Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guest Post: Pondering A Miracle

Today I’m delighted to share this guest post from my mom. Enjoy!

Pondering A Miracle - by Jan Harris

In John 2:1-11, Jesus turned water into wine. Nothing dramatic. Just a “small,” private miracle for His family and friends of His family. Not at all in the same class as feeding 5,000 men with a boy’s lunch or calming a wild gale or raising Lazarus from the dead.

But it was Jesus’ first recorded miracle.

I think I’ve never properly appreciated that fact. I’ve often puzzled over the details…like how He spoke to Mary…how His tone didn’t deter her from instructing the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:4b).

I’ve heard sermons on how this miracle was Jesus’ stamp of approval on marriage—and I’m sure it was. But the last time I read John 2, or maybe the time before that, I started thinking. This was Jesus’ first public miracle. There must be more to it.

In His sovereign wisdom, I’m absolutely sure that Jesus chose this miracle carefully. It wasn’t just the result of an emergency lack of wine or His mother’s plea for help. Before He went to the party, He knew they would run out of wine. He knew that He would provide more wine from water in the stone jars.

Why?

Was it about purification? Jesus made use of the jars that usually held water for Jewish purification rituals. Was this miracle symbolic of the purification Jesus came to bring for sinners?

Was it to demonstrate His authority over the material world? Until that day, I’m guessing the disciples had no idea He had such power. Even more, He showed power over time. It takes time to grow grapes, to crush them and age the juice until it ferments. The best wine, they say, is wine that has fermented the longest. And, according to the master of the feast, this was the “best” wine. Jesus compressed all that time into a minute—or maybe two.

Fill the jars with water. Draw out the wine. Amazing! Unbelievable! Spectacular! A mind-boggling miracle just for a small wedding party in a small town…just for His family and friends of His family. A miracle that demonstrated that while Jesus lived in our time, He wasn’t bound by our time. He created time, and—just like the wind and the waves—He had power over it.

But there’s more.

A wedding party was a time of great joy. A time of joy for the bride and groom. They’d been waiting a year or more to begin their lives together. A time of joy for their families…and for their friends. Can we say that Jesus didn’t just put His stamp of approval on marriage that day? He put His stamp of approval on JOY.

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” –John 15:11 (NASB)

By providing more wine for the feast, Jesus provided for the celebration—the joy—to continue. We tend to think of Jesus as a “man of sorrows.” And He was. But He was also a man of joy… joking with His disciples, laughing with the children, sharing in the joy of the ones He healed. I believe Jesus was showing us—He approves of joy.

And then there's the wedding feast itself. At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus attended a wedding feast. He participated in it. He provided for it. He enjoyed it. And somewhere near the ending of time as we know it, there is another wedding feast, a feast that Jesus has already planned, already provided for. A feast that will be a time of overwhelming—never-ending—joy!