“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.'” (John 2:1-3 NIV)
Jesus’ first miracle was changing water into wine. One may wonder why did He start His ministry this way? Was there a spiritual meaning behind this?
John 2:6-10 “Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “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.” NIV
Notice that Jesus’ wine was remarkably the best!
Perusing through the gospel of John we notice 13 chapters later an amazing statement from Jesus Himself: John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” NIV
Wine can only be produced if vines produce grapes. No grapes, no wine. However Jesus makes us aware, that no spiritual wine is possible without Jesus, as He is the only “true vine!”
John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” NIV
Further on Jesus compares us to be His branches. This is a great compliment. We have been created in the likeness of God and being a branch of the vine, we couldn’t be any closer to His likeness. Jesus uses us to produce delicious fruit, fruit that can be turned into the “best” wine possible.
However there is one condition: we have to remain in the vine. We have to remain in Jesus to produce that most delicious fruit. Without Him, no fruit will be forth coming.
John 15:5-6 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” NIV
We are desperately hopeless without remaining in Jesus in all things.
Is this why so many complain about their futility in life? They seem unable to produce any fruit at all. They complain “Where is God?” To them life seems absurd. They question even their own salvation. They use their logic to figure things out “Jesus commanded us to do this and that, but I can’t do it! This is completely hopeless!”
They don’t realize that it isn’t God who is far from them. They are the ones who are far from Him! They try to perform under their own power. They believe they have to do it on their own.
“Aren’t I witnessing for God’s glory? Why aren’t I seeing any results?”
The answer is simple: no fruit can be forthcoming without remaining and depending utterly in all things on Jesus. The branches are not the ones producing the fruit. The vine is. Cut a branch off the vine and it will wither to death without ever being able to produce any fruit. Only Jesus can produce fruit in our lives. Without Him, we will remain tasteless and fruitless!
Then I wondered “Why do we try to work out things our own way when the Creator Himself is willing to do so? Haven’t we learned that most of our attempts are met with utter failure and discouragement? Haven’t we learned that when we depend solely on Jesus, we can really enjoy life?” Two texts come to mind:
Matt 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” NIV
John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” NIV
Only through Jesus, depending solely on Him will we live life to the fullest. He is the One who will make it possible for us to bear real fruit, the best kind possible.
Could it be that Jesus indicated through His first miracle that He was indeed the true vine who solely can produce the best wine possible? Running out of wine at the wedding, the servants desperately tried to solve the problem. However they were met with utter failure. Only when Jesus showed up at their side, the best kind of wine was made possible. On their own, they were hopeless. With Jesus at their side they were victorious!
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” NIV
During this festive season may we be able to discover what a difference Jesus can and will do in our life. Yes, He was born in a manger 2000 years ago, but He still lives and provides us victory if we just will let Him.
1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” NIV
This is my wish to all of you.