The story of Jesus turning water into wine is always a favorite of mine. However, this time, I noticed something different as I read it. When Mary asked Him to do something about the wine shortage, she was not necessarily asking Jesus to perform a miracle. When you read verse 5 it says, “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”” which very well may have been Mary asking Jesus to help solve the problem. In either case, I think we are like that with God sometimes. We want God to solve our problems like its some sort of puzzle we got stuck on. The reality is that God is capable of performing a miracle that may or may not be within our comprehension and He is capable of making it better than we could have ever imagined.
The other section of our reading today was when Jesus took a whip to the money changers in the temple. I think there are a lot of areas in our churches today that Jesus would lose it over. While I love the comfort of knowing I have a place to go each Sunday, I’m not really sure some of the things we spend money on is really what God intended when He talked about the “Church”, do you?
Brian Manning said:
I agree Dino. I definitely think there are things Jesus would not be pleased with if He came back today and saw some of the things His church is doing.
I love that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water to wine. For all the stuffy people that say “we Christians” shouldn’t associate with the “sinners”, take a look at Jesus first miracle! He was at a big party and He helped it continue. Jesus spent most of His time in ministry with the broken and this miracle is a great reminder for us about developing intentional relationships even if it takes us out of our cushy churches.
Dino Evangelista said:
Well said, Brian!
Sarah Kennedy (@kensajolaw) said:
John Eldridge just released another book called Beautiful Outlaw. In it, he delves into the personality of Jesus, the aspects of him we tend to gloss over in church. He uses both of these stories to express 2 aspects of Jesus’ character. The water to wine miracle showed a couple of things that I never knew. 1) When Mary came to him asking him to turn the water to wine, he told her it wasn’t his time yet – not to push him on it. But she insisted so he did it. Why? Not because he was a pushover, but because it was the right thing to do in Jewish culture. When mom asked you to do something, it was an incredible insult if you did not do as she asked. A beautiful picture of Jesus being part of the culture. 2) This story also shows that he was a really fun guy to hang out with. We get this picture of Jesus as being meek and mild. Are you kidding?! This guy hung out at parties all the time! He liked having a good time! Why do you think people were drawn to him? Because he was quiet and philosophical? I highly doubt it. Sure, that had it’s place, but that wasn’t all he was about.
And then he heads to the Temple. Boy, am I glad I wasn’t there! I used to read this as though Jesus just one day happened to wander into the Temple and suddenly saw what was going on, got mad on a whim and tore the place up. Who am I kidding? It’s not like Jesus hadn’t ever been there before. He was raised in a traditional Jewish home. He’d seen this happening his whole life. This was not news to him. The Bible said he went in, put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out. This was not a spontaneous act. This took forethought. This took a high level of intensity. The guy stopped to make a whip! It’s not like that can be done in 2 seconds. He was fiercely intense and focused. Again, kind of throws that one dimensional picture we have of him being meek and mild out the window. And can you imagine what kind of strength and intensity it took to drive all those people and animals out? I’ve been to the area of the Dome of the Rock traditionally considered the area where Jesus did this. The place is massive. It would be like someone coming in and driving everyone out of a place bigger than Liberty Hall. Just one person. One whip. One full of intense fierceness.
When I looked at these 2 stories in that light, I am once again left in awe. This is the Lord I serve. Yes, meek and mild, but fun, respectful and fiercely intense. Wow.
Dino Evangelista said:
Sarah, thanks so much for sharing this. You are absolutely correct in reminding us that Jesus is not just some meek and mild dude that never changed demeanor unless provoked. I also hate the picture of Jesus as some tall, skinny, and frail dude… Jesus was a carpenter!! Have you ever seen a carpenter’s hands? They are thick and calloused! And they didn’t have power tools back then so it took tremendous strength to be a carpenter. The other thing you said that is absolutely true is Jesus was a man that everyone wanted to be with. He was definitely philosophical, but He was also compassionate, He was sarcastic(you see this so much when He dealt with Pharisees on the Sabbath), and He drank wine and hung out with sinners… not because He was a lush, but because people were more important than rules!!
Cheryl Brehm said:
I’m really challenged by the last part of John 2, “Many people noticed the signs Jesus was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to Him. But Jesus didn’t entrust His life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.” Up until this point in my life, I’ve made it a point to trust everyone (or at least give them one chance to hurt me before I choose to distrust them). I guess you can say I’m an unrealistic, blind, die-hard optimist…to a fault. Somewhere in my crazy head, I believe everyone deserves a chance to be trusted. But lately I’m seeing that mindset can get you into a heap of trouble, and it’s really dangerous. Even Jesus, the Perfect Son of God, was selective with His trust…and it wasn’t a sin to withhold it sometimes! I know it sounds weird, but this is a new thought to me (not to my head, but to my heart). I have much to learn by His ability to set healthy boundaries!