A Very Odd Miracle

The actual miracle that Christ performs in John 2.1-11, is odd because he doesn’t really “perform” anything, and that is significant.  Let’s walk quickly through the Jesus producing wine with water:

  • Jesus tells the servants to fill 6 stone water jars with water
  • The servants fill them to the brim
  • Jesus tells them: “Draw some out and take it to the master of the feast”
  • They take the water/wine and when the headmaster tastes it, he pronounces the [now] wine the best of the evening.

Some oddities:

  • Jesus doesn’t do anything.  He just makes two commands to the servants.
  • The only people who know [as far as we can see from the narrative] that Jesus does this miracle are: Mary, Jesus’ disciples, and the servants.  They don’t even bother telling the master of the feast what happened, although no doubt the word must have gotten around quickly.

This incredible miracle has just been performed in the presence of dozens and dozens of guests and hardly anyone knows.  Also, the miracle is so low key.  No incantations over the water, no abracadabras, just “Fill” and “Draw and take” and water becomes wine [Indeed, so low key is the actual miracle that some commentators have argued on and on about when exactly the water became wine, as if that were important here].

Jesus, starting from the very first, is not going to adhere to our conception of how a miracle should take place.  Two commands and water becomes wine with no fanfare.  To see miracles we are going to have to be perceptive and really see, or we might miss them altogether, as the master of the feast certainly did, or we might explain them away as unusual phenomena, but nothing special.  As Jesus took pains to point out to Mary, he is no genie in a bottle.  He will act when he decides to act, and in the way that he wants, not the way we expect him to act.

 

 

 

 

 

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