Pause for thought
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I wish I could have been a fly on the wall just over two thousand years ago in Galilee at that wedding in Cana!

Surpisingly we don’t know who got married that day, but the wedding is famous because of the catering malfunction and its solution. Here is the story as recounted in John’s Gospel:

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples. John 2:1-12 NLT

I can imagine some of the conversation on that trip to Capernaum, “how did you do that?”, “what else can you do?” etc.

By the way, if I have done the arithmatic correctly, approximately 180 gallons of water was turned into wine that day, which is equivalent to a little over 950 standard wine bottles in today’s measure! How typical of God’s over-generosity! Foreshadowing the twelve baskets of leftovers after feeding the crowd of five thousand men, the bridegroom at the wedding would not want for wine for many days to come!

However, the thing that intrigues me about this story is Mary’s interaction with the catering servants! “Do whatever he tells you.”

In John’s narrative we don’t get to know the full conversation between Jesus and his mother other than she pointed out a problem to him. As I said, we do not know who was being married that day, only that Mary was invited, so we may surmise that it would have been some relative of Joseph’s or Mary’s extended family. Certainly Mary would not have been involved in the catering preparations, and as Jesus quickly pointed out, it was not her problem!

Yet she knew her son, and his compassion! I would love to know the events from his childhood and adolescence that convinced her that Jesus was the solution to the problem, but it is obvious from her interaction with the servants that she knew he was, and would accept the problem as his responsibility anyway!

It can be inferred that she may have had an inkling that Jesus’ solution would be unexpected and unconventional, because she tells them to do “whatever” he tells them. I can imagine her secret smile knowing that whatever Jesus did it would not only be spectacular but God-glorifying.

Note that the opportunity for the miracle would have been missed if the caterers has stopped to debate, analyze, involve committees or upper management, or protest Jesus’ intructions. Prompt obedience leads to miracles! As a member of my Bible study group recently pointed out — delayed obedience is just immediate disobedience!

Matthew records his own experience in his Gospel:

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9 NLT

No second-guessing! No working out of details! Matthew just gets up, leaves everything behind, lets the chips fall where they may, and follows - the rest is history!

We, as Jesus followers, have direct instructions on what he expects us to do — just check out his commands to his first followers, they apply to us. By now we should be convinced that Jesus knows what he is about regardless of our perceptions that his intructions are counter-intuitive or unconventional. Whatever he tells us to do, just do it!

Expect miracles to follow.

Blessings on you and yours, Jim Black

P.S. if you’d like to read previous ruminations of mine they can be found at