“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory,
and his disciples believed in him.”
Weddings naturally draw friends and family from far and near for great times of celebration. This particular wedding offered no exception.
Six hefty water-filled jars sat stone-faced as they witnessed the most festive of all Jewish customs. However, as the celebration continued, the water levels within these six weighty containers diminished, causing the jars to feel greatly ignored.
Many faithful Jews used the jars’ purified water to perform countless hand washings and other rituals. Yet, the close friends who chose to serve the family during this wedding celebration became distracted with tasks other than replenishing the water. Before long, the six stone jars realized their emptiness as well as their inability to do anything about it. Secretly, they wondered if they might ever experience a refilling of water, or better yet, a filling of the wine that seemed to make hearts glad. Their work of water storing had been supremely important for centuries, but was there more? Could there be something even better?
The jars first noted the servant’s raised eyebrows after listening to a whispered behind-the-hand message from a concerned woman. The soft whispers numbered too few to decipher at first. However, the solemn secret quietly blew into ear after ear, one servant at a time. The unfolding situation caused complete panic in the frazzled servants trying their best to do everything exactly right.
The woman who first whispered the secret had arrived at the wedding celebration with her Son and a few of His friends. The Son, enveloped by a sweet, unfamiliar aroma, now stood next to the stone-faced jars. Simply having Him near, warmed the jars from the inside out. That’s when they overheard the sad secret.
No more wine!
The jars had been around long enough to know how embarrassing this would be for such a fine family. An absence of wine created an absence of joy! And joy stands out as the hallmark emotion whenever a Groom takes His bride!
“Fill the jars with water,” the Son told the servants. Realizing they could find no better solution on their own, the overachieving servants not only replenished the water, but also filled the jars to the brim. The six hefty stone jars felt completely renewed as the liquid reached the brim. They realized there was something different about this water – something very different! It began to fill the air with a sweet aroma.
The Son spoke up again, “Now draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” Again, the servants, not knowing anything else to do, did as they were told. The headwaiter tasted it. Eyebrows flew up again! He wondered out loud why the very best wine had been saved for last.
The stone jars wondered if they’d heard correctly. Did he say, “Wine?” They expected a refilling of the same ritualistic water they had grown accustomed to. However, they never expected to be filled to the brim with the best wine ever! Not just one of them, but all six jars had been filled! More than enough for a celebration! More than they ever imagined!
The wine deposited its rich color on the inside of the jars as a permanent reminder of the celebration. From that day forward, no matter what anyone else tried to fill them with, they would remain confident that they had been changed from the inside out. They had done nothing to accomplish it on their own. It was the Son who had performed the miracle inside them. They resolved to stand together as a living testimony to the joy experienced when empty vessels, filled by the Son, become intent on releasing the sweet fragrance He provides.
“[Jesus] came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”John 10:10, The Message
“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” – JesusLuke 6:38, The Message