Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My (Reluctant) Messiah

John 2:1

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
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.”
“Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]
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 aside10 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.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.


     It occurred to me reading John 2:1- 2:11 this morning that Jesus was not all-knowing and all-seeing. He missed things. In that moment, there, enjoying the party, visiting with friends; relaxing maybe..... He doubted Himself. He doubted God. He was, at times, misguided in his feelings and instincts, just like me. How can this be? What a heretical thought.

     John tells us this is Christ's first miracle. He turned water to wine. This was not allegory or metaphor, this was a full-out, in-your-face, mind-blowing miracle. The real stuff. John wants us to understand that Jesus was not an imitator, a fad, a Johnny-Come-Lately traveling preacher.....Powerful, powerful stuff.
     But what I read today struck me as off-putting in a sense.
What preceded one of the most inexplicably amazing events in human history was a mistake; a miscalculation, by the Lord Jesus Christ. (Don't gasp, it's really ok). When his Momma told him there was no more wine and then badgered him to fix the problem, this is what he said, according to John, who, by the way, actually walked with Jesus and knew him personally:

"Dear Woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come."
     What does this tell me about Him? Did He have a different time line for revealing Himself? Was he enjoying a little buzz and didn't want to face the reality of his coming task? Was he scared and uncertain about what he was supposed to do, or was God being very quiet, as He sometimes is when I am in need? Did he doubt himself; was he annoyed at Mary's demands?
     Whatever His motive, it is seemingly clear that He did not intend or plan to perform a miracle that night. He gave into his Mother.
     This is what I love about Christ. He was not God, exactly. He was a man, but not exactly. He may have possessed the powers of God (as perhaps we all do, droned out by the buzzing of the bees in our worried minds), but He had a very human heart. A frail, uncertain, wistful, reluctant human heart......cloaked in a great Mind.
     Wrought with uncertainty, insecurity, a drop of weariness, even hesitance...doubt....He struggled to understand what God wanted Him to do. And sometimes he missed the mark....
     I am not horrified by this tenderness; this humanity; I am tremendously reassured.

    If precious, loving, courageous, lonely Jesus had moments of uncertainty and confusion (and the loneliness that plagues us in the silence of God), than perhaps my own delusions, miscalculations, and simple blunders are not so bad after all.