If you were writing the story of Jesus and you had to make up a miracle to start his ministry with what would you choose? Raising someone from the dead? Feeding thousands of people with one small meal? You probably wouldn’t start with this one – it seems like quite an odd miracle.
The reason it seems so odd is that it really doesn’t fit most people’s idea of what God is like. Most people wouldn’t come to a party at church expecting enough wine for three bottles per person but, in fact, that is a fairly conservative estimate of how much there would have been based on the amount of water that Jesus turned into wine in today’s reading Many of us have a view of God that is more serious, more stingy than this.
Also it feels a bit more like a party trick than a miracle – there is no sick and dying person in need of healing, no desperate and hopeless situation just some bad planning on the part of the wedding organisers and some potential embarrassment on the part of the family of the bride and groom. But it isn’t a party trick. Jesus’ first miracle is an act of completely unexpected generosity and extravagance, and it leaves the wedding host, and Jesus’ disciples, stunned. John tells us that it is a sign. So what is this sign pointing us to?
It’s a sign that God is so much bigger and more generous than we often realise. That his kingdom is where he wants to bless us, to show his love for us in extravagant, over the top ways. Later in John’s gospel Jesus tells us that he has come to bring us life in abundance, life full to the brim.
In the passage the change took place at the moment when the servants took Mary’s advice to “do whatever he tells you” seriously.
Key Point: This passage is a challenge to us – are we willing to do whatever Jesus tells us to do and ready to be surprised by God’s abundant generosity?
This talk was followed by the stations: