Autumnal vision can be skewed by memories and emotions. And I am worried and discouraged about many things – my own failures and limitations, those of the church, and enemies who want to destroy America, and the church, literally. Reading through John’s account of the wedding and the Temple purging, I gleaned comfort when I saw an application for my changing age and stage. In this account, I see God in Christ drawing very close to His people privately to meet a highly personal need, and publicly to restore right worship.
Circumstances can rob me of joy. John endured many worrisome and discouraging circumstances. However, John believed God was faithful, and since he had a pulse, he had a purpose in a situation that the world might judge as a supreme failure.
- The Romans still controlled Jerusalem.
- He had been exiled, cut off from the churches he shepherded.
- Tradition says his face was plunged in hot oil.
- He had seen the Temple torn down, and the Jews dispersed.
- He knew many were persecuted for the Lord’s sake.
So, John stayed focused on his mission – making Christ known so others might believe and have life in His name. John wanted others to know that happened when Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, lived with His people as His hour came. John described when and why he and the others put their faith in Jesus of Nazareth, and why many did not.
Christ’s first miracle connected an Old Testament promise of fine wine, restoration and revival to a literal occurrence. “The beginning points to the end.” (Pastor Skip Ryan) Next, the Lord did something that took John and the disciples many years to understand. It was not a miracle; it was Christ’s job. (Malachi 3:2-4) Nothing escaped His notice – including the heart of man.
At my age, I can feel myself running out of many things I took for granted. At my age, I also know I can’t know all the sins that impede my prayers – and I can’t turn a blind eye to my failures and those of the church. (Psalm 130:3-6 ) How reassuring it is to read John’s account of the Lord doing what He came to do, quietly, personally, and then publicly – perfectly.
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)