“I think Jesus would have turned water into wine at our wedding,” I explained to Brian.
As I began reading the second chapter of John this morning, I tried to very slowly mull over the details. Yes, this is the account of Jesus’ first miracle, but I wanted to comprehend the context and the heart behind it just a little more.
The text says that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was there and that Jesus was also invited. What kind of friends did their family have? Well, considering the fact that Jesus’ family came from humble means, I imagine that they mostly rubbed elbows with people from the same income bracket. That’s usually how those things go.
The people getting married probably weren’t that well off, I thought to myself.
Confirming my suspicions, I noticed that the master of the banquet explained to the bridegroom, “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.” Now, typically everyone points to that statement to conclude that Jesus knows how to make the yummiest, best quality wine. But did you see what the man implied? He wasn’t too impressed with the wine that they had already served! Not only was he unimpressed, there wasn’t even enough of it to last that long. They had run out, which means they either didn’t or couldn’t afford more.
Cheap wine. Small quantities. Yep, probably a poor family. For sure.
Imagining the scenario in my head, I see Mary feeling embarrassed for her friends, going to Jesus for help. Jesus didn’t have to choose that moment to perform his first miracle. In fact, he said, “Why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.”
Were these his friends or his mom’s friends?
Whether or not Jesus felt the embarrassment of the couple or the angst of his mom’s embarrassment for the couple, it seems that what moved his heart in that moment was compassion. Jesus didn’t attend this wedding with his sleeves rolled up, ready to put on a show, steal their thunder and let the world know that he was King. He wasn’t daydreaming about the perfect moment to WOW the crowd and reveal his tricks with water. No, instead at first he modestly and privately pushed back a little on his “big” debut.
But something changed his mind. And I’ve seen my family do this.
We see a need or a want. We scramble to notify each other. We fall into action. We get the job done. It’s usually something special and it’s usually something that we need to pull our resources together to do. (Right?)
So for the first time this morning, when I read the account of Jesus’ first miracle, it felt familiar. What did I conclude? Simply put, Jesus was so nice. NICE. He. Did. A. Nice. Thing. And I mean that in the biggest way. I mean, it’s not like their lives depended on more wine. This wasn’t a health issue. But Jesus extended himself that day, not for his own glory, honor and recognition right off the bat, but just to be kind. He didn’t even tell the master of feasts himself what he had done! Nor did he instruct the servants who delivered the wine to mention his miraculous act. No, they kept that to themselves, too (which likely helped the low income newlyweds save face a little bit).
Have you ever stopped to do something for someone just to be nice? Yeah? And what was that? Maybe it was a little inconvenient, but you knew how much it would mean to them. Maybe it cost you. Maybe it was just a little something. Maybe you went into cahoots with with a friend or relative, whispering your plans to do this nice deed and glowing over the anticipation of seeing their eyes light up in relief or joy.
Did you ever stop to think that Jesus was that guy, too? Seems so human. Warms my heart.