Snapshot of Great Wine

The idea of turning water into wine has been mentioned in books, movies, on TV and certainly in innumerable conversations. It’s the idea of taking something common and plentiful and turning it into something extraordinary. You probably know that the basis for it is a 1st century Palestinian wedding as told in the Bible. A young Jewish man named Jesus was at a wedding with his mom and his friends. He was minding his own business when his mother approached him with the terrible news: they were running out of wine. Unfortunate, but not a major catastrophe, right?

In ancient Jewish culture it was not just embarrassing to run out of food or drink for the guests, it was shaming. Some historians have suggested that it was an offense worthy of legal action! Can you imagine getting sued by a guest at your wedding because you ran out of chicken? It’s difficult for us today to imagine such a thing because we would just run over to Trader Joe’s Market and get what we needed. Whether by limitations of finance or product, there was no solution to the lack of wine, and that would ruin the wedding.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, was apparently involved in some way in helping facilitate the wedding. She appears to be one of the first to know that the wine is running out. Her response is immediate: “Whatever he says to do, do it.” Wow. I wish I could have seen Jesus’ face at this moment. “What are you talking about, Mother?” Ultimately he agrees and directs the servants to fill up the water jars. What? “We’re not out of water…”. But the servants do as they are told and fill up the 20-30 gallon stone jars that are used for ceremonial washing (Jewish ritual). Then Jesus tells them, “Dip out some water and take it to the master of ceremonies.”  Again, I wish I could have been there to witness the conversation among the servants…

“You take it to him.”

“I’m not taking it…you take it!”

“It’s water! What if he shoots the messenger?”

So…

Continuing on…

[This is one of my very favorite snapshots. I think its beautiful. Thank you, Sherry.]

In any case, a servant takes the cup of ‘water’ to the important master of ceremonies who takes a drink and proclaims it the best wine of the feast. In fact, he says that most people get their guests pretty drunk then bring out the cheap stuff. Not here! The very best wine came later…from a water jug…directed by a man named Jesus.

I am always deeply challenged by this story – this miracle. You see, we don’t know when the water became wine. Was it turned to wine in the jar? In the cup? On the way to the host or as he sipped it? It doesn’t matter. The details don’t change the outcome. Jesus did it and everyone at the wedding benefited…especially the wedding family. How did it happen? Someone chose to trust Jesus and to do what he said (yes, I know they are servants and were obligated, but they still had to do what Jesus directed). “Whatever he says, do it.”

In my long life I have run into countless situations where I did not know what to do. Whether I was gripped with hopelessness, frozen by seeming impossibilities or barreling down a path toward self-destruction, I had no clue and no plan. These words would echo in my mind and heart, ‘whatever he says, do it.’ I’ve learned to turn toward God in those moments whether through the Bible or prayer…usually both…and to find what He says. And then, most of the time, I do it. I may do it afraid, do it with an attitude (shocking, I know), do it with very little faith or hope, but I do it. I turn my attention toward my marriage, not away. I ask for forgiveness rather than initiate a defense. I donate rather than accumulate. I’m not always immediate and often not thrilled, but I commit myself again to “whatever He says, do it.”

I can tell you that I have NEVER been sorry I followed God’s direction. It is never easy but always worth it. I have experienced the miracle of restored marriage, financial provision, healed relationships and so much more. I never had to make a miracle but I did have to trust the One who could. Those times when I knew the right thing to do but chose not to, I have always, only had regret. I have never regretted trusting and following God. Not ever.

If there is an area in your life today where you could use a miracle then I encourage you to turn to the One who knows you, loves you and has the power to make a difference. He is not a magician that you ask for a great trick. But He is in the business of making the ordinary things of life extraordinary. He is the God who created you and desires goodness for you. Its not easy but it is absolutely worth it.

Further reading:

Psalm 18:30   God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 145:17   The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.

Isaiah 55:8-9   “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Hosea 14:10     Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Romans 11:33     Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

Revelation 15:3-4      And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
 and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”

John 2:1-11   Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.” Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.” She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” 6-7 Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim. “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did. 9-10 When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!” 11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.


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