The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 2:1-11 describes a scene which we often undervalue because we look at it too casually. The passage is often read at weddings, with the simple observation that Jesus blesses a wedding by his presence. Sometimes the wine is mentioned as a sign of joy. Yet the passage is absolutely jam-packed with exciting content. I’ll bring out a few of the elements and trust that my readers can find more.
Jesus is present with his disciples but he is apparently not a person of any importance. His mother asks him to become involved, but he does not seem to wish to help the family with a need which they will certainly be able to handle by themselves. Jesus is often in the background of the affairs of this world. He often lets us work things out ourselves, yet when we recognize his involvement we see the magnitude of our need and his provision.
The wine is made in jars which are used for ceremonial purification. This is apparently a large household, to have some 120-150 gallons of water capacity for ceremonial purification. The ritual purification is an ongoing feature of the righteous family’’s life.
Through water and wine, all presented in a close relation to purification rituals, Jesus’ actions give a foreshadowing of baptism and communion. Through the simple elements of water and wine, commonly found, very unassuming things, Jesus brings life and joy.
What Jesus does is better than anything the participants could have anticipated. They are amazed at the quality of the wine. We can also be amazed at the things Jesus does, even when we were not paying attention.
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