When you go to a wedding, you don’t expect to run out of wine, because those numbers have been calculated to make sure that doesn’t happen. But, in the second chapter of John, that’s exactly what occurred. Back then there was no church yet. The lines weren’t yet drawn between Christians and non-Christians. Jesus got invited to everything! He was a popular guy and people loved having him around. I imagine he was the life of the party.
At this particular wedding, Jesus, his mother, Mary, and the disciples had all been invited. It may seem odd that this was to be Jesus’ first miracle. But where else to be the perfect time to unveil the King of kings? These weren’t necessarily believers at this wedding, but the miracle would make an impact on those who realized what had happened.
Is this where we as Christians go wrong? We invited people to our church because we want them to be saved, but they may not feel comfortable in our “world”. What if we flipped things around and earn the trust and the right to be invited into their world and their parties, and their lives. Kind of a novel idea, but one that has stayed with me after Jon, our pastor, made this point during this sermon.
Running out of wine was a no-no. When Mary suggested that Jesus could rectify the situation he argued that his time had not yet come. Mary might have been a bit pushy here, but what mother doesn’t try to show off what their children can do? So, instead of telling the servants what to do, she instructs them to do what Jesus tells them.
Jesus could have done this miracle all by himself, but by having others get the water, he drew them into the miracle. By themselves, they could do nothing. But with Jesus, water was turned into wine. The servants obeyed, filling the jars to the brim with water.
Jesus tells the servants to draw out of the jar and take a drink to the master of the banquet to taste. He draws the groom aside and comments on saving the best wine for last. Most people serve the best wine first and serve cheap wine later when people won’t notice the difference. The wedding crashers and late arrivals would certainly have gotten the best of the wine.
It the same with with all who come to accept Jesus as their Savior. Grace, forgiveness is the same no matter when we accept the gift. It matters not our station in life, only that we trust and believe in Christ.
We all have hope in the story of Christ.
Do what Jesus tells us.
Hope changes the way we live.
We must earn trust and respect to be invited into the lives of those around us. That’s how we reach others and bring them into the Kingdom.
This was one of those sermons that resonated with me. Maybe because I looked at Jesus’ first miracle in a new way. I never thought about the fact that the church hadn’t formed yet or that inviting people into our churches may not be the best way to show them the love of Christ. Seeing them in their own comfort zone without feeling judgment may just be what people need to open their eyes to the hope they can find in Jesus.