Thursday, February 17, 2005

the meals of Jesus: the wedding in cana

The meals of Jesus
The wedding in Cana
John 2.1-.11

As best as I can tell the first actual recorded meal of Jesus would be the wedding in Cana found in John 2.1-.11. Jesus, his disciples and his mother are invited to a wedding of an unknown couple. Everything seems to be going great when it is discovered that the wine has run out. This is a big deal because there is nothing for the guests to drink. It as if you went to Dairy Queen and they ran out of ice cream or to Kentucky Fried Chicken and they were out of chicken. (Both of these examples have happened to me.) This new couple is about to face a very embarrassing situation. In which they will lose face and status with their friends, family and their community.

Jesus’ mom hears about this and tells Jesus about the situation. His answer is interesting. Instead of saying “No” or “Okay Mom.” He says “My time has not yet come” (John 2.4). What kind of answer is this? It is the answer of the Messiah who is not ready to go public with his identity. It is the answer of the Messiah whose hour of glorification has not come

In John’s gospel there is a lot of talk about “time.” On two occasions mobs either want to kill Jesus or try to but they can’t because “his time had not come” (John 7.30 & 8.20) Jesus’ family wants him to go up to Jerusalem during the feast of Tabernacles to make a name for himself but he refuse because “The right time for me has not yet come” (John 7.6). Timing seems to be everything. For the first half of John’s gospel Jesus’ time has not come. He is not ready, the time has not come, and the hour is not here for the Son of Man to be glorified.

It is not until chapter 12 that the hour comes. Then in at the beginning of chapter 13 John tells us “It was the time of the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.” Then he washes the disciple’s feet. As Jesus prays for himself just before he is arrested he tells the Father that the time has come for the Father to glorify the son and the son to glorify the Father (John 17.1). All of the talk about “time” is pointing to the Crucifixion.

In Cana Jesus’ time has not come for him to reveal his identity. Followed by attempts on His life that are thwarted because His time to die had not come. Finally the glorifying event comes, the time is ready and Jesus is Crucified. It is all about timing. It is all about the Father and the Son being in control.

I find it interesting that at the Wedding in Cana it is only the servants and the disciples who know where the new wine came from. It is to the servants and His disciples that the Messiah reveals himself. The Master of the Wedding, the bride, the groom and the rest of the wedding party have no knowledge of where this best wine saved for the end came from.

It is as if John is letting us in on the secret. It is as if John is telling us that we are the servants or disciples to whom the best new wine saved for the end has been revealed. It is as if Jesus is that best new wine and we his servants are to take it to those around us. The LORD has saved the best for the last. He saved his Son to rescue us from sin. We are the servants who take this wine to those around us. They don’t know where it came from but we do.

The wedding story ends with “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. Jesus doesn’t “go public” but he shows his disciples his glory and they believe.
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