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Is the Best Yet To Come?

Updated: May 2

It is New Year's time. People all over are wishing each other health, happiness, prosperity…a much better year than last year. “May it be the best ever!”

At the crux of it all is hope. We all have hope for a better year, the best year! Think about your life. What in it would you like to see improved? Better next year than it was last year or ever?

For me, I would like better health (I had breast cancer last year) and better relationships with my family, understanding my role as mom of now adult children not living at home and wife with an empty nest.

People ask, “What’s your new year’s resolution?” But rarely do they ask, “What are you going to do to change that?” And even if you have a plan, there is a HUGE percentage of people who fall off that plan within the first 2 weeks. It seems like in more recent times, the word “resolution” has a negative connotation. So many jokes have been made about New Year’s resolutions that the word holds little value. Can we change? How?

This morning, the Lord led me to read the story of the Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. I pray that as we walk through it today, the Lord will open your eyes to some new meaning in how it might relate to your “resolutions” or “hopes and dreams.”

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine (John 2:1-11)

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

I have always taken this story at face value: the awesome first miracle of Jesus. But there is so much rich symbolism here, especially in regard to change. 

First, have you ever noticed that when Jesus’ mother approaches Jesus, she doesn’t ask anything of Him? She announces to Him there is no more wine. There is a problem, and Mary comes to Jesus. Mary shows such faith and conviction that she doesn’t even word it as a question. She basically says, “There is a problem, and I am telling you about it.” Why? Think about it.

She KNOWS Him. As His mother, she knows Him deeply and intimately. She knows what HE is capable of. There is a problem, and she knows He is the only person who can take care of it. She is so sure that even though He tells her His time is not yet come, He will comply. Do you have such faith? She doesn’t know WHAT He is going to do. Just that He CAN do something.

Now consider, does she tell Jesus what to do? Or how to take care of the problem? When you have a problem, do you also provide Jesus the solution? I have to say, I am often guilty of it.

Next, notice what Jesus uses first. He uses vessels similar to those used for the Jewish purification rituals. This is clearly spelled out so it is something to be noted. Purification was needed according to the Levitical laws of Moses for many different situations, including touching dead bodies, any bodily fluids, diseases--basically for to make any unclean thing clean and ready to be made holy (Leviticus 15). There is no indication that they have ever been used that way; all we know is that they are empty. This description serves as both a visual for the reader but also as a metaphor for what is to come.  

Jesus tells the servants to fill these vessels vessels with water. The servants fill it to the brim. Why say that?

There is no room for anything else to be added. You can’t even stir a vessel that is filled to the brim, right?

Then Jesus tells the servants to take some to the master of the feast to taste. He declares it is the best. Most people served that best first when people could still taste it and then lesser wines as the night went on. But in this case, the best was yet to come.

The miracle is in the filling of the vessels with water. At this point, Jesus has not declared himself the living water (John 4:10), yet in the Old Testament scripture, God is described as this (example Jeremiah 17:13). In essence, they are full of HIM, the living water. They are filled so that nothing more can be added.

We don’t exactly know when it turns to wine. Did it turn to wine in the jugs? Did it change while the servants carried the water to the master? Were they scared of what he would say? (It was a huge test of faith for these servants to obey Jesus. Can you imagine?) Did it change upon touching his lip? We don’t know. All we know is when he takes the first sip, he declares it is wine—not any wine, but the BEST wine. 

You see, my friends, life is filled with things we think are great. There was nothing wrong with the first batch of wine. No one complained. People were able to celebrate and make merry with it. Everyone thought they had what was the best that they could ever have. Then their cups ran dry. They were left empty. There was one person at the party who knew what could be done about it.

Do you ever feel like you had the best and now you are empty? Maybe it is in one area of your life. Maybe it is every part of your life?

I know a guy who can help you with that. Let me be your Mary and let Jesus know. He can touch any part of your life and not only fill it, but He can use things that we think of as ordinary and mundane as water and make it extraordinary and fill us with more than we ever expected.  I don’t know how He will do it or when He will do it. But I know He CAN. With the confidence of Jesus’ mother, I pray this for you as well.

As for you, recognize where you are getting empty like the people who alerted Jesus’ mother. Tell Jesus your needs with confidence like Mary. Then obey what Jesus tells you to do with complete faith like the servants who did their part. And through this, may others see God's glory and believe like the disciples. May Jesus have all the glory in your life!

Lord Jesus, I come to You in the spirit of the new year to ask You to see the empty, lesser parts of our lives. See those areas that we need You. The wedding guests didn’t even yet know what was happening. But somehow word got to Mary and then to Jesus. So here I am, Lord, asking you to see my friend and her empty cup. Places where she settled for less than without realizing it. I ask You to show up BIG in her life this year. When she reflects on her life over this coming year, I pray she will see evidence of You everywhere. Open her eyes to realize it is YOU who touched her emptiness and traded it for the best and be like the disciples, knowing and believing. We know we live in a broken world with heavy burdens. You tell us to come to You all who labor and are heavy laden and You will give us rest, to take Your yoke upon us and learn from You, because You are gentle and lowly in heart, and we will find rest in our souls from You. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) You also tell us not to be anxious for tomorrow but when we seek Your Kingdom, all we need will be given to us (Matthew 6:33-34). I pray that this year, we will seek You in all areas of our lives, see You there, obey Your instruction, and carry the hope that the best IS yet to come. In Jesus’ Gentle yet Powerful Name I pray, Amen.

I love when God uses real life situations to show us things about Himself on so many levels. Did this story really happen? Yes! Did Jesus show something to His disciples and help them believe at that time? Yes! Does God tell us this so we can see the power of Jesus years later for them in that time? Yes!

But it not only was for that situation at that time. That same power lives today. God shows us that He can take our empty souls today and fill them with new, better things. But even beyond that, this story is for our eternity. The old wine is our old lives. The water symbolizes the living water—baptism. And the new wine is our everlasting life with Him. So take heart, my beloved friends, because through Jesus, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

What is your New Year’s Resolution or areas of your life where you are empty and need to see some change? Can I be your Mary and pray with you about it? I don’t know what Jesus will do about it or how or when, but I know He CAN when we let Him know about it. You don’t even need a Mary. You can tell JESUS yourself. But if you need guidance with this, let me know; I’d love to pray with you. If you want more in depth help, schedule a session with me. Let’s tackle it together, engaging the Holy Spirit of God, with full confidence.

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