Jesus is worth celebrating in abundance.
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 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 10 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.”
11 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.
For the next week in Grow Daily, we’re thinking about how the Spirit of Jesus is the Spirit of Abundance – that in Jesus we have ultimate blessing from God, overflowing and abundant. However, our lives often feel anything but blessed and overflowing in abundance. So what exactly does it mean for the Spirit of Jesus to be “the Spirit of abundance” in our lives?
The answer to this question is revealed slowly over the whole of John’s gospel, beginning here in John 2. Our passage for today tells of a wedding feast. It doesn’t take much to imagine the abundant celebration of a wedding – but at this wedding something goes wrong. Obviously, the bride’s father has miscalculated how big the bar tab had to be, and the wine has run out. This is one wedding that is anything but abundant – it’s a bit of a letdown really.
Jesus’ mother asks him to do something, but Jesus replies mysteriously: “my hour has not yet come” (verse 4). What is he referring to? There’s a hint of an answer in verse 11. Jesus solved the “no wine” problem by turning plain water into an overflowing supply of amazing quality wine, and verse 11 tells us that this miracle was “the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory”.
The first half of John’s gospel is a sequence of “signs” (or miracles) which Jesus uses to hint at his future glory. The second half of John’s gospel tells the story of Jesus’ glory: his arrest, tortuous death and subsequent resurrection.
Here in John 2, Jesus is telling us that “the hour” has not come yet – it’s not time for him to die just yet. However, it is time for the signs to start which point forward to his suffering and glory – and turning the water to wine is the first of these signs. Jesus performs a miracle of abundance at a wedding as the first hint of what is to come at “the hour”. On the surface, “the hour” might be a time of sorrow, not abundant celebration. However, looking deeply into Jesus’ suffering and death we see that his death is actually about blessing and celebration: it makes it possible for us to have new life through the abundant gift of the Spirit.
As Jesus turns water to wine, he’s making the first hint of the overflowing abundance which comes to you and me because of his death. Throughout John’s gospel there are many other signs which point to Jesus’ glory, and this week we’re keeping an eye out for signs of abundance which hint at the abundance which will be given us in the Spirit of Jesus.
Head: Death isn’t usually something worth celebrating – why is Jesus’ suffering and death any different?
Heart: Do you struggle to feel like Jesus is worth celebrating in abundance? Pray that this week, as we reflect on the Spirit of Abundance, that the Spirit will be moulding your heart to overflow in celebration of all that Jesus has done.
Hands: How can you help others celebrate Jesus’ death this week? Is there something different and celebratory that you can do for your Growth Group? (e.g. provide some fun food for supper instead of the usual Arnotts family assorted biscuits)
Prayer: Father God, I rejoice in all you’ve done for me in Jesus! Please help me to remember that Jesus is worth celebrating in abundance. Help me to reflect on John’s gospel and see how you planned all along for Jesus’ death to provide an overflowing abundance for your people through the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Overflowed
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of a previous series called the Spirit of Jesus in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.