Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Epiphany means a manifestation of the divinity of Jesus Christ. A sign. In his gospel, the Apostle John never uses the word "miracle," but sign for the wonderful deeds of Jesus. The other evangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, follow the same chronological outline with descriptions of the episodes in which Jesus showed His power over storms, illnesses or demons. But John, in his more philosophical style, carefully selects only seven signs to include in his account of the life of Jesus, to deal with the meaning of each in detail. Of course, in John 20:30, the apostle says: “And certainly many other signs Jesus made in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these have been written, so that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and for you to believe, have life in His name. ”
Our text for today is the first of Juan's signs. “And on the third day there were weddings in Cana of Galilee; and there was the mother of Jesus. And Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. ” At this time, Jesus had begun His public ministry with His baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, had been tempted by the devil in the desert, had also called His first disciples , including Juan. But He was not yet preaching to the multitudes that the kingdom of God has arrived. Then, when His mother, Mary, told him, "They have no wine," Jesus said: "What do I have to do with you, woman? My hour has not yet come."
Jesus was not obliged to do anything, but by grace he did something. “And there were six stone jars for water, according to the purification of the Jews, and in each one there were two or three pitchers. Jesus said to them: Fill these jars with water. And they filled them up. And he said to them: "Take it out now, and take it to the steward." And they took it. And when the steward tasted the water made wine, and did not know where it was from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew it), the steward called the husband, and said: Every man serves the good wine first, and when they have drunk a lot, then what is inferior, but you have kept the good wine for the last. ”
The emphasis of the gospel according to St. John is the Incarnation. The Word was made flesh not only for the redemption of the human race, but also for the restoration of all creation. In the beginning God created heaven and earth and saw all His work was good. Because of Adam and Eve's disobedience, creation was contaminated by evil, but it was not yet bad in itself. Adam and Eve lost harmony among themselves, God and nature, but Christ, the second Adam, was born to restore this harmony in all aspects. St. John wrote his gospel against the false concept that spirituality, holiness, is the liberation from the flesh and pleasures of this world.
On the contrary, the Holy Spirit sanctifies nature, first human nature. The pious man recognizes the blessings of God in this life, and enjoy them, but in the appropriate manner. Water made wine means that to drink wine is not a sin. Psalm 104: 15 says God is the one who gives us the wine that rejoices the heart of man. There is a problem in drinking too much wine. Drunkenness lowers resistance to temptation. All sin occurs when the human being abuses the blessings created by God and uses them in a selfish and harmful way.
Jesus not only approved the use of wine at this wedding party, He also instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with bread and wine. Without doubt, it was wine in the cup when our Lord took the cup after having dined, and having given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Here is the mystery of the Incarnation and redemption: The bread and wine sanctified by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Also, marriage is a blessing from God in this life. Before the fall of Adam and Eve, God created man and woman in His image and told them to be fruitful and fill the earth with their children. Because of the sin of our first parents, the marriage relationship was distorted. “To the woman he said: I will greatly multiply your pains and pregnancies; with pain you will give birth to the children; and your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. ” God instituted marriage in the beginning as a blessing. And now, in Christ, marriage is blessed even more.
Saint Paul says in Ephesians 5: 22-25, “Married women are subject to their own husbands, as to the Lord. Because the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. So, as the church is subject to Christ, so will the married ones be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for her. ” In addition, “So husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, before he sustains and cares for it, as does the Lord to the church; because we are members of his body, his flesh and his bones. Therefore, the man will leave his father and mother, and will join his wife, and the two will be one flesh. ” (Ephesians 5: 28-31)
Therefore, the spiritual man does not seek to avoid marriage, but seeks a partner for companionship, the gift of children and to avoid sexual immorality.
Because the Lord does not serve the best first, but keeps the best wine for the end. In his parables, the Lord makes the comparison of a wedding party or a banquet for the celebration and worship of the triumphant saints in heaven with Christ. In his Incarnation the Lord reaffirms creation as a work of God, but in his Resurrection he points to a new creation free from sin and death. At baptism we are invited to this party.
In this, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
Send Pastor David Ernst an email.