What are you drinking: water or wine?

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What are you drinking? Water or wine?

Story time.

Jesus, along with his mother and some of his disciples, were at a wedding when the wine ran out. Now whilst one may think this is a common and problematic issue at wedding parties today it was confounded by the fact that wedding festivities in the Jewish culture often lasted a week! Anyway, Mary, like all good mothers, doesn’t panic and instead takes charge, informing Jesus that the hosts have run out of wine.

Jesus in response says, “what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” However, Mary, again like all good mothers do, knows that her son is a capable, resourceful young man and so instructs the servants of the wedding festivity to, “do whatever Jesus tells you.” 

Jesus, like all good and obedient sons, gets to work immediately, finding six tall stone water jars that were previously used for Jewish purification rites. He instructs the servants to fill them to the brim with water and then draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. Much to his surprise what he drank was not water but wine! He exclaimed to the bridegroom, “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.” 

John 2:1-11.

This was the first miraculous sign that Jesus performed and it signified the coming of the Kingdom of God into the lives of man.

So what are you drinking? Water or wine?

Jesus’ transformation of water into wine is still relevant to all people today.  Through the passage of the wedding of Cana in John 2:1-11 the story develops to ultimately point towards the transforming, divine and glorious power of Jesus. Verse 9 in particular records ‘water [which has] now become wine;’ wine that was renowned for being of the best and richest quality.

Believers and those who don’t yet believe should learn to focus less on the fact that there is talk of alcohol in the Bible and more on what this ‘water into wine’ symbolises; a sign that reveals that the Kingdom of God had now arrived in their midst. This sign was the first of many that began to point towards and reveal the fulfilment of God’s covenant, provision and blessing for all people on Earth.

The turning of water into wine symbolises the water of the Old Covenant and Judaism being transformed through Christ’s power into the wine of the New Testament and Christianity.

The turning of water into wine symbolises the water of the law and obedience turning into the wine of the gospel and grace.

The turning of water into wine symbolises that God’s Kingdom has arrived on Earth in the form of Christ who would ultimately transform our death and our sins into new life and hope just as he did with water to wine.

Jesus, through this sign and many others, reveals that it is not through obedience to the law and tradition that gains you a pathway to Heaven. Rather, it is in the acceptance of the graceful and transformative gift of salvation that one experiences the promises and hope of eternal life and Heaven.

This passage here challenges the ideas of religion and instead promotes living and transformative relationship with Christ.

So what are you drinking? Water or wine?

God’s desire is not for you to partake in a cheap, bland, sour and poor imitation of wine as wedding guests did in Jewish tradition on the fifth, sixth and seventh days. His desire is not for you to struggle through life feeling taxed, tried, bound and chained to laws, rules and traditions.

No, His desire is that you partake in rich, flavoursome and sweet wine of the highest quality like Jesus provided. He desires for you to experience love, grace, hope, wonder and life to the fullest by participating in a living relationship with Jesus. A relationship not bound by tradition or law but defined by love, peace, joy and hope.

It is with this ‘wine’ perspective  that we should be looking to live our lives through. Through Christ’s death for our sins and victory and resurrection over them we are no longer bound or chained by the law, customs and traditions. We are set free to live lives characterised by the rich and sweet love, peace, joy and hope of Jesus and to share this ‘wine’ with others.

So what are you drinking? Water or wine?

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