Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:25

The Miracle of Cana

Written by  Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing International House of Worship
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For many years I wrestled with Jesus’ first miracle as recorded in John 2:1–11.  It just did not make sense to me that His very first miracle would be turning water into wine in an out-of-the-way village like Cana of Galilee.  Wouldn’t it have been far better to start with a dazzling miracle like opening the eyes of the blind, or healing the lame, or feeding the 5,000?  But water into wine at a wedding reception…really?  This miracle got under my skin so much that I could not preach on it!

After years of stewing over it I experienced an insight that could only have come from the Holy Spirit.  I came to see that this is the primary miracle of all miracles.  In this miracle something common and ordinary is transformed into something extraordinary... water into wine.  And that is what happens in every miracle:  God takes something common and ordinary and transforms it into something extraordinary.  Blind eyes, lame legs, hungry stomachs, troubled spirits…all are common occurrences among human beings.  Jesus transforms each of these just as he turns the water into wine.  Eyes are opened, legs are restored, people are fed, brokenness is healed.  Every miracle is a version of the miracle of Cana…water into wine.

The Spirit then confronted me with the deeper reason for my troubled reaction to this miracle.  I decided to stop avoiding this passage and announced that I would preach on it.  But as the week wore on I realized that I had nothing to say.  With Sunday only a few days away I sat in my chair and prayed, “Lord, this story has come true in my life.  My homiletical wine has run out.”

It was at that point that I heard the Lord say to me, “You’ve finally got it.”  Got what? I wondered.  “The truth is your wine is always running out, and the only reason that you ever have more wine is that I turn the water into wine.  You don’t like that because you want to turn water into wine.

Running out of wine ticked me off because I don’t like to run out of things!  I want to operate on full all the time.  Isn’t that what we perfectionists always prefer?  The Lord used this miracle to irritate me into the spiritual truth that I want to be the one who turns water into wine.  And He taught me this:  If you want to be in the ministry of Christ you had better come to grips with the fact that it will always appear to you that the wine is running out.  The good news is: God is always turning water into wine.

Reflecting on this miracle can help us all get in touch with our own water-into-wine stories.  In premarital counseling sessions I remind couples that their marriage is a version of the miracle of Cana.  When the couple first met all they had was an acquaintance.  Then that acquaintance was transformed into a deeper friendship.  At some point the water of their friendship was transformed into the wine of love.  I want the couple to understand that the miracle of Cana is not merely a figure of speech for them, but it is one miracle that they have actually experienced and is leading them into the covenant of Christian marriage.

One of my own water-into-wine experiences occurred during a flight to Washington D. C.  While talking with my seatmate I learned that as a consultant on community water systems he was returning from Verbena, Alabama, where he had assisted the town water works.  It was then that I told him about the medical mission team from our church traveling to a village in Panama that desperately needed a source of clean water.  We were raising funds to provide an adequate water system for this village in the rain forest.  As we disembarked he asked me to wait a minute.  He then went to an ATM machine, withdrew $200, gave it to me, and said, “Use this to help with that water system.”  Imagine that!  The water of an in-flight conversation with a total stranger was turned into the wine of $200 for a water system in Panama!

The following Sunday I shared this story with my congregation.  After the service I received a note from one of our church members which read, “This water-into-wine must stop here.  Here is my $200, and I think others will want to contribute.”  We raised $10, 000!  I would never have imagined such a scenario.  All I did was “pour the water” during our in-flight conversation.  But, in the life of the man sitting right beside me, God was turning that water into wine.

What are your water-into-wine stories?  Some may have to do with painful relationships in which the miracle of forgiveness has taken place.  Others may have to do with failure of one kind or another and the resurrection that was never thought possible.  I believe all of us have water-to-wine stories.  What’s yours?



Dr. Lawson Bryan is senior pastor of First UMC in Montgomery, located at 2416 W. Cloverdale Park.




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