One of my favorite seasons was planning weddings with my daughters. Watching them choose their wedding gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses, flowers, and venues were so much fun! I’ll never forget our oldest daughter’s wedding because Steve officiated and felt sicker and sicker as the reception progressed. The next day we discovered he had appendicitis and he had surgery. It’s a miracle that he made it through the wedding and that his appendix did not erupt!
Jesus’s first miracle of His public ministry was performed at a wedding. John records the story for us in John 2. The wedding took place on a Tuesday. The Hebrew week began on Sunday and the third day was often chosen for weddings because on the third day of creation, God said, “It is good” twice (Genesis 1:10,12). So according to Jewish tradition, the third day was twice blessed. Tuesdays also gave guests time to arrive at the wedding, which often lasted between 3-7 days of feasting and celebrating. The third day is also a picture of the resurrection power of Christ.
Jesus, his mom, and all his disciples were invited to this wedding that took place in Cana. Whoever was getting married was quite popular and as the celebration continued, the bride and groom ran out of wine. Mary, Jesus’s mother, approaches Him and tells Him that the wine has run out. She knows full well the anointing power her son possesses. She then turns to the servants and instructs, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Near Jesus were six large stone water jars, which were used for ceremonial washing. The number six in the Bible often represents man because man was created on the sixth day. These stone jars represent man’s human effort to cleanse himself and make himself right before God. Jesus turned the water into wine and everyone was thrilled!
This story holds so much for us as believers!
What is there for us to learn from this story?
Celebrate your cleansing. Even though some of us have been walking with Jesus for many years, it can become easy to slip back into thinking, “I must make myself righteous.” This story holds for us such a beautiful picture, that no matter how hard we strive to be good enough, it is Christ’s blood that has cleansed us. Once for all. Every sin you ever committed – past, present or future – was cleansed. So, don’t let guilt take root in your life. If you sin, ask forgiveness so that you don’t back up from God – but understand, it’s His blood that cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
Understand your empowerment. Ah, the wine is also such a glorious picture of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The truth is for many years, I lived as though there was no Holy Spirit. I grew up hearing much about God the Father and God the Son, but everyone seemed uncomfortable with God the Holy Spirit. So, for many years, I worked hard at my salvation but didn’t realize that it was the Holy Spirit who changed me, renewed me, and empowered me. It is the Holy Spirit who is our 24/7 journey mate – ever empowering us to do the impossible, which is to be unified with Christ and live in obedience to Him! That resurrection power is available to every believer. Jesus said, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you” (John 16:7). He will be with you and in you (John 14:16). See here’s the thing: you were never meant to live your spiritual life without the Holy Spirit. He is the one who teaches you all things, who comforts you, and who speaks within you with His still small voice. He will never call you to do what He won’t equip you to do. Lean into Him instead of striving on your own.
Delight in His joy. Jesus delights to bring joy to our lives. I meet so many people who feel God is angry and want to make their life miserable. Don’t misunderstand me – the call to follow Jesus is no small thing and definitely includes suffering. However, Jesus delights to give us joy. He didn’t have to turn the water into wine. But He did. He doesn’t have to give you beautiful sunrises or sunsets. He doesn’t have to give you joy-filled relationships. Yet, He does because He loves you! Delight and savor each small gift of joy.
Lord Jesus, as I move through this day, help me to remember that I am already clean because of your blood. Help me to lean into the power of the Holy Spirit to do the impossible and let me delight in each small gift of joy that you bring my way.
I’ll be home for the next couple of weeks writing! I’m writing a new Bible study for Moody and delighting in my time in God’s Word.
How you can pray:
Please pray as I study and write – that the Holy Spirit will open my mind to all He has for readers in this new study.