Teachable Moment #1: Above and Beyond

This morning I read in John 2 the account of Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine. The event took place at a wedding celebration in Cana.

As a little background, weddings were a big deal back in the day. There wasn’t a 15-minute ceremony followed by a two-hour reception. Wedding celebrations went on for days, maybe weeks in some cases. And that meant that the groom was responsible for providing enough food and drink to last his guests throughout the entire celebration. To run out of either was a huge social faux pas.

So it was quite the embarrassing predicament at this wedding when the wine ran out. We’re not sure how many people knew about it; obviously Mary knew, as she was the one who approached Jesus with the dilemma.

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 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 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.”

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. (John 2:6-11)

What stood out to me in studying this this morning was the banquet master’s reaction. He reasoned that, going against conventional practice, the bridegroom had set aside the best wine for later in the banquet, rather than at the very beginning.

I realized that not only had Jesus met the bridegroom’s needs–by supplying more wine–but that He had gone beyond those needs, providing the very best, even better than what was expected. Certainly Jesus could have gotten by with providing the same quality of wine that the groom had been serving all along. But He showed His glory by providing the best.

There were other times that Jesus’ miracles went above and beyond. In Mark 2, for instance, when the crippled man was lowered through the roof on a mat in order to reach Jesus’ healing touch, Jesus first declared the man healed of his sins before healing him physically. This was not what the man had asked for, but Jesus knew that his soul was in worse condition than his body.

When we look to Jesus as our Provider, often we are willing to settle for a simple meeting of our needs. How much more He is willing to lavish on us!

My challenge for me and for you is to take the time today to notice how Christ provides for us in ways that are beyond our expectations, both big and small.


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