06 January 2010

Jesus Reveals His Glory to Disciples and Servants

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

I enjoy weddings. I enjoy seeing a groom waiting expectantly for the show to get underway. I enjoy standing up with everyone else as the triumphal music starts and announces that the bride is in the room. I enjoy seeing two people full of hope and promise pledging publicly to devote the rest of their lives to each other.

I enjoy celebrating together with people I barely know. Yes, we are hardly best friends but we all share a common bond that has brought us together - the bride and the groom. We smile, laugh, share food together, talk about how we know the newlyweds and maybe reminisce about other weddings and marriages, maybe even our own. It's difficult not to have a good time at a wedding.

Maybe that's why there is some wedding talk around Jesus in the Bible. Jesus tells a couple of stories describing the age to come as a wedding feast. He refers to himself on some occasions as "the bridegroom". In Revelation, New Jerusalem is described as a bride. The church is described as the bride of Christ.

And here, we see the first of the seven signs John records in his written account of Jesus: Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding. John says that these signs "revealed his glory". This is at the request of his mother. Here are my notes and observations as I try to learn more about my teacher:
  • Mary is confident in her son’s amazing ability.
  • I think it is endearing that even though Jesus appears reluctant and mildly chastises his mother, he does this favour anyway.
  • Is there any significance in Jesus using jars used in a ceremony meant to make unclean wedding guests clean so they can participate in the wedding celebration?
  • The wine that Jesus makes is high quality. 
  • God and His Son throughout the Bible want us to enjoy life. Instead of the bridegroom being disgraced because he threw a bad party, he grew in stature because he took care of his guests. Did the bridegroom deserve the credit? Eh, not so much. The only thing he did was invite the right people to his party. And I doubt that he thought inviting Mary and her son Jesus would reap such benefits.
  • I think it's very cool that it's only the servants and disciples who know what truly happened. I wonder what was going through the servants minds as they followed Jesus' instructions? They may have been too busy to care. Servants are used to following orders no matter how crazy they may seem. They had to be amazed at the master of the banquet's reaction. I wonder how they felt?

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