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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1/19/11- John 2:6-11 An Abundance for Us

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

("Wedding at Cana" Karl Bloch 1870s)

Thoughts: This was the first of the signs- may mean that it was the first in a series, or even one of the primary miracles of Jesus.  This is a wonderful miracle for us for several reasons.  1) Jesus blesses a wedding- making a plain or even disgraceful occasion full of joy; 2) Jesus shows his control over elements- showing his divine power and witnessed by many at the wedding feast; 3) Jesus is not just content with the plain necessities of life- but adds joy.   My puritan-pietistic side has made me wonder why Jesus bothered with this miracle.  I think as a father of the bride (twice in three years) I might have said- "OK, if you blow the wine budget, then you'll just all have to drink good old H2O."  Sure, the people could survive on water.  But Jesus wants us to do more than just survive.  He came to give us the abundant life.  Water is okay at a wedding, but wine is more fitting.  Without Jesus life maybe okay, but it is not what it is meant to be.

Prayer: Thank you for the joy you add to life, Lord.  Transform my life beyond what I think is possible.

John Calvin Abridged:  The water pots were very large [30 gallons] so Christ supplied them with an abundance of good wine.  If there were only one or two pots someone may have said they were brought in from somewhere else.  The servants may have thought it was absurd to fill the pots with water as they already had enough.  But this is how God works with us so that his power shows itself through an unexpected result.  It is a wonder that Christ who teaches us sobriety provides a large abundance of the very best wine.  It is our own fault if His kindness makes us think of over-indulging in luxury.  But it is a trial of our own sobriety if we are able to be moderate and sparing in the midst of abundance.

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