Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Obedient Son

At the wedding at Cana, when Mary mentions to Jesus that "they have no wine", He responds to her insinuation that He do something about it with a seemingly insolent question.

Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

As only a mother can, Mary knew her son. She knew every innuendo of voice and body language. She knew that He was not reprimanding her. Jesus loved and honored His earthly mother as no other Son before or since. She had been the recipient of her child's unconditional love for 30 years.

As a child, He had answered her concerned questions with "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2: 49)

In the ensuing years, the Bible tells us that "He was subject to His parents and that He increased in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man."

Although He was God in the flesh, He was obedient to His earthly parents.

As an adult, He was once again gently reminding His mother of His purpose.

Here He is at the very beginning of His public ministry and she was asking Him for something that only He could give. No one else could provide wine for the wedding feast. At least, no one else could provide it without going to some considerable trouble and expense to obtain it. The wine was needed now. Not later.

The 6 water pots were dry and empty. These were vessels that were used in purification of the Jews. They were set aside to be used only for a special ritual and purpose. (Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. John 2: 6)

When He tells the servants to fill the water pots, they obediently do so. In fact , they fill them to the brim... almost overflowing. When it was poured into the cups, the water had turned to wine. The best wine. Wine meant to be shared with all the guests. They all drank of it.

The wedding guests had been in need.... looking for something more than what they had.

Now the wedding feast was saved... the celebration could continue!

Like these wedding guests, in the middle of our lives ... sometimes even in the middle of a celebration, we run dry. Nothing and no one satisfies our longing. When our hearts and lives are shattered and empty, we reach a place where we finally say..."there has got to be something more." Jesus offers "have a drink.... fill yourself .. quench your thirst." When we accept His offer we are transformed by His grace and it pours out on us. Jesus fills our emptiness and parched souls with His living water and then asks us to pour it out into our families, friends, co workers, etc...

When He said to Mary, "My hour has not yet come", was Jesus thinking of the future and of the bitter cup He would drink? Did He look ahead and see Himself on the cross?

He knew that this miracle at the wedding was the first of many miracles. The first miracle on the road leading up to His ultimate sacrifice when His hour would come and He would be tortured and slain like a murderer or a thief.

The first step in the sanctification of His creation began with the richest of wine miraculously filling and then being poured out of sanctified vessels.

Jesus knew that once He took this step, there was no turning back.

When the wine was drawn out of the water pots, did He think of the blood that would run from His head and hands and feet? Did Jesus, the only pure and sinless vessel, wince at the thought of the cross? Had he already begun to feel the pain and shame of being filled and covered and smeared with the filth of all our sin? Was He preparing Himself for the day when His heart would literally burst with love for us as He took on our sin.

Did He think about the night when another cup of wine would be poured and He would share the Passover with His disciples saying "Do this... in remembrance of Me." " And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament [covenant], which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God (Mar 14:22-25)."

Or later on, during the night that He was praying in the garden before His arrest, did His thoughts go back to this wedding day and the miracle of the wine when He prayed "Abba, Father, all things [are] possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

While He sweat drops of blood praying for His Father's will to be done, did He remember His obedience to Mary's request on that long ago wedding day when the wine flowed freely?

Maybe He thought past the cross to a future wedding day when He would return as the Bridegroom and take His bride home. Maybe he smiled and laughed at the thought of that coming celebration!

Wherever His thoughts wandered that day, this was His first recorded miracle. It was indicative of what He came to do. It was a picture of His entire ministry. An act of obedience. He was and is the vessel of purification. He filled Himself with all our sin.. all our base ugliness... and transformed it into righteousness like a fine wine... a sweet fragrance. He filled our empty lives and spirits with His Living Water and His Holy Spirit to save us from sin and to teach us how to pour Him out to others. Now that is a miracle!

"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. John 2: 11"

Jesus begins His ministry with an act of obedience to His mother. It is finished with His ultimate act of obedience to His Father. He became sin who knew no sin. He did it all because He loves us.

Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for sending Your Son. Thank You for Your love. Please fill us as only You can and use us to to reach others for Your glory. In Jesus' precious and glorious Name. Amen.

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