The Passage: John 2:1-11
- What does it seem like Jesus’s mother is asking of him?
- How does Jesus respond? What “hour” is Jesus referring to?
- Knowing that everything Jesus did was on purpose, at the direction of God the Father, what conclusion can we draw regarding Jesus being at the wedding?
- What impact did His actions have on the different groups of people that were at the wedding? (The newlyweds and the host, Jesus’ mother, the disciples, the general public)
- How was Jesus God’s Word in the flesh, and the light, in this situation?
I really enjoy the writings of Ken Gire in his series titled, “Moments with the Savior.” In chapter 7 he tells the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana. It’s so well written, I’ll just let you read it for yourself:
For the overworked, the underpaid, and the punitively taxed, the wedding was a much needed reprieve when they could relax with old friends and together share a little food, a little wine, a little laughter. But the laughter was beginning to wane. The poor family hosting the wedding had hoped the wine could be stretched by watering down what they had and by filling the goblets only half full. But now they were down to dregs at the bottom of the wine jars.
In an effort to spare the family any embarrassment or social disgrace, Jesus’ mother comes to him for help. Wringing her hands, she states anxiously, “They have no more wine.” Her implication is “Do somethiing.”
Since Jesus’ miraculous birth, Mary has pondered in her heart the future glory of her son. She has seen the visions, heard the angels, and witnessed his remarkable development. Now as she implores her son, she expects him to rise to the occasion of need and pour out something of his glory to fill that need.
There is a moment of hesitation after the impassioned plea… Jesus hesitates because he knows that if he meets this need by supernatural means, life will never be the same. Never again could he turn back the clock… As he weighs the alternatives, Jesus holds the request at bay.
“Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.”
In the hidden arena where his mind wrestles with the request, Jesus feels the grip of yet another consideration—it is too soon to reveal his glory. All the disciples have not yet been chosen. Many of the plans for his ministry are still just pencil sketches in his mind, awaiting color and dimension from the hand of the Father.
His thoughts turn quickly from the future to the need of the moment. To the people, so poor and so heavily burdened. To those shackled to a life of drudgery, so in want of a little festive pleasure in their lives. To the parents of the bride and groom, so frazzled with all their preparations, so indebted to provide this wedding.
At last his thoughts turn to the bride and groom. The embarrassment would be no way to start a honeymoon, let alone a new home in the community. The young couple needed help. And his heart went out to them.
Without a word from his lips, without a touch from his hand, Jesus simply wills the water to become wine. And in the sacred presence of that thought, the water prostrates itself and obeys.
So characteristic of the Savior that he would first reveal his glory here, in this way, and for this purpose.
It was not revealed at the imperial palace in Rome. Or at Herod’s temple in Jerusalem. Or at the colonnaded Acropolis in Athens. But here, in an impoverished Cana, nestled away in an obscure corner of Galilee.
And the way he revealed his glory—with a quiet miracle. No fanfare. No footlights. No theatrics. Just the mighty hand of God working silently behind the scenes in an hour of need.
And the purpose of the miracle—performed not to quench his own thirst, but to satisfy the needs of others. To ease a dear woman’s anxiety. To save a couple of starry-eyed newlyweds from embarrassment. And to provide a little pleasure for a work-worn community.
The unveiled glory enlarged the disciples’ faith. And it did one other thing. With that decision to reveal his glory, Jesus crossed the Rubicon—that river of no return.
The die was cast.
The clock was wound. It would begin ticking down to the final hour of his destiny and set in motion the gears that would ultimately enmesh him and cost him his life. For the wine he provided at Cana would hasten the cup he would one day drink at the cross.
Jesus knew He would have to reveal Himself to the nation, publicly, and the place to do that was in Jerusalem, not in some small corner in Galilee. He would reveal Himself publicly very soon. But, Jesus was also fully committed to His Father’s plan and agenda, and right here, now, the Father’s plan was to display His glory to the weak and lowly.
This little detour was not a coincidence. The Father had brought Him to this wedding in order to do something special for His disciples, His mother, and a stary eyed newlywed couple and their family.
- As God’s Word, in the flesh, Jesus had compassion on the lowly and downtrodden.
- As the Light, Jesus revealed the unseen God to strengthen the faith of those who were committed to following Him.
- Jesus was fully committed to His Father’s agenda, even though He knew that when the word got out about what He did, there would be no turning back. Jesus’ complete focus was being available for what the Father wanted, not what was comfortable and easy for Him.
The Plan: What application can be drawn for us?
- Through Jesus, the mighty hand of God was working silently behind the scenes in an hour of need. This is what God desires for our lives. He wants to be working, behind the scenes, using our hands and feet and mouth to do His mighty work.
- For unbelievers, He wants them to be introduced to Himself through what they see in us.
- For believers, God wants to use our hands and feet and mouths to encourage and strengthen their faith, both through what they witness in our lives, and by God using us to speak and act, willing to be God’s living Word, without any thought to what it means for us.
In chapter 20 of his book, “The Indwelling Life of Christ” Ian Thomas wrote these words:
“When it comes to the point of obedience to God’s clear instructions, the Life of Jesus Christ within you makes human circumstances irrelevant.”
“What I am urging is simply that you become delightfully detached from the pressure of circumstance, so that it ceases to be the criterion in the decisions you make.”
“You will not need to know what He plans to do with you … you simply need to know Him.”
When we begin living this way, letting Him to silently work behind the scenes, we may be pleasantly surprised that the common water we are offering people may become the richest wine to them. God, silently working behind the scenes, revealing Himself through us… and because our focus is on Him, we get to see it.
My prayer for you today is that you will be delightfully detached from circumstances, focused on knowing Him. And as He is your focus, you will see Him reveal Himself through your life this week.