Monday, October 22, 2012

Obedient faith

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.[a] 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.
John 2:1-11
So, I've read this passage many times, but as so often happens, God had something to show me here that I'd never noticed before.
We've often heard, in this passage, about how Jesus steps up to provide the needed wine, saving the host embarrassment, or how Mary has faith in her son's ability to solve this problem. What got me this time, though, was the servants.
Jesus says to fill the jars with water, and they do. They are servants, after all - they know how to obey. Then Jesus instructs them to draw some out and give it to the "party master" to try. Again they comply, but I wonder if this time, there was a certain nervousness they felt - they know they put water in those vessels, not wine, and now they have to give water to the M.C?! They could get in big trouble here! Of course, we don't know if it still looked or smelled like water as they carried it to the man in charge. What we do know is that they did as Jesus directed, knowing what had gone in those jars. And so, when the master of the feast commends the groom on his excellent vintage, the servants are among the few who really know what just happened and the only ones actively involved in seeing Jesus' first miracle up close.
Every time I've read this account, I've glossed over the servants, viewing them as unimportant (which may be what their masters did, too).Yet what faith they must have had! Perhaps as servants, their first response was not to question or doubt, as so many others do, but to obey, even when it makes no sense to them. Yet how am I likely to respond? I realize that I must be quicker to responsd to Jesus in obedience and allow Him to grow my faith, rather than waiting for more faith before I obey.
I wonder if, after the wine was approved and served to the guests, Jesus gave those servants a little smile, a wink, maybe just a nod to acknowledge their astonishment? I like to think so, but what I'm pretty sure of is that they, like everyone else who truly encounters Jesus, would never be the same.