Only a few knew where the good stuff had come from. His mother, some household servants, the disciples, and Jesus. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 to 180 gallons of water miraculously changed into, what sounds like, some pretty fine wine — and only a handful of people knew that this drink of the vine totally bypassed the vine part. But while only a few knew how the wine came to be, it’s the commentary of one of the consumers of the wine that’s running around in my head. And if I’m picking up on some of what’s being laid down in this story, then I’m thinking the best is yet to come.
When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:9-10 ESV)
Perhaps this independent review of the drink created by Jesus was recorded in order to remove any doubt that water had, in fact, been turned into wine. Here’s a detached third party, knowing nothing of where this wine came from, testifying that not only is it wine, but that it is “good wine.” So good, in fact, it’s not what you expect to be served at the end of a celebration, but at the beginning, when the palettes are freshest and the appreciation is the greatest. But beyond the master of the feast’s unknowing “5 stars” witness to Jesus as Creator and Master over creation’s processes (as in the water-to-ground-to-vine-to-grape-to-wine process), I’m wondering if there isn’t a bit of a foreshadow offered to those who have accepted the invitation to the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9) . . . that the best is yet to come.
As good as it might be now, what will it be like in that day when Jesus again manifests His glory (John 2:11) and the Bridegroom receives His bride? Sure, we have tasted of the living water . . . and have begun to know something of the joy that comes from drinking deep. We’ve even started knowing something of the abundant life that comes from being attached to the Vine — not abundant in the material sense, but the fullness of life that is found in being connected to the Author of Life (Acts 3:15, John 11:25-26). But while this is good, the best is yet to come.
Faith will give way to sight and we will see, face to face, the Wine-maker. That which we experience today “in a mirror dimly,” and know only in part, will give way to being known fully (1Cor. 13:12). And like the master of the feast, we will be in awe at what the Bridegroom had in store for those who stuck with the celebration.
Sometimes we get weary. Sometimes the new wine of the gospel which we’ve been allowed to freely partake of becomes commonplace and starts tasting kind of old. But then, by God’s grace, whether through His Word, through His people, or directly through His Spirit, we get a fresh taste of what’s been served up through the cup we share in. And that taste ignites again a thirst and a longing. A taste that reminds us of how good it is now . . . and a longing for the best that is yet to come.
Drink deep in anticipation of the celebration yet to come, faithful saint. Keep on keepin’ on . . .
Because of grace . . . for His glory.