I was just touched this morning by the Scriptures where Jesus changes the water to wine. Here was a young man at the most important day in his life, about to be publicly humiliated in front of his in-laws and everyone else because he was poor.
Jesus knew what it was to grow up poor. His family didn’t even have enough money to make the traditional sacrifice when he was born. They had to bring the poor man’s concession – two doves (Lk 2:24; Lev 12:8).
Jesus had yet to do a miracle, but today when he learned that the bridegroom was out of wine, even though it wasn’t his time, he decided to help the young man.
I’m sure the servants were trembling when they took the stone water jars to the master of the banquet. It would be a grave insult to bring him only water. It could’ve cost them dearly. I’m sure they feared for their lives, families and work, but they obeyed Jesus’ command.
When the master of ceremonies sipped the wine, he was startled by its quality. He called the bridegroom over to him. “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (2:10).
The thing is that not only could this young groom now hold his head up high, but it would be known throughout the community that something happened above and beyond what was standard. This small act in a small town would establish this groom’s reputation as a generous and honorable man, something much different than a poor man’s shame. What a gift Jesus gave him and one that I’m sure reverberated through the generations.
What I find interesting is that Jesus did not take public credit in any way for his act. He didn’t say, “Yes, everyone! This is my first public act of glory.” The glory was actually in Jesus’ humility, to allow the bridegroom to receive the honor for himself.
Yes, it was a miracle, in fact his first miracle. But he set a tone for all his miracles that were yet to come–That miracles and God’s power were not to impress people ever, but rather to serve people. In fact Jesus said that is why he came, “not to be served, but to serve” (Mt 10:28).
And that’s what happened on this day. A man who knew for a fact that on his very own wedding day he would have to hang his head in shame because he couldn’t even provide the sufficient basics for his wife and their family. But now because of Jesus he could lift his head high, and even be honored by his in-laws and community, because Jesus had given him an amazing gift.
And the gift was far greater than the wine.