Stained Glass Window of Christ with His Disciples

A daily devotion for January 6th

Water to Wine

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,

John 2:7-8

Notice the simplicity of this account, how easily, how quietly, with such dignity this was done. He says simply, Fill the jars with water. And they filled them to the brim—not with decaffeinated coffee, but with 120 to 180 gallons of plain, pure water. Then Jesus said, Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast. There was no prayer, no word of command, no hysterical shouting, no pleading with a screwed-up face, no laying on of hands, no binding of Satan, no hocus-pocus or mumbo-jumbo—nothing. He did not even touch the water. He did not even taste it afterward to see if it had happened. He simply said, Take it to the governor of the feast. What a beautiful, simple dignity!

Yet this happened within the limits of a natural process. The water did not become milk, nor did it change into Coca-Cola. What happened was something that happens also in nature. Water is being changed into wine in every vineyard right now! It involves a long process of growth, of gathering and crushing; it involves the activity of men and the process of fermentation. But it is a natural process. This is characteristic of the miracles of Jesus.

In his helpful book, Miracles, C. S. Lewis has pointed out that every miracle of Jesus is simply a kind of short-circuiting of a natural process; a doing instantly something which in general takes a longer period of time. Lewis describes Jesus' miracles as bringing into focus in understandable dimensions what God has already done or will do in such a grand scale within the natural world as to be difficult for us to perceive.

That is what Jesus is doing: he is overlapping the elements of time, of growth, gathering, crushing and fermenting. He takes water—an inorganic, non-living, commonplace substance—and without a word, without a gesture, without any laying on of hands, in utter simplicity, the water becomes wine, an organic liquid, a product of fermentation, belonging to the realm of life. Thus he demonstrated his marvelous ability to master the processes of nature.

Later, John writes, This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him (John 2:11). They believed that here was God's Man, ruling over all the works of God's hands, put in dominion and authority over the natural world and doing with it whatever he pleased, within the limits of nature itself. When the disciples saw it they believed more deeply in him than before. They saw that here was One who could handle life. Here was One who could take a commonplace thing, nothing out of the ordinary, simple water, and make of it wine, make it a source of joy.

Our Lord is able to take the humdrum, commonplace, ordinary events of any life and with his touch make them full of flavor, fragrance, strength and beauty; to turn them into wine. He will do this with any of us as we faithfully walk with him, follow him, and believe in him.

Jesus, please take my ordinary life and through your great power change it into something full of joy, beauty and strength.

Life Application

Are we learning to observe and appreciate God's awesome, transforming work in even simple and commonplace events and circumstances of our lives?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Water to Wine

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