Fine Wines

welcome-drink“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:10 ESV

THE FIRST OF HIS MIRACLES

At Cana of Galilea, Jesus turned the water into wine. A very unusual way to begin a ministry.

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman,a why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:1-4 NIV)

In the ripeness of time, Jesus would reveal Himself to Israel. Then people would see His miracles and be forced to make their choice to follow Him or reject Him. This was therefore a premature start; yet the fact that He chose to work here reveals much about His character.

Jesus rarely turned people down. But… He apparently rejected the prayer of Zebedee’s wife for her sons; that they be given special places when He came to His throne, but He was not offended by her effrontery in making this request. Rather He pointed out that she did not understand the sacrifice her sons would be called to make to achieve this ambition. He also made it clear that this particular honour was not His to bestow. James and John were later ‘reputed to be among the pillars of the church’ – a partial answer to her prayer.

He also refused to arbitrate in a family dispute between two brothers over their inheritance. He chose to work only within the sphere and authority circumscribed for Him by His Father, both in heaven and on earth; thus setting an example for us to follow.

His kindness was overflowing. We do not however see a single instance where Jesus turned someone down who sought His help with a desperate need. In providing relief He rarely made distinctions between the degree of suffering. The embarrassment of the groom’s family at not being able to provide adequately for their guests cannot be compared to the agony of the widow of Nain who had lost an only son. To many of us the latter was more deserving of His help. For the widow’s tragedy meant the death of hope and future – a tunnel without light at the end. Jesus was happy to help in both situations.

Indeed if we had no confidence that Jesus would step in at some point in our circumstances, all our hope for the future would vanish. But during His earthly life He showed us His nature, as the One who always comes in with healing, light and life; and also with bread and wine.

His generosity was beyond sufficiency. The feast was in its final stages. Surely one or perhaps two of those massive jars, that He asked the men to fill, would have been enough to tide them through this crisis. Yet a single jar could not contain the generosity of Jesus, He had to give them many times what they required. So the thoughtfulness and generosity of the family in inviting not just Jesus, His mother and the twelve disciples was repaid, not grudgingly but to an overflowing measure.

Father, today we thank You for Your overflowing generosity. You always step in when we need You most, and You are always on time, never too early and never late. Help us to keep trusting You even when we feel the delay is more than we can bear. Thank You for all the lessons You have taught us along the way. In Jesus’ name.

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