DayBreaks for 01/10/2019: The First Miracle
From the DayBreaks Archive, January 2009:
One of the craziest questions that is asked (at least on television shows or movies about beauty pageants – at least in “Miss Congeliality”) relates to what the individual would do if they could have the power to change anything – but only one thing – in the world. The right answer, according to that movie, is to say, “World peace.” Not bad. Not bad at all. But what about you? What would you do if you had the power to change any one thing in the entire world? You might say, “Cure cancer”, “Eliminate heart disease”, “End poverty”, “Make sure no one goes to bed hungry” or any of a number of things. And who among us wouldn’t love to have the power to be able to do something like that?
Well, Jesus did have the power. He still does. And so it is all the more interesting that when it came time for his first miracle, it had nothing to do with erasing wars, poverty, or disease. It had to do with helping someone who had run out of wine at a wedding feast.
I don’t for one minute think that Jesus chose a “low-level” nearly invisible miracle as his first one because he wasn’t sure he could pull it off – he wasn’t just “testing the water” (pun intended!) to see if he had power left over from before the Incarnation. He chose this time and place, and this specific miracle rather than anything else that had global impact. Why?
There are the obvious social things: it was expected that wine would be plentiful – not to encourage drunkenness, but because to the Jews, wine was a sign of joy – and what is more joyful than a long-awaited wedding? It is true that those present would go away and tell others about what Jesus did, but wouldn’t it have been more newsworthy and would have been on more front pages if he’d started out with raising the dead? The resurrection of Lazarus was pretty flashy, after all, and certainly got the attention of a lot of people!
I think this was the first miracle because again, God was trying to say, “I care about you and what you care about.” Jesus’ friend (assuming he knew the host, which he almost certainly did) was at risk of embarrassment (heavens, no!). It wasn’t like his friend was about to die of embarrassment or be cut off from his family forever because of this faux pas. It seems a relatively minor thing. But to Jesus it wasn’t. It was enough to make Jesus exert Divine power on behalf of his friend.
Jesus cares. He really does. He showed it by turning water into wine as his first miracle instead of ensuring world peace. The latter would have been just as easy for him as the first. His choice for miracle number one was very telling. What does it tell you about your situation right now?
Prayer: Blessed be Your name, o Mighty God, for all Your goodness and care for us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>