The Menial and the Miraculous

"Jacopo Tintoretto - Marriage at Cana - WGA22470" by Tintoretto - Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

“Fill the water pots with water” John 2:7

Our fallen nature usually wants us to do something of importance that will engender the praise of men or of God. At this wedding, to which Jesus’ family and His disciples had been invited, the supply of wine had been exhausted. Jesus’ mother Mary seems to have had some authority at this wedding and told the servants to do whatever Jesus asked of them.

The need was for wine but Jesus asked them to fill pots with water. The servants could not supply wine but they could supply water. They could have ridiculed Jesus because the master of the feast would get upset if his servants filled the drinking vessels of his guests with water. But the servants did as Jesus asked. The question for us is, “Would I draw water when wine is needed?” We would prefer to perform the miracle rather than the ordinary.

In all the sign miracles recorded in John’s Gospel Jesus asked someone to do what they could with what they had. Then He performed a miracle. The nobleman was told to go home and he would find his son alive (4:50). A man with an infirmity was asked to get up and walk (5:11). To feed 5,000 men plus women and children the disciples were asked to seat everyone (6:10). The disciples had only to let Jesus into their boat for a storm to cease (6:21). At Lazarus’ tomb they were asked to remove the stone and when they did so Lazarus emerged (11:39).

When our eyes are fixed on the need rather than on Jesus we might respond by trying to provide the ultimate need ourselves. We want to supply wine when we only have water. We should expect that He will ask us to do the ordinary thing, the unglamorous thing, something anyone could do, like filling pots with water, so that he can do the miraculous, that which we cannot do. Anyone can roll a stone aside but only He can give life.

It will be well for us when we are able to discern the subtleties of pride in our hearts. We need to be careful that we don’t confuse His role with ours. As servants of the Lord Jesus Christ we have the privilege of assisting others to look to Him. Anything that causes others to look at us will be a stumbling block and a loss for them. We can live Christ and share Christ but only Christ can give new life.

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