Devotions on John 2:1-11, Wedding at Cana
January 8 – 14, 2018
Monday, January 8, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’” (John 2:3).
“You looked bummed,” Miguel said when he met his neighbor, Dave, at the group of mailboxes.
“I am,” replied Dave. My irrigation system has developed a leak that is a little more involved than I’m comfortable handling myself. Do you know anyone who might be able to help me?”
“I do. My brother-in-law owns a landscaping business. He’s good at what he does and I’m sure that he will be able to fix your problem for a reasonable price. I’ll give him a call, put in a good word for you and have him contact you,” Miguel offered.
“That would be great,” Dave said, with a smile and an appreciative pat on Miguel’s back. “I’ll look forward to his call.”
Most Biblical scholars believe that Mary had a close relationship with the wedding party. She was more than a fellow resident of Cana. Knowing that the host was running low on wine would not have been common knowledge. The writer of the gospel uses this piece of information and Mary’s relationship with Jesus in order to set up this first “sign” of Jesus’ true identity. Mary acts as an intermediary and intercedes for the host. In doing so, Mary models one of the ministries that we have as followers of Jesus.
We have the ability and calling to pray for others. Like Mary, we are aware of the needs of the people around us, and we know Jesus. We can come before the Lord and ask God to intervene on their behalf. We may even be used to meet our neighbor’s need and answer our own prayer.
Thank you, Lord, for the ministry of intercession. Use our prayers as avenues to touch the lives of our neighbors and to demonstrate your love and grace. Amen.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“’Woman, what concern is that to you and to me’” (John 2:4a)?
The man, in tattered and dirty clothing, sat silently at the intersection. He held up a cardboard sign that read, “Homeless, Veteran, Please Help, God Bless.” Jaylene stopped for the light, looked at the man and shook her head. The man’s plight was of little concern to her, as she planned for a major presentation before the board of directors that afternoon. Besides, the man could always apply for a job at the fast-food restaurant, which was advertising for help across the street.
We are uncomfortable with Jesus’ response. It seems too uncaring—too human. Admittedly the supply of wine at a wedding may not be of earth shattering importance. We do want to believe, though, that Jesus is not apathetic in the face of human need. If Jesus didn’t care about providing for wine at a wedding, he might not be too interested in the fact that our cars keep breaking down and need to be replaced or our desires for quick recoveries and easy remedies to our mistakes.
The good news is that Jesus did provide wine (very good wine) for the wedding. In the same manner, Jesus cast out an unclean spirit from the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman whom he previously had compared to a dog (Mark 7:35-30). Ultimately, it is in Jesus’ character to want to become involved in our lives. Because of this, Paul encourages his readers, in his letter to the Philippians to, “Not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Lord, we come to you in prayer, trusting not only in your presence and power but also in your loving concern for every aspect of our lives. Amen.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“My hour has not come” (John 2:4b).
The alarm sounded. Karen donned her trousers, coat, helmet and jumped into the firetruck, as it roared out of the station with lights and sirens going. She had trained hard for months to be a firefighter. Now she was headed to her first real fire; her hour had come. She was confident, yet she still had doubts. She wondered if she would pass this final test. One thing she knew for sure was that her life would be changed forever.
In John’s gospel, Jesus talks about “his hour” several times. The term refers to his eventual torture and execution. All things in Jesus’ life led up to that critical time—that hour. When his mother approached him with her concerns about the wine, Jesus was unsure. He wondered if accomplishing this sign would take him a step closer to his final hour.
That fateful hour has come and gone. Jesus has accomplished what he came to accomplish by his life, death and resurrection. We now live in a new time because of that hour. With the wine that Jesus has provided, we are able to celebrate a new relationship with God and a new reason for living. We lift a glass to God’s love and grace that are so much a part of our lives—because of that hour.
We give you thanks and praise, Lord, for the new age that you have brought into the world and our lives through that “hour.” Amen.
Thursday, January 11, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“Do what he tells you to do” (John 2:5).
Jaime Summer fidgeted as he sat in front of his mother. He had something to tell her and he wasn’t sure how she would react. Jaime’s mother waited patiently for Jaime to speak. “Mom,” Jaime began hesitantly, “I need to tell you something.” He paused gathering up the courage that he needed in order for him to speak the next words. “I’m gay.” Jaime held his breath and waited for the explosion. It never came.
Surrounding him with a loving embrace, Jaime’s mother spoke softly. “I’m glad you finally had the courage to tell me. I’ve suspected for some time that you are gay.” Placing her hands on Jaime’s checks, she lifted his face and looked him in his eyes. “I want you to know that I still love you and I am very proud that you are my son.”
Many of us have discovered that our mothers knew us better than we knew ourselves. That appears to be the case in Mary’s conversation with Jesus. He reacted to her concern in a cold and distant manner. Mary was not put off by Jesus’ response, though. Knowing of Jesus’ love for others, Mary turns to the servants and instructs them to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.
We may not know Jesus as well as Mary did, but we do know Jesus. We have experienced Jesus’ love and grace in our lives. He has given us courage when we have faced overwhelming obstacles and he has comforted us in our losses and failures. The Holy Spirit uses what we have experienced and empowers us to live graciously and boldly, as we seek to serve and share the good news of Jesus.
Lord, thank you that you have revealed yourself to us and have empowered us to live in the light of that revelation. Amen.
Friday, January 12, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“Now standing there were six stone water jars … each holding twenty or thirty gallons” (John 2:6).
Before the age of cell phones, a sermon illustration was shared from several pulpits. A young woman was driving one night along a deserted country road when her car ran out of gas. No houses were in sight, so she wasn’t able to do much except pray, ask the Lord to send help and wait. Several hours passed and the woman began to wonder if the Lord had heard her prayers. Finally, a pair of headlights appeared in her rearview mirror. The driver pulled over and stopped his truck behind her car. When the young woman got out of her car, she discovered that the Lord had answered her prayers abundantly. The truck was a gas tanker.
Jesus met the crisis of the wine shortage in a similar manner. He provided for it abundantly. Twenty, maybe thirty gallons of wine would have been more than enough to finish off the celebration. One hundred and twenty to one hundred and eighty gallons of wine was clear proof that life in God’s kingdom was a life of abundance.
We may, however, look around us and wonder where the abundance is. We may have yielded to the temptation of complaining about what we don’t have rather than give thanks for what we do have. It is true, we may not have all that we crave in material possessions and earthly treasures. Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, though, we have been given a full and complete life (John 10:10). Living in a new relationship with God and experiencing God’s unconditional forgiveness has enabled us to be truly free (John 8:36). We have discovered that in living beyond ourselves—in giving and living to serve—we receive much more than we can ever give (Luke 6:38). With such an abundance as a part of our lives, how can we do anything but offer up prayers of thanksgiving and praise?
Lord, like those stone jars, you have filled us up. Now pour us out that we might provide fine wine to all the guests. Amen.
Saturday, January 13, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).
No one would have faulted Jesus for providing common, even crappy, wine. That was what everyone expected. No one would have noticed or complained. Only a few would have realized that a superior quality of wine was being served. Jesus doesn’t serve the common or the crappy, however; he serves only the best.
As followers of Jesus, we are living lives of abundance. We have enough of God’s love, grace and forgiveness to last a life time. We need never worry about running out when we share the blessings that God has poured into our lives. But, it gets better! There is a future dynamic to this story and to our Christian pilgrimage. The really good wine is yet to be served. As we journey through life with Jesus, we becomes more complete, freer, more thankful and more peaceful—the fruit of the Spirit become more abundant in our lives.
There is also a here and now element to the wine. We celebrate the gift of good wine regularly in our worship. Accepting God’s invitation to come to the table, we receive the cup of wine with the words, “The blood of Christ shed for you.” Acknowledging the gift, we savor it and give thanks.
Thank you, Lord, for empowering us to savor your wine and experience the life for which we were created. Amen.
Sunday, January 14, 2018, Wedding at Cana
“Jesus did this, the first of his signs … and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (John 2:11).
A few verses earlier in John’s gospel (John 1:39) Jesus meets some of John the Baptist’s disciples. The disciples have several questions for Jesus and Jesus’ response is, “Come and see.” The disciples did just that. They followed Jesus and heard Jesus teach. Now, they had accompanied Jesus to the wedding in Cana. They had watched the interaction between Jesus and his mother. The disciples heard Jesus instruct the servants to fill the stone jars and watched as the head steward drew the wine from them. The disciples heard, saw and believed.
Providing wine for the wedding at Cana is the first of several signs in the gospel of John. Each one of the signs is intended to inspire belief—a life lived in trust in the God incarnate. The last and greatest sign was Jesus’ resurrection.
As followers of Jesus we have responded to Jesus’ invitation to “Come and See.” We have beheld the empty tomb and we have read the witness of the disciples that Jesus appeared to them on the evening of that first Easter and several times after that. We have experienced the comfort given to us in the midst of our loss, the courage to face obstacles, a sure and certain hope and the peace that passes understanding. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we have been able to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgiveable. We have followed, seen and believed. Now, we bear witness to its truth.
Thank you, Lord, for inviting us along on the journey with you, so that we could come and see, believe and serve. Amen.