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Monthly Archives: September 2013

     Jesus did not begin His ministry with a miracle before the religious leaders of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.  instead, He used His powers to add to the joy of a wedding feast in a small Galilean village.  By doing this, He showed His interest in people and in their happiness.

     When He left the Jordan River, Jesus went to Cana, a small town near Nazareth where relatives of Joseph and Mary were planning a wedding. Jesus and His disciples were invited.  At the wedding, Jesus met His mother, whom He had not seen in some time.  She had heard about His baptism.  The story of the Voice from heaven had spread to Nazareth.  It brought back many memories that had long been hidden in Mary’s heart.

     Like all of the people of Israel, Mary was deeply moved by the words of John the Baptist.  She remembered the prophecies given when he was born to her cousin.  Now his connection to Jesus reawakened her hopes.  From the day the angel appeared in her home, Mary had treasured every sign that her Son was the Messiah.  His sweet, unselfish attitude in life reassured her, but she also had doubts and disappointments.  She longed for the day when His identity would be revealed.

     Only Joseph shared her experience of the mystery of Jesus’ birth.  After he died, she had no one with whom she could share her hopes and fears.  The two months since Jesus had left home had left her more lonely than ever before.  She missed Him very much.

     When they met at the marriage celebration, she found Jesus to be the same gentle Son she had raised.  But something was different.  In His eyes, she saw traces of pain from His battle with Satan and a new look of dignity and power showed on His face.

     The young men whose eyes followed Jesus with looks with reverence called Him Master.  They told Mary what they saw and heard at the baptism and elsewhere.  They believed He was the Messiah.  Their words reassured Mary that her long-hidden hopes were not dreams.  And she would have been more than human if her joy was not mingled with a mother’s fond pride.

     There was a sense of excitement as the guests gathered.  In small clusters they whispered, gestured, and stared at the source of so many rumors ~ Jesus.  Mary saw them and wished that Jesus would prove to them that He really was the Messiah.  She hoped that He would find a reason to work a miracle.

     it was the custom in those days for marriage celebrations to last several.  But before this feast ended, the hosts ran out of wine.  They were mortified, afraid that the guests would see this as an insult or an attempt to get them to leave.

     As a relative, Mary had helped with the arrangements for the feast.  She found Jesus and said, “They are out of wine,” suggesting that He could supply the drink.

     Jesus answered, “Woman, what do i have to do with this?  My time has not yet come.”

     This answer may seem rude to us, but it was a respectful answer in that culture.  Jesus addressed His mother in the same tender way from the cross when He left her in the care of His disciple John.  Both times, He spoke the words with love.

     As He had after His boyhood visit to the temple, Jesus was reminding His mother of His mission.  There was a danger that Mary would feel that being Jesus’ mother gave her a special claim on His time and on the focus of His mission.  Jesus had been her loving and obedient Son for thirty years, and His love for her hadn’t changed.  But now He was doing His Father’s business.  No earthly ties could keep Him from His mission or alter His actions.  He had to be free to do the will of God.  In the same way, we should not allow earthly attractions or relationships to turn us from the path on which God is leading us.

     Like all other sinful humans, Mary’s only hope for salvation was through Jesus, the Lamb of God.  Her relationship with Him did not give her special advantages or holiness.  By saying, “My time has not yet come,” Jesus answered Mary’s unspoken thoughts.  She hoped He would reveal Himself as the Messiah and take the throne of Israel.

     But every act of Jesus’ life on earth was happening according to a plan that was in place before creation.  As He walked among humans, He was guided step-by-step by His father’s will.  He never hesitated to act when the time was right.  And now ~ with perfect patience ~ He waited for the right moment.

Mary’s faith is rewarded ~

     Although Mary didn’t understand Jesus’ mission, she trusted Him completely.  To honor her trust and to strengthen the faith of His disciples, Jesus performed His first miracle.

     The disciples needed the faith these early miracles would bring them.  They believed the prophecies pointed to Jesus as the Messiah.  They repeated Jesus’ wonderful words to everyone and added their own confidence in His mission.  But to their amazement and bitter disappointment, the priests and rabbis showed suspicion and prejudice toward Jesus.

     Back at the wedding, Mary was not discouraged by Jesus’ words.  She told those serving the tables, “Do whatever He tells you.”

     Six large stone water jars stood by the door.  Jesus told the servants to fill them with water.  As soon as this was done, He said, “Pour it and serve it to the host of the feast.”

     To this point, neither the host nor the guests were aware that the wine had run out.  When he tasted from his newly filled cup, the host found that the taste was better than what he had drunk earlier.  In fact, it was better than any wine he had ever tasted.

     He turned to the groom and said, “Usually a person puts out the good wine at the beginning of a feast and then when much has been drunk, brings out the inferior wine.  But you kept the best for last!”

     The things of the world may seem beautiful and fascinating yet in the end, they don’t satisfy the heart.  The “wine” turns bitter and the happiness fades to a dull ache.  What begins as songs and laughter ends up sadness and boredom.  The things Jesus gives always bring peace and joy to our hearts.  If we follow His way, the rich gifts of today are promises of a richer, more joy-filled tomorrow.

     The miracle was also a symbol of baptism and Jesus’ death.  The jars were filled with water by human hands, but Jesus’ words gave that action new meaning.  The same is true of the religious symbols pointing to Christ’s death.  Humans can offer the right words and actions, but it is only the power of Jesus that gives them meaning to change lives.

     Jesus did not turn the water into an alcoholic beverage.  The Scriptures warn against the dangers of allowing wine or “strong drink” to control our actions.

 

 

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