Weddings are very important and very meaningful occasions. It’s pretty forefront in the minds of the ladies of the Peercy Posse right now as we prepare for my only daughter’s upcoming nuptials.
It’s always been an interesting detail to me that Jesus’ first recorded miracle in the book of John took place at a wedding. It is significant in my mind.
[Take a moment and read John 2.1-12.]
The first statement about the festivities here is that there was a supply issue. They ran out of wine. That’s a problem.
I know some folks that have argued that this was not wine in the same sense that we use the term today, that it was not alcoholic, that it was juice, that it was not at all an endorsement of partaking of alcohol. We often do a lot of interpretive gymnastics when the Bible suggest to us a reality that doesn’t fit with our conviction. It was wine. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise and it’s foolish to think Jesus did not partake. Let’s be clear, folks: wine is not the problem, excess is. But that’s a post for another day…
Jesus’ mother brought to his attention the matter of shortage. While Jesus seems to, in a sense, protest his mother’s insinuation that he could rectify the situation, he gave instruction nonetheless.
The servants filled the water jars. These were large containers that were used for various ritual practices and were thus kept carefully clean. Jesus never seems to have even touched any of the jars. He just told them to draw some and take it to the toastmaster.
The toastmaster was astounded at the breaking with custom. The norm was to serve the best wine at the beginning and, when folks were a little more relaxed and, say, less discerning, bring the poorer quality. This was the very best!
The text tells us that, as Jesus did this sign, he “manifested his glory.” He was showing a glimpse of who He was. And in doing so, “his disciples believed in him.”
In the mess of lack, Jesus brought abundance.
It was an abundance of quantity and an abundance of quality. It was a generous provision.
We can draw a number of observations here. It could well be said that Jesus loves a party. He certainly saved this one. It could be said that Jesus loved good things. He made the water into the best wine. It could even be said that Jesus approved the celebration of a wedding as he allowed this one to continue in a very significant way. But the one thing we have to recognize is that Jesus stepped into the mess of lack and brought abundance.
There’s something else, though, that I want us to consider.
Jesus came to the wedding. It was a great celebration—no doubt full of dancing and celebrating and drinking. It was in danger of winding down all too soon.
Jesus, the bringer of new life, was, on this occasion, the new life of the party. He enabled the celebration to continue.
So much of the imagery of Scripture regarding weddings points us to a greater, deeper, spiritual reality that every believer will one day witness with our eyes. It points to the marriage supper of the Lamb where Jesus, the Son of God, the glorious bridegroom, will receive to himself his bride, the Church. And that party will go on beyond the bounds of time.
Jesus came into our lack to bring his abundance. He was the new life of the party. If he loved a good party then, what kind of incredible celebration are we in for when we get to his own?