Signs of Celebration

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent.

Read It: John 2:1-11
“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. [2] Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. [3] When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ [4] And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ [5] His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

[6] Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. [7] Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. [8] And he said to them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.’ So they took it. [9] When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom [10] and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ [11] This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” (ESV)

Sometimes the first part of the Gospel of John is called the “book of signs.” In the early part of his ministry, Jesus does seven “signs” to let everyone know who he really is. Turning water into wine at the wedding feast was the first of those signs.

Why did John use the word “sign”? He could have called the miracles like the other gospel writers, but he didn’t. Jesus didn’t do miracles just to wow people. He picked certain people, specific places, and carefully selected signs to show the world who he was. Many of these signs point back to the prologue (1:1-18). Jesus is God, Word, creator, light, flesh, full of grace and truth, the perfect image of the invisible God.

Here, the sign points to Jesus’ joyful creativity. He takes the old purification order and fills it with life. This wine is the best wine; love, joy, flavor, color, and richness flow from Christ. This is a sign of celebration. It’s not a coincidence that John’s gospel begins with a wedding and Revelation ends with a wedding. Throughout John, Jesus is looking for a bride and in Revelation she’s ready. In John, the church begins, in Revelation the church is perfected. Jesus is going to fulfill the old order. He’s going to bring about something new through his death and resurrection. He’s going to bring a bride home for a wedding feast.

Pray It:
God, you love to celebrate. In your presence, there is the fullness of joy. Use this story to remind me of the joy that awaits everyone who trusts in you. Help me to live in view of the great wedding feast you’re preparing. Fill my life with the joy that only you can give. Amen.

Share It:
What else does this sign tell you about Jesus? Why does John tell this story at the very beginning?

Who gets to see the joy in your life? How could your joy be contagious this week?

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