Sometimes just being ‘the help’ positions us to see things others don’t and allows us the joy and privilege of breaking the story!
“When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom . . . . . ‘You have kept the good wine until now!’” – John 2:9, 10
It would be great if we were all well-known and our daily lives were filled with stimulating tasks, but that’s usually not the case. Because of that, this little wedding description in John 2:1-10 is particularly meaningful and precious to us.
Cana in Galilee was a little back-water town about 8 miles from Nazareth; a mere village. The wedding feast was likely modest; rich folks make sure they don’t run short of spirits!
Mary, Jesus’ mother, was evidently part of the planning committee, and Jesus, with his 4 or 5 new disciples, were invited. It was His involvement with events like these that earned Him the reputation of one “eating and drinking . . . . a boozing glutton.” (Matt. 11:19)
The drinking, however, ended abruptly at the feast when the wine ran out. We don’t know if this fact ever reached the guests, but Mary immediately spoke to Jesus about it. That rare moment provides us with an amazing glimpse into the real humanity within the holy family.
Jesus acknowledged Mary’s concern but tried to distance Himself from it. “What does this have to do with Me?” As a true Jewish mother, she didn’t argue with her grown son. She just told the servants standing nearby, “Whatever He says to you, do it,” and walked away.
It is often in the ‘back-story’ of the Bible narratives that we find the greatest blessing and encouragement. What a demonstration of the power of godly relationships this was! Mary entertained no doubt about what Jesus would do, regardless of any ‘divine timing’ for the revelation of HIs miracle ministry. This was the stuff of life, and her faith in her Son released a demand He could not circumvent. I love that!
Without doubt it was the folks serving the tables who witnessed this amazing exchange and saw the very first of Jesus’ sometimes curious demonstrations of power and authority. (see John 6:11, 9:6, 11:15) Just as the lowly shepherds on the hillside were first to hear of His advent 30 years before, a few hard-working domestics found themselves an integral part of this super-sized party provision!
Six stone pots for ceremonial purification were chosen by Jesus to meet the need; vessels that amounted to about 100 gallons or more! It took a lot of hasty ‘drawing from the well’ to fill all of them ‘to the brim.’ (2:7)
Nobody tasted the cup when Jesus told those servants to carry it to the master of the feast. They knew it was water they had drawn from the ground. What a glorious few moments for some unnamed domestic, to carry in his or her hands the witness . . . to be the one who knew the story, in all its detail, before anyone else!
I like to think about that stuff, and appreciate it.
It suggests that regardless of where our lives have positioned us, we’ll likely have our own opportunity to see the glory of God, sometimes up close and personal.
Far and away, most of Jesus’ mighty signs occurred in the countryside, around the water, in village synagogues, or in someone’s home. Big city Jerusalem was where the religious dignitaries did their thing, but they only got to endure His sharp rebukes, and scramble for their stuff when He upset their ‘temple scam.’
Along the roadside, near a well, ‘across the tracks,’ on a mountain, or escaping the hand of the ‘haters;’ these were the holy venues where Jesus showed His glory to the eyes of folks just like us. We can still expect that!
We must never down-play our role in the flow of redemptive history. Abraham was an idolater, but he was searching, David was a nobody, but he was ready, Simeon and Anna were aged but they were expectant, Saul of Tarsus was a fanatic, but he was hungry . . . .
That probably describes some of you, so don’t be surprised when the glory train shows up on your doorstep. It’s just a matter of time!
This story graphically illustrates the beauty and liberty of Jesus’ gospel. The six water pots for purification represent the endless rituals of ceremonial Judaism. This miracle was a blessed (and rather humorous) confiscation of the symbols of legalistic religion, filling them with a ridiculous amount of really great wine for some joyful celebration!! No longer law, but grace! Can I get a big “Thank you, Jesus!?”
I wonder what those kids did with all that wine? Think what would happen if that took place today. Someone might be selling tickets to see those stone pots, and hawking ‘miracle wine!’