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7 - Jesus at the Wedding

"On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “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.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days."

In the days of the Exodus, the first miracle Moses brought against Egypt was the turning of the Nile into blood. Here, Jesus’ first miracle – John calls it “the first of his signs” – is to turn water into wine. The plague on the Nile was essentially a declaration of war against the gods of Egypt. At a wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus performs a miracle which will go overlooked by most, but which sends a clear message to the powers of this world – the Messiah is here. His work has begun. The former way of things is at an end.

Another significant parallel should be noted, though: when Moses performed the miracle at the Nile, it was only the Israelites who believed his message. In like manner, the disciples are the only ones who are noted as believing in Christ as a result of this miraculous work. The miracle takes place with plenty of people around, but only a select few seem to pay attention to what has taken place. The servants know what has happened. The disciples believe as a result of it. But how many people witnessed a miracle and yet had no idea what they had just seen?

It all begs the question, how often do we overlook the work of God around us? How many times is God doing something in our midst and we simply don’t have eyes to see it? How often are we the people of Isaiah’s prophecy: though seeing, we do not see, and though hearing, we do not hear?

Perhaps most importantly of all: how do we gain a greater awareness of God’s work?

It begins with desire. Too often the reason we fail to witness God’s work is because we are so caught up in ourselves. We have too many ways in which we are inwardly focused and are therefore unable to see God’s intervention.

Pastorally, my least favorite thing to do is a wedding, while one of the things I actually enjoy doing is funerals. It seems strange, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing: at a wedding, the minister’s work is often seen as something of a lingering element of tradition. Few people these days care about what takes place theologically in a marriage ceremony. The bride and groom are focused on creating their magical moment and the families are focused on the parties being united. God is often viewed in the same way as that uncle nobody necessarily wanted to invite, but they all felt obligated – He’s there, and to some extent His presence is appreciated, but it would be just as well if He hadn’t shown up.

Contrast this with a funeral: a time where the pain is palpable and the need for a word from the Lord is present in every heart. Where people join together at a wedding with little or no desire to hear from the Lord, everyone gathered together at a funeral seeks some word of comfort. Every eye is open and hoping to see what the Lord might do. Every ear is ready to receive whatever the Lord may provide. God is present in the wedding just as much as the funeral, and yet many in the former situation have no desire to see His work.

As we walk through our days, we must do so with a desire to see God at work or we will miss His hand around us on a regular basis. It is those who wish to see Him who will be attuned to His presence. It is those who wish to hear Him who will receive His words with hearts of readiness. It is the one who yearns for Him who will find the kingdom of heaven growing within them in greater measure. Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Be open to the work and the will of God and He will be known to you in ways you never would have otherwise anticipated.

I have chosen at times, Lord, to walk in blindness – content with my own way, blissful in my own ignorance. Make me discontent with that which does not lead to You. Make me impatient with that which will not bring me closer to my Savior. Create within me a heart which yearns for the things of Your kingdom and which will never be satisfied without all of You. Do not let me be captivated with the things of this world or content with that which satisfies only temporarily. Let me hunger and thirst for righteousness, for You alone can satisfy such desires. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand. Like Moses, let me see Your glory pass by me in the everyday, and let those who encounter me know that I have seen the Lord.


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