So far, we have looked into the possible reasoning behind the first revelation of Jesus’ glory at a wedding. As well as, the imagery of this miracle taking place on the “third day”. We have not even touched the actual miracle yet.
Let me give you some further context in regards to the setting of this miracle.
It was custom for weddings to take place on the third day, as the third day in the Jewish calendar is Tuesday which was and is still known as the day of double blessing. The third day is the only day in creation in which God declared twice…”it is good”…thus the double blessing.
Also, generally speaking, the wedding festival or celebration would last for seven days. It was often symbolic of status. The more opulent the wedding and festival the more esteemed the person hosting the festival. This proposes a major problem, in that, here in this account they are out of wine the first day of the festival. This would be a total embarrassment to the host. Thus, perhaps the reason Jesus’ mother was insistent in getting Him involved in dealing with the issue.
She, Jesus’ mother, sets the stage for this miracle by looking to the nameless servants standing by and saying;
“do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5)
It begs the question…
3. Are we willing to do whatever He tells us?
Often times we need some sort of miracle in our lives, our families, or our finances. Our willingness to obey “whatever He tells us” will determine the outcome. Aren’t you glad the servants obeyed?
Can you imagine being one of the servants? You know the situation…the host is completely out of wine! This lady, not your master, tells you to “do whatever He (her son) tells you”…if you are like me you would probably look for another option. These servants moved to the next moment…they listened to what He said…“fill the jars with water”.
Now, these 6 jars were not something you could just carry over and fill. Each one held between 20-30 gallons of water. Imagine the process just to fill the jars with water. There were 6 of them…that’s potentially 120-180 gallons of water that needed to be transported to the jars. I am sure, at this point, I would bail out. This man is crazy! What does filling these jars have anything to do with our wine shortage?
Sound familiar? Too often, we ask God to help us, and He is more than willing to help, but we refuse to listen to His simple and perhaps laborious instructions. We secretly tell ourselves; “It’s too much work”…”it doesn’t make sense”…”it has nothing to do with my situation”…and we disqualify ourselves from the blessing that could and should follow.
Radical worship is radical obedience. The scripture tells us that;
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Sam. 15:22)
What is your general response to the crazy things God asks you to do?
I am excited to continue on in this series. I want to encourage you to go deeper…don’t just rely on my thoughts or meditations…take some time to dig in to what the Lord wants to speak to you! Hopefully you have had a chance to read part 1 & 2…if not, please take a few moments to do so…it will give this post more context.
Now that we see the possible reasoning on why Christ’s first revelation of His glory was at a wedding…let’s now begin to look at the details of the environment and the miracle.
The text begins with an interesting and perhaps often overlooked detail, it reads;
“On the third day there was a wedding celebration…”
Did you catch it? The celebration was on the “third day”!
Which brings me to my second thought:
2. Why the “third day”?
If you are like me you believe that every word of the Bible is significant. Everything that God is He reveals to us through His word. Numbers are significant. I am not a numerologist, per se, but I do believe in the significance of numbers in the Bible.
So, “why the third day”? Is it because Christ was prophetically speaking of His personal affinity to a rock band from Georgia that would rise to christian fame? Possibly…but I don’t think so.
As believers, we understand that the “third day” has great significance to our faith. I believe that this detail of the wedding at Cana is speaking naturally and prophetically of what was to come.
The Celebration came on the third day…so did the Resurrection!
The Resurrection is what sets our relationship with Christ apart from any other “religion”. Here, at the first revelation of Christ’s glory, there is the foreshadowing of the celebration that would come from the Resurrection of the Savior! The wedding is the first revelation of Christ’s glory but it is foretelling of the greatest revelation of Christ’s glory thus far…the Resurrection!
We are a part of this continued celebration since Christ has come out of the grave. We received new life because He is the Resurrection and the Life! If your walk with Christ is boring or depressing, you need to get a revelation of the life we have in Him! This new life is a celebration…much like this celebration that Jesus went to…on the third day…in Cana!
What does the resurrection mean to you?
Do you live daily as if the resurrection is the beginning of this great celebration?
These next few blogs on the Wedding at Cana are simply a glimpse into my thoughts as I read and study the Living Word of God. I am not trying to draw some strong theological position…I am simply thinking, out loud, on the things that are written.
Here’s my first thought:
1. Why a Wedding?
I found it interesting that the first miracle of Christ…the first revelation of His glory…would be at a wedding. Most of us have been to weddings…if you are like me, you are looking forward to a short and sweet ceremony followed by a reception with good food. This wedding was no exception.
The only difference here is that usually the bride and groom are the center of attention and perhaps the overly zealous relative…but certainly not the Jewish carpenter from Nazareth. And yet, through the prompting of His mother…Jesus takes center stage…and reveals His glory.
As I pondered this question of, “why a wedding”, it occurred to me that there was no more fitting place for Christ to reveal His glory. The reality is, that is what Christ came for. He came to redeem humanity…to make for Himself a Bride…to purchase her with His own blood.
A wedding is the most accurate imagery of our relationship with Christ. Two becoming ONE. It is a declaration of a new way of living…a new covenant…a new name…a new identity. That is why Christ came…to establish a new way of living…a new covenant…a new name for us…a new identity found in Him.
We are the Bride of Christ! Although, that specific terminology is not used in scripture it is surely implied. The imagery is so rich and descriptive. The Apostle Paul used this imagery as he discussed the role of love and marriage with the Ephesian church;
“22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph. 5:22-33)
Too often, when we read this scripture, we are only reading it through an earthly marriage lens. But Paul is clear that he is referring to Christ (husband) and His church (Wife). With that in mind, take some time to reflect on your relationship with Christ today.
Does it look more like acquaintances, friends, or spouses?
Is it a relationship of Oneness?
I am intrigued by the way that the Lord chooses to reveal Himself – His nature, His character, His intent – to us. I find the accounts of the Bible, both Old & New Testament, to be filled with beautiful imagery of what is and what is to come.
Recently, as I was doing my daily devotions, I became stuck on the Text of The Wedding at Cana.
Have you ever been “stuck” on a particular text? I really enjoy these “stuck” moments. It seems that all too often we rush over the text in order to fulfill our daily quota of scripture reading…perhaps never really breaking the seal of its purpose…never fully understanding the depth of the occasion.
I’d like to take the next few posts to discuss some reflections from the Wedding of Cana. I hope you will join me.
For this post, lets read the text together and ask the Holy Spirit to begin to reveal to us the fullness of what is written.
The Wedding at Cana
1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Tomorrow we will begin to dive into this text. Read it again…meditate on it…let the Holy Spirit begin to speak to you about it!
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds onto life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”
-Jesus (John 12:24-25 The Message)
If we get a revelation of this final moment…we will begin to live on a new level here on earth. The conclusion…
The Glory Place
The second life. Adam lost the first life in the garden—a life that was meant to be eternal. Christ overcame sin and death, conquering the grave and establishing a new life in Him – life eternal.
Our Lord did not stay in the grave; He was resurrected and took His seat at the right hand of the Father in the heavens. This is the place of the champion life, the life of the overcomer. This is the place we need to reach, the place of absolute victory.
Paul prays an amazing prayer in Ephesians that describes this victory. He states,
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:17-21 NKJV).
The story does not stop there; if we are in Christ, then the apostle continues further in the letter to the Ephesians to say,
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV).
We are to be seated in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus – the seat of victory. The road of redemption is completed when we enter into the fullness of this new life.
“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4b NKJV).
Food for thought: if we don’t take our seat how do we overcome? We must live the resurrected life in Christ Jesus.
This paradox of promotion is the essence of His kingdom. Let me leave you with this statement made by Jesus,
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35 NKJV).