Jesus turned the water into wine. And that is a mystery.
I think that contemplating some things about that mystery deepen our appreciation for it.
For example Jesus had them fill the containers that would have been used for ritualistic cleansing. It was a party! And they’d emptied whatever the other wine came in. It seems like there should have been an alternative to using those containers.
Imagine today if somebody busted out the communion cups at a church potluck because they ran out of paper ones. People would have an entire dairy farm worth of cows about this.
Jesus use of these vessels suggest several things at the same time: On the one hand, it suggests that he is somehow above the old laws and expectations that God expected: otherwise he wouldn’t have felt free to use them. But at the same time, it asserts the fact that Jesus was doing God’s work. He feels free to use God’s instruments.
Equally paradoxical is the idea that on one level, they were just relaxing and having a party. But Jesus chose to use items that suggest there is some element of purification and cleansing involved in what Jesus is up to, when he turns the water of our lives into the wine of our lives.
The other thing that’s interesting to me is that this passage immediately precedes Jesus’ clearing of the money changers outside the temple. Jesus at his warmest and fuzziest comes right before Jesus at his most righteously angered.
Having our lives turned to wine isn’t all fluff and light. There’s a burden connected to it, a demand. I’ll explore that next time.