John 2:1-11 – Wedding
We were two young lovers from a small town;
Had our reception at the fire hall.
a shotgun wedding, not much time for planning.
We were scraping to get by, living in the city,
didn’t have a lot, but we had each other.
That was enough of a reason to get married,
Afraid it wouldn’t be much of a party.
A village wedding is a foreign concept for people who have time to read and write blogs. In actuality, a fair number of people are reading and writing blogs to insure they do not have a wedding that looks like the one described in the Gospel of John chapter 2.
The wine runs dry, the kegs are tapped out, they burnt the only casserole, catering never arrives.
A concerned mother, friend of the groom’s mother, tells her son they’ve run out. The Son doesn’t want to make that his problem, but his mother gets the waiters moving, telling them, “My son will take care of it.”
The waiters go to the industrial sinks at the venue, perhaps, thinking they are getting ready to clean up because the party is coming to an early end, so as to save a little face for the new couple. But the unassuming guest is performing an inconspicuous miracle.
With the party in flux the waiters slip a drink to the DJ who was getting ready to play a song for a last dance. Instead, the DJ takes a drink, calls the groom over and commends him for his generosity in offering a second round of celebration to those in attendance.
If you want the 1st century version of this story, I direct your attention to John 2:1-11. Jesus, the Son of God is invited to a wedding in the region where his mother grew up. His mother, moved by compassion for an unprepared couple, wants to preserve their reputation. She doesn’t want the happiest day of their life to be marred by the thought that they couldn’t throw a party.
She wants to avoid the gossip that would follow in the days to come about the naïve young couple that put out a poor spread. Mary probably knew a little bit about town gossip. She remembered the months after an angel told her she would be a virgin with child. She remembered the struggle in explaining to her fiancé and those that knew her, the joy of carrying the Son of God while they treated her with suspect.
And then there is Jesus, the man who would wait a thousand years to marry. The God who would know a much greater shame and be the subject of much worse gossip and ridicule. The One who would bring good news and fullness of joy to every living thing. He can’t resist responding in his great compassion.
His first recorded miracle saves someone’s reputation. It is obvious that he is concerned with the reputation of the bride and groom, I agree. But it has also occurred to me, what about his mother. What if he just did this particular miracle because it mattered to his mom?
His mom, who was likely a widow when Jesus performed this miracle, who was once the subject of gossip in this small town, where she attended similar weddings as a young girl, who probably was not permitted to celebrate her own wedding in Galilee, now gets to see her Son, who was the reason for her ridicule, perform a miracle at a wedding, a public celebration for a people who once, likely rejected her.
Jesus’ glory is revealed to only a few, but the miracle spares some newlyweds from being ashamed of their status, permitting them to enjoy their union. His miracle starts their marriage on a high note.
I can’t tell you what your reputation needs redemption from, but I am well acquainted with my own shame and my own fears that stem from my inadequacies. I’ve sometimes overheard the hurtful things individuals have said behind my back and have been mercifully spared from truthful things that would likely hurt even more.
We are so imperfect. This is true of us, we will disappoint others. If anyone looks hard enough at any of our lives, they will see our flaws. And I, more so than most, have been consistently sub-par at keeping up appearances.
Jesus, at a wedding, knows the groom is incapable of saving face when it comes to the party but makes him look like a champion in front of the guests and before his bride.
Jesus does this with us, incapable of cleansing ourselves, Jesus makes us new, makes us presentable to God so we might be rejoiced over in His Kingdom.