Considering the people Jesus touched, I am amazed that there was nobody whom He wouldn’t engage. From promiscuous women to Pharisees, from the poor and oppressed to a rich young ruler, no one was beyond His reach. Even newly-weds did not go unnoticed. In fact, the very first revelation of His glory (John 2:11a) is seen at a wedding reception, when He turned water into wine.
What glory is Scripture referring to?
A glory that proved His identity? YES!
A glory that proved His power? YES!
A glory that proved His love? YES!
“… and His disciples believed in Him.” John 2:11b
Surely, Jesus was authenticated by His identity and power to perform miracles. But, power alone, does not a relationship make. Without His love, He remains far beyond our reach, limited to meaningless Bible studies and lofty doctrinal discussions.
Since “God is love” (1 John 4:8), let’s consider how His love was expressed in this wedding story.
The Master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine…and said, “everyone brings out the choice wine first, and the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but You have saved the best till now. John 2:9-10
I believe it brought Jesus great pleasure to lavish this couple with extravagant love on their wedding day. He not only enabled their celebration to continue; He enhanced it with the finest of wine. What was He doing at a party in the first place? Didn’t He have more pressing spiritual matters to attend to? I’m grateful, that not only did this story get included in Scripture, but was actually clearly described as the FIRST revelation of His glory!
It strikes me that God’s generosity is not limited to the “ultra-spiritual.” His love is powerful enough to touch us in every aspect of our lives. Life in Christ is not separated into various categories. Life is life, whether I’m reading Scripture, participating in ministry, working, spending time with friends or attending a wedding feast. He is in ALL of it with me; every single detail.
Maybe, this is why I enjoy nature.
When I ascend a trail, seeking that perfect view, my heart thrills to behold His glory. One more bend just might be better than the last, so I hike just a little farther, and a little farther.
When my kayak glides through the water, God’s love is written everywhere. Trees boast brilliant shades of green, flowers bloom at water’s edge, and a loon calls from across the lake. As I pause to take in my surroundings, He reminds me to “be still and know that I am God.”
Every scene is a gift from Him. From painted desserts to snow-capped mountains, my eyes behold God’s glory, His gift of love to me. From sunrise to sunset, He paints the sky a vibrant love-letter, dramatically written in blends of pink, orange, red and purple, reminding me of the Master Artiste, who invites me to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalms 34:8)
God gives me so much for my enjoyment: family, friendship, fellowship, music, story….
What do you delight in that God has so richly blessed you with? How does He speak to your heart to reveal His rich and unstoppable love for you? Is it through music? A special dog? Your flower garden? Maybe, you enjoy running, like Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist, who said, “When I run I feel His pleasure.”
Yes. Indeed. We bring God pleasure!
In fact, He delights over us with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17) He opens His hand and satisfies our desires. (Psalms 145:16) He invites us to put our hope in Him, “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Back to our discussion on wine:
I am not suggesting that Jesus finds pleasure in overindulgence. In Ephesians 1:8, Paul warns that getting drunk on wine leads to destructive behaviors that can ruin lives. “Instead,” he invites us to “be filled with the Spirit….”
I once pictured being filled with the Spirit as a command to obey; something I must accomplish, to prove my faithfulness to Him and the church body. But, as God reveals His abounding love for me, more and more, I realize that living in the Spirit brings me the greatest joy of all, far above the finest wine any winery could ever offer.
Though, Scripture reveals a long list of priceless gifts and benefits offered by the Holy Spirit, I will conclude with three that flood my heart with gratitude and joy:
So, if I’m going to overindulge, let it not be wine. Instead, let me overindulge in the Spirit; the LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT! He is GOOD!
May I please Him, as He so lavishly fulfills my greatest pleasure.