The glory was manifest that day. And while the disciples had front row seats, what’s capturing my thoughts are the no-name servants who were actually “on stage” as part of the drama. So this morning, I’m thinking about the connection between filling jars and seeing the glory.
Jesus had RSVP’d in the affirmative . . . with a +12! His disciples would also accompany Him. They all would attend the wedding at Cana in Galilee. They would all hear of things going south as the wine vats were going dry. And they would all look on as mom whispered to Jesus, “Please do something!”
Though it wasn’t yet “His hour”, the Creator of the process that made it possible for water to fall onto soil, release nutrients that could then be absorbed by a vine, which, in turn, would produce grapes, which could then be made into wine, this Creator consented to bypass the natural so that His glory might be manifest. But the disciples weren’t the only ones who would see the miracle.
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 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 . . .
(John 2:5-9 ESV)
The servants were pretty much nobodies. They were at the wedding only to do the bidding of others. To take commands and perform them. But though the invited guests wouldn’t know where it came from; though the master of the feast couldn’t figure out how such quality beverage had been held back for so long; though even the bridegroom had no idea how this new wine (which made what he had brought seem like the cheap stuff) had appeared on the tables, the nobodies who had drawn the water knew. Along with the disciples, they were eye-witnesses to the glory manifested.
And I’m thinking about the connection between serving Jesus and seeing the glory.
Though the task might seem insignificant–“Fill the jars with water” . . . “Dip some out and take it to the M.C.” . . . “Do whatever He tells you”–though others have no idea what we’re doing for Him, the very fact that He’s speaking to us and we’re listening to Him sets the stage for seeing the glory.
Proximity to Deity always has the potential to deliver on awe. Though we might rarely see the kingdom connection with our ordinary acts of obedience, when, on occasion, He graciously permits us to see the plain water we poured in, come out as the exceptional wine He’s chosen to make apart from “due process”, then we see the glory. The bit part He’s asked us to play in the drama puts us in a position to see the story unfold from the closest of vantage points. Because we were there, though we were unseen, we get to see what many miss–the glory manifested.
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
(Psalm 84:10 NLT)
A doorkeeper in the palace gets to see the King every so often. A servant of the Master is privileged with an insider’s view of the Master’s business. And a filler of jars might, on occasion, be the presenter of a fine wine that blesses others. The Source of which few even recognize. But the servant beholds the glory manifested.
According to the Master’s grace. Always for the Master’s glory.