You may know the first miracle Jesus performs publicly is at a wedding when he turns water into wine. What’s less talked about is why it matters today.
The passage is John 2:1-12, and to really understand what it has to say, it’s helpful to first take an inventory on your own current circumstances:
- Where in your life, right now, do you feel most overwhelmed?
- Where do you sense the gas tank of your ability to control things has emptied?
- Where has your planning failed and left you and people you care about hanging out to dry?
This is where we find ourselves in the passage, when there is still much party to be had, we are the unprepared hosts – those who have failed in our projections, making ourselves look foolish and leaving our guests out to dry.
Although having the ability to upset the laws of the material universe by simply speaking more wine into existence, he instead directs our attention to these big jars used for religious purification. This is where he transforms water into wine because this is what he wants to transform in us.
Jesus is targeting our purification mechanisms – those places where we try to maintain control of ourselves and others, where we try to make ourselves ok in the eyes of others and ultimately God, and he is saying in neon red letters “no more.” It is no longer about you being master and commander of your life. Instead, it is all about you being invited to the wedding and being served the best wine you’ve ever tasted.
In other words, your life is about enjoying Jesus, and he is in the business of bringing the best thing out of the worst circumstances. That is the message of the cross in one sentence. The worst thing that ever happened on the planet turned out to be the doorway to life with God forever.
So what parts of life feel completely outside of your control right now? Perhaps these things in particular are themselves wedding invitations — another chance to lift our empty glasses and look to the one brings the bread and the better wine.