The First Sign

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:11

I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the miracle at the wedding in Cana, and why this is recorded as Jesus’ first miracle – His “coming out” party so to speak. While there are many more fantastic miracles, like healing dread diseases, casting out demons or bringing people back to life, the first sign a simple, almost trivial task that was by no means small or inconsequential. The symbology speaks volumes and imparts an overriding theme of redemption.

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 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 realize 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.”

John 2:1-10

There are so many things to do and see here…where do I start?

Let’s start with the stone jars. Jesus’ first sign involves vessels and that which fills those vessels. Like us, the jars were empty, they held nothing but air, and no doubt, a lot of hot air, I’d guess. Jesus had them filled with water, one of the most abundant elements on this earth, and one without which life cannot exist. He filled the sacred vessels with the “water of life” and then he transformed it. It was changed, because of Him. The plain water became something entirely different, something extraordinary. He is the one who can fill up the vessels, and He is also the one who can transform what those “sacred” vessels hold, make it different.

When viewed in the light of redemption, Jesus’ first miracle, His first sign is a foreshadowing of God’s game-plan. This whole simple episode involving ordinary people doing ordinary things becomes a road map of God’s salvation strategy. He makes himself available to us in a form that we can relate to, a human form. He meets us where we are, while we go about doing every-day things. He offers to fill us with His “living water” and transforms us. He changes us. We are born again, renewed, remade, and because of His work, we must live changed lives. To do anything less dishonors His suffering and death, and the miracle of His gracious gift of atonement.


Proverbs 8:22-36 Let Those Who Have Eyes See

Wisdom’s words in Proverbs 8:22-31 are strikingly similar to the language the gospel of John uses to describe Christ. John 1:1-4 states that the Word was with God from the beginning, and that nothing came into being apart from him. Similarly, this section of Proverbs describes how Wisdom was with God before the earth began. The Lord possessed Wisdom at the beginning of his work, as in acquired or held; creation requires wisdom in the first place in order that it (creation) may be generated, formed, constructed. Wrap your head around that conundrum!

But wait, there’s more…Consider this:

The word was formed before all creation, and the word was with God. Wisdom was also with God. The word is wisdom and Christ is the word, hence wisdom is Christ. Wisdom is also the spirit, so Christ is the manifestation of wisdom – wisdom incarnate – and wisdom is God’s delight and rejoices before Him, praising His creation.

It’s interesting how themes are repeated and expounded upon in scripture, like puzzle pieces that fit together in only the proper sequence, exposing ever more profound turns of how wisdom works.

When God opens your eyes to his truth, He shows it to you wherever you look: His wisdom awaits your notice, and once we have eyes to see, we always see.


A note on connecting the dots…

Normally, I use a New Inductive Study Bible that my mom got me at a garage sale, complete with lots of hand written notes in the margins, or my New International Version, which is easy to read, and I also use and, as well as, when studying for my posts, but when It’s time to write a prayer, I go to the Lutheran Study Bible my sister got me. This bible is humongous, it’s part scripture and part foot note, there are lots of footnotes, and not including the concordance, it sports 2244 pages.  So this morning, I pulled out the big book, and as is my habit, started reading the footnotes for chapter 8. At nearly the end of the chapter was a commentary entitled “Christ as Wisdom” that discussed the very ideas that I had expressed in this posting. I was amazed to see that others have also connected the same dots that I had…talk about once we see, we always see!  Synchronicity.

SLM 5/23/13