1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have become drunk, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
When you think through all the miracles of Jesus, turning water into wine is probably the miracle you think is least significant. Jesus did so many other, more important, miracles. He fed the masses and healed diseases. He made the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. He cast out demons and raised the dead. Turning water into wine just seems like a nifty party trick especially when you consider that Jesus did this for people who are drunk. (The word that the master of the feast uses in v. 10 is the drunkenness that Scripture warns about [1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:18]). And yet, Scripture says this was the first sign Jesus does to manifest His glory.
Jesus, Mary, and the first few disciples are all at a wedding, and the wine runs out. Either the guests were enjoying the wine quicker than respectable people should, or the bride and groom didn’t plan well enough. Mary informs Jesus, “They have no wine.” Notice that she doesn’t ask for anything in particular. She doesn’t offer a solution. She doesn’t ask Jesus to rebuke the drunks. She gives no stipulations and doesn’t tell Jesus how to act. She simply puts the situation in front of Him, “They have no wine.”
But Jesus doesn’t seem too interested. “Woman, what does this have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
But Mary doesn’t give up hope. She tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” She leaves every option to Jesus believing that Jesus knows and will do what is good and right. And this is a beautiful expression of faith.
Mary has no idea what Jesus will tell them. Jesus might not tell them anything, or He might tell everyone, “Go home. The party is over.” When Jesus does tell the servants to fill the jars, He might be setting up a purification station. He might start dunking their heads in hot and cold water to sober them up like Fezzik does to Inigo in “The Princess Bride.”
Mary doesn’t know what Jesus will do, but she trusts. She believes that Jesus is compassionate. She knows that God loves weddings, celebrations, and joy. Whatever Jesus tells them to do will be good – even if it is uncomfortable and unpleasant.
This is faith. Faith expects good things from God. Faith trusts God to keep His promises, to be a loving heavenly Father. But faith also recognizes that God has options.
When you or a loved one is plagued with sickness and disease you pray for healing. You pray for a clean scan. You pray that the next doctor appointment will show that everything is normal. You pray for a miracle. These are all good things to pray for.
But remember, God has options. Yes, God can heal you instantaneously. But He can also allow the disease to spread. He can allow the sickness to remain. God can even use that disease to be your death or the death of your loved one.
Does that mean that God hasn’t heard your prayer? Does that mean that God is angry with you? Does that mean that God has abandoned or failed you? Does that mean God doesn’t love you? No. Absolutely no!
You look around and see a world filled with injustice. You see people starving. You see nations at war. You see corrupt governments and politicians. So, you pray. You pray that this person would get elected or that policy will be enacted.
But if God doesn’t submit to your solution, if the wicked continue to prosper and the world stays evil, you are tempted to doubt. You start to wonder if God really cares. But does He care? Does God still love justice and hate wickedness? Yes. Absolutely, yes!
Now, should you pray for things you want? Of course. God already knows the desires of your heart. But also, be ready to accept what God gives you because it will be, it absolutely will be, a good beyond comprehension. He is your loving heavenly Father, and He withholds no good thing from His children (Ps. 84:11; Mt. 7:11).
Remember, just before He was arrested, Jesus prayed three times, “Father, let this cup pass from Me” (Mt. 26:39-44). Never in the history of mankind was there a more futile petition prayed to God. Jesus Himself said that it was necessary for Him to suffer and die (Lk. 9:22). Yet, each time He prayed to be delivered from the crucifixion, Jesus also prayed, “Your will be done.”
Let God have His options. He will always do what is good, right, and best. Don’t let Satan fill your head with his lies that God is holding out on you. Remember that God delights in your prayers. And remember that He has answered all the sickness, pain, suffering, and sin of this world. He has answered them by sending His Own, beloved Son to die and rise again. He has glory for you that is unspeakable and unimaginable.
Remember, you will never suffer anything that the Resurrection cannot fix. Look for that. God has promised it. He who has promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23), and He will surely do it. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.