Saving the Best for Last

A sermon on John 2: 1-11

So, who doesn’t want to party with Jesus?  Two thousand years before we’re all wearing masks and worrying about whether we can take them off long enough to sip a tiny cup of grape juice, Jesus is whooping it up with his disciples in Cana.  I can’t wait until we can do that again.

Then – the wine runs out.  Now this is no life or death situation – Jesus himself rolls his eyes at his mother when she askes him to do something about it – “What concern is that to you and me?” 

But moms know something that their sons sometimes forget – running out of refreshments at the party can really dampen the mood – that’s why I prepare enough to feed an army when even just a few other people come over.  Better to be consigned with the leftovers than to run out mid-gathering.

And so Jesus fixes the problem – over-fixes the problem if you want the truth.  Some of our winemakers can tell me how many cases you can make with about 150 gallons of wine – Google tells me it’s over 60 cases.  That should get them through the rest of the wedding and then some.  Back to the party, folks!

But why the abundance?  Elizabeth Johnson, of Lutheran Theological Seminary in the Cameroon says “Jesus’ extravagant miracle of changing the water into wine is a sign that in him, life, joy, and salvation have arrived.”  We talk about eternal life with Jesus, but another, maybe more accurate translation is not related to time, but to quantity – abundant life.  And here there is indeed abundance in Jesus.  Johnson continues, “Abundant life is more than mere existence or survival, and certainly more than an abundance of material things. Abundant life is to know and be known by the One through whom all life came into being (John 1:3; see also John 17:3). It is to have an intimate relationship with the One who loves us so much that he doesn’t know how to stop giving. It is the kind of life depicted by the abundance of fine wine in this story.”

And the abundance of Jesus is not just about having a lot – even too much of something. There’s a quality issue too — for Jesus good enough is not good enough – the wine is the best they’d ever had. It’s not too late to have the best – especially when the best is Jesus.

To hear the full sermon, listen here. Don’t forget your favorite chocolate — you’ll be glad to have it!