John 2:7-11 NIV
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “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.” This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
Running out of wine was a significant thing to the bridegroom as it would have been a major embarrassment. It is true this was not a life and death situation, but for a culture that prided itself in hospitality, this would have reflected very badly on the bridegroom. He would have been looked down upon. Aspersions would be cast; if he couldn’t even provide wine for the guests on his wedding, could he provide for his wife and children in future? It was serious enough for Mary to request Jesus to do something about it.
After Jesus turned the water into wine, the master of the banquet was surprised and even impressed that the best wine was served last as this was against normal convention. It was usual to bring out the best wine first to impress the guests. When the guests have drunk a lot and have become less able to discern the quality of wine, the inferior wine is brought out.
The miracle was done very quietly without the knowledge of most people. Only Mary who made the request, and “the servants who had drawn the water knew.” The bridegroom, the master of banquet, and all the other guests were clueless. The bridegroom certainly had his face saved, but the primary beneficiaries were his disciples, for Jesus “thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” It has become significant for us too, for John has written this into his gospel, and we have gained from it.
Why wouldn’t Jesus make this miracle known to the wedding guests, wouldn’t that create a buzz about him as the Messiah? He performed the miracle to save the bridegroom from embarrassment, and for the faith of his disciples, not as a marketing tool for himself. He did it because he cared for the bridegroom and the disciples, and had no self-serving motives.
My Jesus is a silent worker. Many of his works were and are still done behind the scene. How did God make the earth rotate around the sun? How do we sleep and wake up in the morning? Like many parents who love their children, many of the things done are behind the scene. There is no trumpet blowing.
The disciples would have been surprised too that Jesus did not make this miracle known to the wedding guests or the bridegroom. They had expected the Messiah to be a physical king that all Israelites had hoped would save them from oppressive foreign rulers, at that time the Romans. That was never God’s intention. The prophecies of the Messiah began even before the Israelites were under foreign rule!
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NIV)
This prophecy hinted that the Son would come from a woman; Satan would strike his heel (hurting Jesus), but Jesus would crush Satan’s head (fatal blow leading to eternal death).
Let's not put our faith in God based on the physical blessings he bestows, but on the fact that God is the ultimate victor. Satan can hurt our heels like he did to Jesus, but he cannot crush our heads. Noah was the only one on earth during his time to have faith in God. Others like Melchizedek the King of Salem, Abraham and Lot had faith in God. They were believers in a seemingly silent God, yet they knew that God is full of grace and truth despite their own weaknesses.
We do not need to blow the trumpet loudly for our physical blessings, but we must boast loudly about a gracious God who loves us deeply. Embrace the silent blessings of God.
Thank you for the cross, Jesus. Many may not believe, but I do.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.