I’ve been thinking today about the time Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. His mom, Mary, told him to. Mary then told everyone at the wedding to do whatever Jesus said. Interesting: one of the few interchanges we see involving Mary, and most of what we see is her telling other people (including the Son of God) what to do. Apparently she knew how to make stuff happen.
Lyricist of the contemporary church Chris Tomlin has us sing Water you turned into wine / opened the eyes of the blind / there’s no one like you / none like you. Indeed Jesus did turn water into wine. However, I’m struck by the reason behind the miracle:
Jesus performs a miracle so that we might believe. The miracle has already happened and has been recorded in the gospel of John. If we believe that H2O became Wine-2-O, then we have all the more reason to believe that Jesus is the Christ. If you and I were in the original Rat Pack, we’d say “wow — that was a miracle — He is who He says He is” or something like that.
Unfortunately, we’re here in the 21st century, separated by time, culture, practice. For the most part, water remains as water. But the miracle isn’t the physical transformation. The miracle is Christ and His coming and our believing.
Tomlin is wise to have us sing about wine in a worship song. It’s not about vino, it’s about the miracles of Jesus as signs that point to God in the flesh, who walked among us, died for us, rose again (the greatest miracle) and will return — not to turn water into wine but to bring a New Heavens and a New Earth. That Jesus can change the molecular structure of liquid is impressive; that He can remove our sin and guilt is beyond comprehension. Both miracles. For me, it’s easier to understand the wine. Besides… the closest I come to a miracle like this is turning water into ice.
That’s the best I can do.