Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unbelieving Waterboys

The servants knew where the wine came from but they didn't believe.

John 2:1-12 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,  2  and Jesus and His disciples were also invited to the celebration.  3  The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother told Him, "They have no more wine."

4  "Dear woman, that's not our problem," Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."

5  But His mother told the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."

6  Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.  7  Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled,  8  He said, "Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies." So the servants followed His instructions.

9  When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.  10  "A host always serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!"

11  This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him. 12  After the wedding He went to Capernaum for a few days with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.

Jesus told his disciples that there would be greater proof of who he is and now it's just a few days later and they are getting to see it. (John 1:50) Jesus has spent 30 years in private with his family and now the time has come to step out into public ministry. He has recently gained a few disciples and now his first miracle that initiates his public ministry is about to happen with his family present.

Wedding were a big deal back then and it is a major embarrassment to run out of wine. This is the biggest social event that they had and it was a chance to forget about how hard life is and have a good time. It's interesting that Jesus ministry was different from that of John Baptist, "who came neither eating nor drinking," Jesus was involved in the everyday events of life. (Matthew 11:18-19)

Mary is concerned about the potential embarrassment and she knows that Jesus has the power to fix the problem. However she doesn't push Jesus in a corner and try and force him to do it. She makes him aware of the problem and then tells the servants to do anything that he asks them to do.

Imagine being a servant in this home and you are probably tired from working this week long wedding event and now Jesus asks you to fill some water pots that total over one hundred and fifty gallons. You probably groan as you think about the extra work that you are forced to do.

Now imagine being told immediately to dip some of the water out and take it to the head waiter, allowing him to have a sample and finding out that the water that you put in those pots was no longer water. You are standing there as the man announces that the best wine has been saved for last. What would your reaction be?
Help Me Believe
Mark 9:24  The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
The purpose of miracles to to reveal God's glory to us and help us believe in Jesus. It is too bad that when the supernatural is revealed to us we don't always see it. There were two different reactions to Jesus first miracle.

Everybody remembers that the miracle helped the disciples grow in their belief in Jesus. That fact is documented at the end of the story but what about the guys that were up front and close to the miracle?

The guys that were directly involved, the ones that did everything as Jesus told them, that knew that Jesus didn't even touch those water jars and they knew that there wasn't anything deceitful going on. The scripture states that they knew (John 2:9) without question that the water was changed into wine. They just walked away and pretended that nothing happened.
Miracles can be so difficult to see. It wasn't just this group of servants, almost everybody in Jesus hometown missed out, and there was the crowd that was mourning the death of Jairus' daughter that actually laughed at Jesus.

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. – C S Lewis
We can be just as blind to the miracles in our own lives. Every day of our lives are filled with miracles great and small that are a result of God's love for us. Some of them are everyday things that we just expect with little thought about why they happen. Some of them are big things that we prayed for and yet when they happen we just don't think about where it came from.