An Epiphany: Jesus’ Signs Aim at Faith, Not Fanfare

Uncommon God, Common Good | 1/26/2020 | Staff
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One of the main events in Jesus’ life that the church celebrates during Epiphany-tide is the miraculous sign of water being turned into wine at the wedding at Cana in Galilee. The event is recorded in John 2:1-11. It is the first of the recorded signs in this gospel. The story goes that a major mishap occurs at a wedding that Jesus, his family, and disciples attend. They have run out of wine! For some of us, that may be like forgetting to bring the wedding cake. For others of us, it’s even worse. So, Jesus’ mother gets involved in problem-solving by offering Jesus’ services. Maybe she had witnessed him in similar situations at home, where he was asked to create a full menu of food out of nothing and in short order for unsuspecting guests that had just arrived at their house. But Jesus does not appear to be so inclined at the wedding to lend a hand to get the master of ceremonies and newly married couple out of their bind. When his mother tells Jesus that they have run out of wine, he responds: “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4; ESV). Undeterred by his apparent lack of enthusiasm (likely intended to create space for his ultimate mission in life), Mary told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5; ESV).

Regardless of his apparently initial reluctance, Jesus springs into action and tells the servants what to do. They were to fill five very large jars to the brim with water. These jars could hold twenty to thirty gallons of water, and were the kind used for ceremonial cleansing. The servants follow his command. Jesus then tells the servants to have the master of the feast sample...
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