FARGO — What an inconvenience! I had a set plan and timeline and now if I say “yes” to this “disruption” my schedule is thrown into chaos. Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever think this way? How do you handle these situations? How do you decide whether to say yes or no to that “distraction”?
Recently, I read the second chapter of the Gospel of John (verses 1 through 12) which describes a time when Jesus and his disciples were at a wedding. In Jesus’ day a wedding could be up to a seven-day celebration with family, friends and community members. At this wedding a major crisis occurred. The couple's family, throwing the celebration, ran out of wine. This was a really big deal at the time. This young groom and bride could have this blunder stick with them throughout their marriage. Many in that day would make the connection that this disaster was an indicator that the couple should not be getting married, there was a hidden conflict or the parents were careless and unloving toward their children. This is hard to grasp, but some scholars believe it was even potentially a legal issue for the parents. To provide an inferior or inappropriate wedding celebration could result in legal action against the family.
Knowing this was such a big deal, Jesus’ mother comes up to him and says, “They have no more wine.” Now this situation became a major distraction for Jesus. He tells his mom that his time to publicly reveal his ability to perform miracles had not yet come so why are you involving me.
His mom’s response is classic. God bless our moms; I think many of us can relate. His mom listens to his plea and says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Essentially, she pulls rank on him. I heard what you said but I am your mom. I know you. I know you can help. I think you should help. Because I think you should help, I’m sure you will help."
What does Jesus do? He performs his first public miracle when he turns water into wine, and he does so in an abundance. He limits his exposure as his disciples and the servants are the only ones who know of the miracle. After tasting this miracle wine, the master of the banquet pulls the bridegroom aside and congratulates him for saving the best wine to serve later at the celebration. What a totally unexpected flare to the celebration. Usually the best wine is served first. The groom goes from staring at a life-long disaster to being a hero.
Last week after reading about this miracle again I stared at my Bible asking myself, why? Why did Jesus perform this miracle despite the poor timing?
My conclusion is that Jesus wanted to honor his mom by fulfilling her request. He also longed to save the newlyweds marriage, their future and radically increase their joy at this monumental celebration. Jesus’ desire to honor, love and serve someone in need outweighed his “agenda and timing.”
Even when the timing is less than great, you can never go wrong when you choose to honor, love, serve and celebrate people. Let’s live like Jesus during this Christmas season and all year long!