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One of the tendencies we have, is to take a Bible passage and sort of appropriate it for our own ends, without considering why it was written in the first place.
Out of our 4 passages today, Jeremiah 52-Lamentations 2; Psalm 129; 1 John 2:7-17 and John 1:43-2:12 – none is more subject to that use than is the account of Jesus at the wedding in Cana. It’s almost universally used at weddings. And usually in the context of showing how God approves of and blesses them.
Now it is true that marriage is a gift from God. He instituted it. That part of His plan for human flourishing is located in the sanctity of monogamous marriage between one man and one woman. It’s indisputable Biblically. But is that what this passage is really all about?
I’m Reid Ferguson and we’ll dive into that a bit today on Through the Word in 2020.
If we are careful readers, often, texts like this one, provide their own rationale for being written. In this case, it’s located in vs. 11. Turning the water into wine was “the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.”
Don’t miss that last part. What what He doing in this event? Manifesting, making known His glory. The question is how? And at least 4 ways seem to come to the surface.
First, in the miracle of the wine itself, He made Himself known as all powerful. No such thing had ever been done before, or since. Gallons of simple drinking water were instantaneously and without fanfare turned into wine. Who could do such a thing? None but the Almighty God.
Second, was His willingness to be entreated, even when it seemed out of place. He was approachable. A demonstration of the appellation given to Him from Isaiah 7 – Immanuel, God WITH us. Not God afar, way off in Heaven. God among us. God, approachable in Jesus Christ. What a glorious revelation. And, it’s a graphic demonstration of James’ teaching that often, the case is, we have not, because we ask not. He is far more willing to be entreated, than we are to even ask.
Third, note the glory of His humility. He had complete disregard for who got the credit. The “master of the feast” would be a trusted friend, whose job it was to arrange everything for the party. He took the credit. And Jesus didn’t bat an eye. He is meek and lowly. Humble. Do not miss the glory of His humbleness.
And lastly, only the servants knew what had really happened. To them, He was revealed. He delights to make Himself known to nobodies. The prideful and the arrogant miss it when God manifests Himself. Because they are too busy looking at themselves, and how others regard them. But to those who know their poverty of soul and station – who have no eye on self – who know they are in need, He makes Himself known as the One who can and will provide the deepest need of their souls. And will meet them in the cares of everyday life as well.
What a glorious Savior.
All powerful. Approachable. Humble and graciously condescending to lowliest of men.
This first of His signs was stunning indeed. And almost all of them – missed it.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.