Wine and Michael Jackson

If you’ll bear with me for a moment, I’d like to offer you two quotes to examine. The first is from the song “Black or White” by Michael Jackson. It embarrasses me (significantly, I’m an 80s heavy metal child) to quote MJ lyrics, but it’s the song from a SoundCloud “Mixes and Mashups” that inspired this post.

Now I believe in miracles
And a miracle has happened tonight

The second is from Jesus’ first recorded miracle in John 2:1-11 (NIV).

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. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“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.

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.

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

They did so, 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 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.”

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.

Clearly, a miracle “happened tonight” at the wedding feast. There are many aspects of this miracle that transcend the physical facts:

  • new wine represents the new life Jesus offers (the new promise, or covenant, that replaced the law); the old wine (law-based covenant) had run out for the Jewish people and they needed the new wine
  • there were six water jars (six represents man in the scripture) and they were made of stone – this represents their hardened hearts
  • the stone jars were filled to the brim with water – we must be filled with the living water (Jesus) fully to displace everything else that draws us away from Him
  • once we are filled to overflowing with water (Jesus), He will make us new – the water is transformed into the choice wine, a blessing.

While each of these deserves a discussion on its own merits, I highlighted one specific item in the scripture narrative. It is Mary’s statement to “Do whatever he tells you.” I think this offers us great insight into our relationship with Jesus. Jesus’ life and teachings direct us toward the way to live out these days we have been given. Our miracle awaits when we do what he tells us, when we obey. If we choose Jesus, we are filled with the living water and we will be changed into the finest of wines.

Wherever you are today, right this minute, ask Jesus what needs to be emptied from your stone jar so that you may be filled up with Him. It is this step of faith that will result in your singing of Jesus’ praise:

Now I believe in miracles
And a miracle has happened tonight.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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