates the superiority of His coming
New Covenant to the Old Covenant based on man-made rules and traditions.
Jesus elsewhere describes the new life in the Spirit as new wine that must be poured into new wineskins (Mark 2:22). Old wineskins (traditions) simply couldn’t contain new wine without bursting. Jesus’ first miracle demonstrated the power of this new life by changing water into wine. The supernatural had burst into the natural. The water turned into wine points vertical, even in the midst of a horizontal event like a wedding. According to John 2:11, this was “the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”
Jesus used the occasion of a wedding to reveal His glory. He pointed His disciples upward. One of the challenges we face as His disciples today is to pay attention to what He is doing in the ordinary and mundane events of our lives. If we are watchful, we will have many opportunities to see Him show His glory.
Listen: Spend a few quiet moments seeking God. Be attentive to whatever He may speak to your heart.
Reflect: How is the Spirit leading you to respond to what you have heard from God?
Confess and Repent: If there is something the Spirit convicts you of, take time to prayerfully confess it. Resolve to turn from it if it is sin, or step toward whatever He is leading you into that you have either neglected or not seen before.
Ask: Gracious Lord, I thank You for providing a new and better covenant that is based on who You are as Savior and Lord. I want to pay attention today to Your current work around me. I don’t want to miss seeing Your glory. Open my eyes that I might see You move, and may the new wine of Your Spirit overflow from my life!
- Has the supernatural ever invaded the natural in your life? Take time to recall a moment when you knew the presence of God was very near to you. Share it with someone else (a child, a co-worker, a neighbor, etc.) as an encouragement and as a testimony to the goodness and the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Practice being aware of the presence of God in each moment of your life today . . . even the routine and the ordinary. Where do you sense Him moving most strongly? How does He reveal Himself to you? Be willing to share this fresh awareness with at least one other person.
- Whenever you drink water today, let it remind you of the miraculous Jesus you serve—the Living Water.
- Practice the spiritual discipline of celebration today as a reminder of Jesus’ ability to do the supernatural in and through you! Take John 14:12 to heart: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” It can be as simple as taking your family out for ice cream just to celebrate the goodness and power of Jesus, living within you!
Taken from Vertical with Jesus by David and Kim Butts. © 2022 PrayerShop Publishing.