Saturday, March 09, 2013

First Miracle

Many of you may know that Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding (John 2:1-11). Or at least you know that his first miracle was when he turned water into wine. Or maybe you just know that Jesus turned water into wine sometime in the Bible. 

The point is: Jesus + water -> wine = miracle. (Yes, I know that was part chemical and part mathematical equation.) But what if that one simple miracle was a foreshadowing of Jesus' entire ministry and purpose on Earth? What if in this trivial act Jesus was actually showing us why he came? Okay, so you might be really confused at the moment, but hold on, an explanation is coming! 

Let's backtrack for a minute to get the story. Jesus and his disciples, as well as his mother, go to a wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-2). During the festivities, they run out of wine. (John 2:3) So Jesus' mother tells him this, and he says to her (among other things) "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4) His mother then instructs the servants to obey Jesus (John 2:5) We'll pause there for a second. Mary knew from inception that Jesus was going to be world-changing, that he was the Son of God. And from his birth she had been storing everything that was happening concerning Jesus in her heart (Luke 2:51). Mary seemed to know that Jesus' public ministry was about to begin and did what she could to facilitate it. Secondly, Jesus' response in talking about "his hour". Right before he is arrested and subsequently crucified, Jesus speaks again of this hour (Matt 26:45). Additionally, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman (at the well) that the "hour is coming, and is now here where the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). We all know that Jesus came at a specific time for a specific purpose, so what if this first miracle was a symbolic beginning of his "hour" here on Earth? 

Let's continue with the story. Jesus tells the servants to fill six large jugs with water, (John 2:6-7) and to take a sample of that water to the steward (John 2:8). This water had not only become wine, but the wine was of such good quality that the steward complimented the bridegroom on it (John 2:9-10). Why is this significant? One of Jesus' many titles is the Bridegroom (John 3:28-29; Luke 5:34-35), the church being the Bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-32). The steward was saying to the bridegroom that that which he poured out later was greater than that which had come before. In fact, it's pretty surprising that the steward was immediately able to realize that this second wine was much better, given that he had probably had quite a bit of the first wine. 

Keeping all this in mind, also note that Jesus' death was the establishment of a second covenant between God and his people, one that was better because it was eternal (Heb 8:1-7, 9:11-22). See the connection?! (I'm really excited.) This pouring out of blood in the second covenant was much greater than the first covenant! The Bridegroom literally served the better wine as second, by giving his own blood, revealing His glory (John 2:11; John 1:14). Furthermore, the wine-blood connection is not something that I just made up. When Christ established the Lord's Supper (aka Communion) on the night in which he was betrayed, he took the cup of wine and told the disciples that it represented His blood, of the new covenant, and that they should do this in remembrance of Him (Matt 26:27-29). [This is why we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.] As stewards, let us also take note and remark on how much better this new wine is than the first batch, for truly we can taste it! (Psalm 34:8)

Be blessed and shine brightly!

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and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23