The miracle of transformation

JESUS SPEAKING

               On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.  And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”  

               His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 

               Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 

               When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.  And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2: 1-10.)

 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus has always had the ability transform ordinary things in to extraordinary things.  While attending a wedding feast in Cana, he was approached by his mother who requested that he turn water in to wine.  Mary’s concern was warranted; Jewish weddings incorporated wine in to many of the marriage ceremonies; running out was an extremely bad sign.  As part of his provision he commanded that the water pots be filled to the brim (the water pots were probably partially filled with water because the guests who entered the home had likely used some of the water to wash their hands (as was the mosaic custom.))  Without a word, the water was transformed in to wine.  Water had long been seen as the only means of cleansing (symbolized by the water pots); transforming the water in to wine symbolized a new way to be cleansed.  The new cleansing was internal; a purity in the heart, not a purity merely of the hands.  The wine was a symbol of Christ’s blood, shed on the cross for the sins of the heart.  The servants then brought the wine to the master of the ceremony; he was amazed that the new wine was superior to the old wine.  This was a picture of God’s plan for creation.  Before Christ arrived, God had made provision for sins by way of animal sacrifice.  Under the old covenant, the people were focused solely on right action; they were focused on outward obedience.  Yet, the root of sin was the heart; God’s method of inward forgiveness was provided by the blood of Jesus Christ.  The more excellent method, much like the best wine, had come near the end.  Today, we who have tasted the blood of Christ are under a new covenant.  We understand why all of the animal sacrifices and rituals prior to the cross were unable to truly make us clean.

                I went through a treatment center to recover from drug addiction and alcoholism.  When I first got sober, much of my behavior was outwardly changed.  I began to be honest; I stopped using drugs; I got a job, and I began to exercise.  After about a year and a half though, I realized that nothing had truly changed; my outsides were different, but my insides were still sick.  Then I had an experience with Jesus Christ, and my heart began to change.  I no longer did the right thing out of obligation, but out of love.  God had produced a transformation that I was incapable of making myself.  I had entered in to the new covenant; I was alive for the first time.  Unless my heart had been changed, I would have definitely gone back to abusing drugs.  Sadly, I have seen many who have gone on for years, miserable, believing that because they haven’t had a drop of alcohol, they are living life.  But they never accepted Jesus Christ, and so their hearts remained in darkness; many who have refused Christ have returned to using drugs (the outward change alone was insufficient.)

                There are many things we can change through effort and careful observance of our own behavior.  Still, the one thing that truly needs to be changed is the heart; only God can make that change.  Just as Jesus turned the water in to wine, he can also turn an unloving person in to a person filled with compassion and mercy.  He can take ordinary people, and make them in to extraordinary people; but he can’t change what he’s not allowed to touch.  Let’s hand our hearts over to him, that we may experience the miracle of true transformation.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we know that You saved the best for last.  We have tasted of Your Son, and he is good.  We ask that by his blood You would make our hearts completely clean.  Cleanse us Lord, and make us like new.  Fill us with love, compassion, mercy, faithfulness, and hope.  Father, we love You, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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