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Jesus, the Wedding Guest

Jesus, the Wedding Guest

Jesus… The man. The bronzed Galilean who spoke with such thunderous authority and loved with such childlike humility. He could have lived over us or away from us. But He didn’t. He lived among us. He became a friend of the sinner and brother of the poor.

He went to great pains to be as human as the guy down the street. He didn’t need to study, but still went to the synagogue. He had no need for income, but still worked in the workshop. He had known the fellowship of angels and heard the harps of heaven, yet still went to parties thrown by tax collectors. And upon His shoulders rested the challenge of redeeming creation, but He still took time to walk ninety miles from Jericho to Cana to go to a wedding.

Picture six men walking on a narrow road. The gold dawn explodes behind them stretching shadows ahead, early morning chill has robes snugly sashes, grass sparkles with diamonds of dew.

The men’s faces are eager, but common. Their leader is confident, but unknown. They call him Rabbi; He looks more like a laborer, and well He should, for He’s spent far more time building than teaching. But this week the teaching has begun. Where are they going? to the temple to worship? to the synagogue to teach? to the hills to pray? They haven’t been told…

Maybe it was Andrew who asked it. Perhaps Peter. Could be that all approached Jesus. But, I wager that at some point in the journey, the disciples expressed their assumptions.

“So, Rabbi, where are You taking us? to the desert?”

“No,” opines another, “He’s taking us to the temple.”

“To the temple?” challenges a third. “We’re on our way to the gentiles!”

Then a chorus of confusion breaks out and ends only when Jesus lifts His hand and says softly, “We’re on our way to a wedding.”


John and Andrew look at each other. “A wedding?” they say “John the Baptist would have never gone to a wedding. Why, there is drinking and laughter and dancing…”

“Why would we go to a wedding?”

Good question.

Why would Jesus, on His first journey, take His followers to a party? Didn’t they have work to do? Didn’t He have principles to teach? Wasn’t His time limited? How could a wedding fit with His purpose on earth? Why did Jesus go to the wedding?

The answer? It’s found in the second verse of John 2 (John 2:2) “Jesus and His followers were also invited to the wedding.”

Jesus wasn’t invited because He was a celebrity. He wasn’t one yet. The invitation wasn’t motivated by His miracles. He’d yet to perform any. Why did they invite Him? I suppose they liked Him.

Big deal? I think so. I think it’s significant that common folk in a little town enjoyed being with Jesus.

I think it’s noteworthy that the Almighty didn’t act high and mighty…

There is no hint that He ever used His heavenly status for personal gain. Ever. You just don’t get the impression that His neighbors grow sick of His haughtiness and asked, “Well, who do you think make you God?”

His faith made Him likable.

* * *

Mary was facing a dilemma. The wedding was moving. The guests were celebrating… but the wine was gone.

Back then, wine was to a wedding what cake is to a wedding today… to offer wine was to show respect to your guests. Not to offer wine at a wedding was an insult…

Note how Mary reacted. Her solution poses a practical plan for untangling life’s knots. “They have no more wine,” she told Jesus. (John 2:3) Note the sequence of events in the next verse:

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water” so they filled the jars to the top. Then He said to them, “Now take some out and give it to the master of the feast.” So they took the water to the master. When he tasted it, the water had become wine”. – John 2:7-9

Did you see the sequenced. First the jars were filled with water. Then Jesus instructed the servants to take the water (not the wine) to the master. Note, the water became wine after they had obeyed, not before. Next time you face a common calamity, follow the example of Mary at the wineless wedding.

  • Identify the problem (You’ll half-solve it.)
  • Present it to Jesus (He’s happy to help.)
  • Do what He says (No matter how crazy.)

* * *

Your Turn

What do you think Jesus, the neighbor, was like? What would it have been like to join Jesus at the wedding at Cana? Can you imagine the scene of him changing the water into fine wine? Would you have been willing to take a glass of water (Craziness!) to the master of the feast if Jesus had asked you to? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily