Monday 18 March 2013

Bible Book:

John 2:1-11 Monday 18 March 2013


The turning of water into wine at a wedding feast, comes at thebeginning of Jesus' ministry according to the narrative of John'sGospel, and perhaps helps to set the tone for all that will follow.It represents Jesus' abundant, transformative power, turning theordinary into the special - water into the best wine of thefeast!

John typically does not use the Greek word for an 'act ofpower', which we would usually translate 'miracle', but insteadcalls such occurrences 'signs', a word which the Old Testament usesof events or acts which show God's power through the prophets. Sothis event shows at the beginning of Jesus' ministry that this istruly a man of God, revealing the transforming grace of God throughhis life and deeds. This act, enabling the party to go on, is asmuch a sign of the kingdom as are the healing miracles whichfollow.

Jesus addressing his mother as 'woman' (v. 4) sounds shockinglydisrespectful to our modern ears, but in context it is at worstneutral, and could even be affectionate. More interesting, perhaps,is the last part of Jesus' reply to Mary - "My hour has not yetcome" (v. 4). John's Gospel usually uses this expression, "myhour", to refer to the events of Holy Week, at the culmination ofJesus' ministry, but perhaps here it refers more to that ministryas a whole, integrated entity.

The stone jars (verse 6) would have been a feature of Jewishhouseholds. As John's Gospel clarifies, they allowed for ritualpurification. The residents of that household would use them towash their hands and the bowls and cups they used for eating anddrinking. The fact that they are made of stone is just part of thelocal colour of the story - stone could not become impure, and sowas a natural material for the jars to be made from. The fact thatthe size is given adds to this colour, but also helps to emphasisethe generosity of Jesus' provision, and the generosity of the gracewhich it represents. Jesus not only gives, but givesabundantly.

To Ponder

  • How has God's abundant, transforming grace been shown in yourlife? What gifts have you received? In what ways can you see Godcontinuing to be at work in you and around you?
  • How do you show God's abundant, transforming grace in yourprayer life, in your interactions with others, in the choices youmake day by day and the ways in which you engage with the world?What else might you do?
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