Water into Wine at a Wedding: Reflections on John 2:1-11

Posted: 01/17/2011 in John's Gospel

Know God (KG).  Live Biblically (LB).  Bless Others (BO).

John 2:1-11.

KG/LB: Jesus is “present yet disengaged” from a problem that would result in embarrassment (or worse).  There are times in which I have faced potential embarrassment (or worse) and Jesus indeed was “present yet disengaged” (seemingly).  Mary’s intercession did not immediately result in the answer she desired.  Jesus told Mary that their problem wasn’t His problem.

Rather than taking offense (like an American would),  Mary’s response of faith fascinates me: “Whatever He tells you, do it.”  She expects positive action from Jesus (even after His initial rejection), while realizing it’s His prerogative to help or to remain disengaged from the problem.  Jesus may tell the wait staff to do something, or He may choose to remain silent.  But if He says something – just do it.   Just do it.  I could be wrong, but it often seems like that’s when He acts the most profoundly.

In 20 years of following Jesus, it just seems to me like three factors are often involved when divine intervention takes place:  (1) a humble acknowledgement of God’s prerogative to intervene (or not), (2) intercession, and (3) doing whatever He tells you to do – especially when it isn’t convenient or doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (e.g., see Naaman the Syrian).  When I forget or neglect one of these factors, my faith can get easily frustrated.  The humble seem to get more dramatic help from God.  Intercessors seem to get more dramatic help from God.  And the “recklessly obedient” seem to get way more dramatic help from God.

Sometimes God doesn’t seem to make sense.  I am a firm believer in persuasion, reason, and apologetic arguments.  I agree with Ravi Zacharias that “what I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind.”  However, in John 2, and in other Scriptural and modern examples, there are times when our obedient action is expected first.  Stronger faith, greater understanding, and the desired divine intervention seem to come after.  “Whatever He tells you, do it.

BO: I confess that I’m bothered a little by Christ’s first miracle.  Aside from the prospect of Jesus possibly whipping up 150 gallons of hooch, it just seems like there would have been more pressing needs for which to perform a miracle.  I realize that the ancient cultural norms were more severe than I realize, but still – using a miracle to be a caterer?  Jesus helped some people save face at what was a very special time.  He even let another take credit for the successful outcome.  Christ’s example here demonstrates to me that it’s not always a bad thing to help cover for others’ embarrassing mistakes, and that sometimes it’s OK for someone else to look good by getting credit for my work or idea.

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