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The Best is Yet to Come

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

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 10 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.”  John 2:1-10 (NIV)

              A friend of mine recently recommended this story to be included in my new book I am currently writing.  As I studied the characters and the circumstances that they were facing, I decided that in our current situation as a people across the globe that maybe this story should be shared now.

 As I read my mind created the scene.  It was fall in the land, that is when the weddings were preformed because there was plenty after the harvest and cooler.  The Jewish wedding feast last for five days and during that time food and wine is plentiful.  In the first verse, it states that it was the third day of the feast, that let’s us know it was serious that the wine had run out because there were two more days of feasting to go.  So that is one reason why Mary came to Jesus, she knew that he could remedy the issue. So Mary asked Jesus. Notice that Mary does not argue with Jesus or presses him, she simply tells the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.” She made her request and then left it with Jesus.

What really interest me in this story is the servants and their unwavering obedience.

Mary walks away and the servants look to Jesus. I think they were waiting on Jesus to tell them to run into town or knock on the neighbor’s door but Jesus told the servants to fill the ceremonial jars with water.  Can you imagine what was going through the minds of these servants?  They begin drawing water out of the well and dump bucket after bucket into the vessels. Finally, six huge stone jars are filled to the brim with water.  Their task complete, once again they turn to Jesus, curious maybe a bit confused, and waited for his next command. 

Now take a moment to think about this, what if you had been the servant that Jesus told to draw out the water and take to the head of the banquet?  

Now you don’t know Jesus, but you do know that there is nothing but water in that jar and now in the decanter.  However, being an obedient servant, you take the decanter to the head of the banquet.  As this servant walked through the loud hall filled with singing, winding between the couches and guests, I can only imagine what must have been going through the servant’s mind. I have thought about that a lot since studying this passage. Was he or maybe it was a she, the gender is never specified, scared?  I think that I would have been.  Yet, these servants did what was commanded without questioning. 

  I believe that a true servant must relinquish their will and body to their master.  To do that, the servant must choose to trust the master.  That person knew that they had filled the decanter with water but they took it obediently. When the servant got to the table what a sweet relief it must have been when rich, red, fragrant wine filled the cup. 

Often, we are put in situations where we do not know what God has planned next.  God rarely shares his plans or reasons for what he does.  I find that very frustrating.  I believe that God chooses to withhold that information to cultivate trust, faithfulness, and obedience.  The servant carried the vessel of water obediently to the banquet table not knowing what was going to happen until they tipped the clay jar and wine spilled out. Do not become discouraged or scared, instead like the servants, trust the master.  Do not let what is going on around us discourage you and your faith. Continue to be obedient and faithful to Jesus. 

At the end of the passage, we see that the master of the banquet was very pleased that the best wine had been saved for the end of the banquet. “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.” 

 No matter what is going on in your life and in this world, remember that the best is yet to come.

Typist for Jesus.

The Second Mile

And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41 ESV

I was asked for a ride the other day.  I was happy to help, and off we went.  I thought I was only taking them home, but they asked if we could stop by the store.  So I sat in the parking lot and waited.  Back on the road, they asked for another stop before we reached the final destination.  I sat in the driveway of an unfamiliar neighborhood and waited.  As I sat there, I grumbled.  I heaved sighs.  Fidgeted and made faces as I sat in the car.  When they finally emerged, I was more than ready to go.  When I left them at their house I had spent over an hour of my time with what I thought would only have been 15 minutes tops.  I fussed all the way home.

You may say, “Well, I don’t blame you for being upset, that person was taking advantage of you.”  However, Jesus has a different point of view.

In the sermon on the mount, (Matthew 5), Jesus outlines how we that claim to be his followers should behave in humility, meekness and kindness, especially to our enemies. In verse 41, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles,” Jesus is referring to a law that the Jews and any occupied people of the Romans had to comply.  A Roman soldier could force any subject to carry his baggage, or anything else for up to one Roman mile (1,000 paces), and the person could not refuse.  Refusal meant grievous punishment.  It was especially humiliating for the Jew.  They hated Romans and suffered under their thumb.  To willingly summit and then freely give more than what was required would have been hard to swallow, to say the least. 

So why did Jesus say to go that second mile?  

As a Christian just doing what is required or acceptable is not enough.  Anyone can fulfill the requirements making sure not to inconvenience themselves.  However, as  Christians, we should be willing and eager to extend ourselves that second mile.  Whether it is giving a ride, taking on another task at work, letting a car in front of us, or stopping to say good morning, Christian should consistently be not just meeting but exceeding the acceptable bar.  We should be willing to give of ourselves to others as Christ gave His very life for us. 

Never settle for the requirement only, but strive to exceed the expected everywhere, in relationships, at work, in school, and in your daily routine.  You represent the Savior of the world shouldn’t you be going the second mile to show the unsaved His love for them?