Thursday, January 22, 2015

So Odd, But . . .

Its pretty odd, don't you think, that Jesus did 'water into wine'  as His first miracle?
I mean, its clear that the guests had had plenty to drink already
You'd think Jesus would say, "They've had quite enough. I'm not going to tempt them by producing more wine now" wouldn't you?
I would.
Any church probably would too.

But no, He doesn't say that.
He not only produces more wine, He produces excellent wine
In HUGE quantities.
And by startling means -
Instructing the servants to fill to the brim the water jars used for the guest's ablutions

What must that have looked like to bystanders?
The problem?
No more wine
Jesus's action?
Top up the water jars with water.
But then, (spoiler alert!) when the water is poured out of the jars, behold! the best wine!
Gallons of it.

Why is this story told like this?
There are so many reasonable reasons why it shouldn't be.
So, let's see if we can find some why it should be.
Here's what stood out for me:
"Jars of clay" or "earthen vessels" - doesn't that phrase ring a bell?
The bible calls us jars of clay or earthen vessels in 2 Cor 4:7 -

So if this story is a sort of parable, here is where it starts -
Is Jesus saying we should be filled up with water?
Water represents both the Word (Eph 5:26) and the Holy Spirit (John 7:38 & 39)
Let's say that's what He means for us today
That we should be full of His Word (what He said as recorded in the bible) and full of His Spirit
What happens next?
He tells the servants to take the water jars to the master of ceremonies.
I wonder how they felt about that!

Because it was only when the content of those earthen vessels was poured out that the miracle became evident.
If I picture that I see a bending, a yielding attitude and I see a willingness to allow whatever He has placed in the jar to be given out, brought forth . . .

I guess that if those vessels had just stood there, full, nothing would have happened to the water.

Or at least, no one would have known that something miraculous had happened.
Its in the pouring out

I make much of this because it's simple to be knowledgeable about the bible; its easy to ask for the Lord to fill us anew with His Spirit
But if its just for our own satisfaction - it will just "be water" - something will not have come to fruition
It's in being willing to be poured out that the impossible becomes visible
And He is seen for who He is.

I find this so challenging
And very exciting.
I mean, what would have been more commonplace in those days than water jars?
They were in every home like a bathroom in our day, I daresay.
But yet, Jesus chose them as the scene and means of a stunning miracle.
For us, it means however ordinary we see ourselves, He is able to do whatever He likes with us.
In fact, He chooses ordinary people on purpose
So we can more easily see that it is Him.


Lynette Jacobs said...

Wow Allie...what an awesome observation. We are only filled to in turn pour out. If I think how little we knew when we were called into full time ministry...and how He equipped us and how He was the one that did each thing as we stepped out in faith. We serve such an awesome God xx

allie. said...

Tis true - He is awesome. And has done wonderful things through you as you have obeyed Him, Lynette. XX