Earlier this week Nancy Farrier shared wedding thoughts, and it got me thinking about weddings. Our son marries next month and now that our daughter graduated from high school, it’s wedding mode.
There’s a wedding I’ve had on my mind since I saw it.
The Chosen, the crowd-funded project where the Gospels are presented in a “binge-able” fashion, showed Jesus and His first public miracle in Cana. It’s been a while since I’ve watched that episode, but so much stuck with me.
Thomas is the caterer and Ramah is the daughter of the vinter. She presents Thomas with three jars of wine for the wedding. Forty guests are expected, and she feels this is enough.
Tension builds as they watch the guests dance and drink. Jesus and some of His disciples have arrived, and the guest list increases to eighty. Thomas frets as the wine supply dwindles. Remember, Jewish custom was for weddings to last days. This is only the first day, and the wine is nearly gone.
Also at this wedding is Mary, mother of Jesus. She is aware of the pressure the groom and his family faces if anything goes wrong. Back then, the groom was expected to pay for the wedding, and Mary learns that the bride’s family is less than impressed with the in-laws. They are not a wealthy family, and reputation is everything.
In fact, one thing I read said the wedding in Cana came during an “honor and shame culture.” That sounds familiar, right? I feel like nearly everything I read in current events is about the cancel culture. Well, the groom’s family is scared of being canceled.
And so is Thomas. If word gets out that he didn’t bring enough wine, he’s finished.
Mary approaches Jesus. She asks for His help, and He announces it’s not time. Her response mirrors the response 12 year old Jesus gave when Mary and Joseph could not find him for three days. When they did, he was teaching the elders. Mary tried to scold Him and he said, “If not now, when?”
How can Jesus say no to helping out this family when His mother responds, “If not now, when?”
Jesus gives her a look that Mary knows means He’s going to help. Mary instructs the disciples to do whatever Jesus asks.
The wedding guests are looking for more wine. The groom’s family is looking to the caterer. Thomas is as they say, “sweating bullets.” The bride’s family has spent most of the first day insulting the groom’s family. Mary knows it is going to work out. Jesus asks for the stone jars to be filled with water.
Jesus then asks for privacy. He tells His Heavenly Father He’s ready. Jesus dips His hand in the water, and wine drips as He lifts His hand.
It’s a breathtaking scene, even if it is something I’ve read in the Bible. The pressure Thomas and the groom’s family was under. The numbers game. Three jars and eighty people and the first day of the wedding equals a big problem. Jesus and His love for His mother.
And as we all know, the wine tastes better than what the caterer has already served. The master of the banquet announces,
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
— John 2:10
The bride’s father has to find out for himself. He partakes. When his wife asks what’s wrong, he’s contrite. “I was.” He was certain the groom’s family would fail.
I’m a visual person so The Chosen has been such a gift to watch, and “The Wedding” really moved me. Those issues the groom’s family and Thomas faced might not feel like a big deal to you, but how about the price of gas and how to pay for it? A medical diagnosis? A marriage conflict? Whatever you’re facing, Jesus is ready. He can meet your needs faster than He dipped His hand in the water that transformed to wine.—-Julie Arduini
Will you ask for Him today?
I love “The Chosen.” I especially love discovering how much they use straight from the Bible. Not an episode goes by that I don’t cry at least once. 🙂
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I was skeptical, but I’m so glad I started watching. It really is a quality presentation.
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