"His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.'" (John 2:5)
We love to see other people enjoy our kids. Mary may have felt that way as she sought Jesus' help with the problem at the wedding at Cana of Galilee. Perhaps she was one of the women coordinating the wedding when she discovered the need. She went to Jesus and said five words, "They have no more wine." She didn't tell Him how to do His job. She just stated the fact and the context of Jesus' first miracle was set in motion.
Jesus told her they were not in charge and reminded her His hour had not come, but Mary had confidence in His judgment because He was the Son of most high God. She told the servants to do whatever He said. If it hadn't been the Father's timing, Jesus would not have done what happened next.
He instructed the servants to fill six stone pots with water that were used for ritual and ceremonial cleansing. The servants did as Jesus told them. It occurred to me that ritual cleansing jars could represent the ceremony of our own spiritual disciplines in the faith, because we are called earthen vessels that hold the all-surpassing power of God in 2 Corinthians 4:7.
The Pharisees' strict adherence to Moses' Law during the time of Christ often creates negative feelings toward ritual and ceremony, but not all ritual is bad. There are spiritual disciplines that are part of the ceremony of our loving relationship with Jesus. We are called to study God's word, have an active prayer life with fasting, express our worship and gather in fellowship with believers. However, without the Holy Spirit spiritual disciplines become dry legalism.
I think there are three different states of our earthen jars. The first one is empty. Perhaps you are running on empty because in the course of normal living people keep dipping into your jar. Jesus steps into the picture and says, "Don't hang your head. Bring me your emptiness because that's why I came."
The first action Jesus took at the wedding was to get the empty jars filled with water, but the wine was obviously preferred because Jesus didn't say, "Just fill it up and let them drink water." He filled them and then changed the water to the best wine.
It could be that we are just filled up with water and doing fine. But Jesus came to make you more than just fine. It is to your Father's glory that you bear much fruit showing yourself to be Christ's disciple. The enemy can tempt us away when we have settled for water in our jars. His new wine symbolizes His blood shed for the remission of our sins and establishes the new way of Christ's kingdom.
Paul used a familiar concept of "being under the influence of wine" to teach something unfamiliar: being filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:17). When we are not ruled by our fleshly nature, we have clarity of vision. As we live under His spiritual authority, He does through our vessel what we could never do for ourselves. We can feel the influence of the new, spiritual wine when we are filled with His power and produce the fruit of Spirit.
In a time of emptiness, God asked me, "What is it that you want, Beth?" I answered, "Lord, I want Your word to jump off the page and into my heart. I want to love you more than anything in this world and to see you revealed." He told me, "Beth, pray for it!" We can be filled to the brim and even to overflowing if we pray for it!
When we pray according to the will of God, we can thank Him in advance because we already have it. Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning. When we know we can anticipate joy, we can go ahead and have some joy in advance.
This Week: There is a big difference between fine and being filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit to give you a soul that delights greatly in Him, and then start rejoicing.
Prayer: "Father, I want to be to be filled to the brim with the new wine of Your Spirit."