Summary: This is a message based on the miracle of Jesus changing water into wine. It speaks to the fact that we should not be satisfied with God maximizing our capacity, but rather seek that He turn our water into wine.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)
This text describes the first sign recorded in the Gospel of John, in the effort to convince the reader that Jesus is the Anointed Son of God, and that the reader may find life in Him. Later in Christ’s ministry, and even after His ascension, it was not unusual for his immediate disciples and even the Apostle Paul to perform signs and wonders to point people to new life in Christ.
But in looking at the details of this text, I wish to suggest to you that if Christ had delegated this task to one of the 12, the outcome would have been much different. Today I am suggesting that if the disciples were accountable for managing this task, the water would have not been turned to wine because the disciples would have been happy to have the water jars filled.
My offering this suggestion is not based on a new translation, an archeological discovery or extra-biblical text. Rather, I make this suggestion based purely on a general observation of human behavior. Specifically, this suggestion is based on the fact that people, human beings, carbon-based life forms become satisfied whenever we reach maximum capacity and reach a state of fullness.
If you will reflect for a moment, you will note that for many, if not most of us, achieving a state of fullness is the ultimate end; much of our lives are focused on achieving fullness. At the risk of echoing George Carlin, please consider the following patterns of human behavior:
1. When we seek employment, we typically want a full-time job with full benefits.
2. When applying to a college, want a full scholarship with the ability to carry a full load.
3. At home, we want a full cupboard, and a full refrigerator. At mealtime, we like to eat until we are full. And when preparing to do the laundry or dishes we want a full load.
4. At a personal level, most people want a full head of hair and a full set of teeth and their vision and hearing to be full.
5. I’ve learned from my daughters that young ladies are anxious for their figures to become full. And I remember from my adolescence that young men are anxious for their facial hair to become full.
6. Young wives dream of the day when their wombs become full and in doing so, to carry the child full-term.
7. In church, the music director wants the choir loft to be full and for the choir members to sing full-throated. Bible Study teachers want the classes to be full. Pastors want the pews to be full. Deacons want the offering plates to be full and want the people full of hope joy, faith and love.
8. Regarding transportation, you want the gas tank, windshield fluid and tires to be full. If you are in the car pool lane, you need the vehicle occupancy to be full. When buying a car, you want fully-loaded options.
9. In sports, divers want to master the full-gainer, wrestlers want to master the full-Nelson and baseball managers want their bases to be full
In general we want lives that are delightful, successful, cheerful, wonderful and very fulfilling. Hence, it is on the basis of this human dynamic that I suggest that the disciples would have been satisfied to just see the water jars filled.
But in our search for a sense of fulfillment, we often miss the need for transformation. Jesus told a parable in Luke chapter 12, about a farmer whose only concern was maximizing capacity. He wanted to build bigger barns, kick back and let his soul be at rest. But in the parable, God did not affirm this man as a member of the agricultural intelligentsia; in fact, God called the farmer a fool. Why? Because: Sadly, he could not see beyond the fullness of his barns to realize that his life needed transformation; Sadly, he allowed fullness to become the reason for which he lived instead of the means by which he lived; Sadly, he spent so much time filling his barns that he never changed his life; Sadly, he was so focused on the quantity of his life that he never considered the quality of his life. In effect, in this parable, God called the farmer a fool because the man got more, but he never got better.