How we perceive God and how we relate with Him is largely dependent on whether we focus on His acts – the things He does, or His ways – His word, instructions and commands.
In a city called Cana in Galilee, which was about four and a half miles northwest of Nazareth, a wedding took place. At that wedding, was Mary the mother of Jesus. Also present at the wedding on invitation was Jesus and His disciples (John 2:1 – 2)
At a point during the wedding party, the hosts ran out of wine. The implication of running out of wine during a wedding feast was a serious one in the East those days. It was not only embarrassing but also humiliating to the bride and the groom.
Word got to Mary about this situation and she approached Jesus. It is apparent from Mary’s role at this wedding that these people were family, so the embarrassment of running out of wine would have extended to her as well. She promptly came to Jesus. All she said to Him was, ‘They have no wine’.
That short and precise statement shows a lot about the existence of a close and deep relationship between mother and son. She did not need to say too much or go into a long winded story of what went wrong, who was at fault and what implication it would have on the family’s reputation if the situation was not addressed. She simply said, ‘They have no wine’ (John 2:3)
From the response of Jesus, it sounds as if He was reluctant to do anything about the situation. He knew what His mother wanted Him to do as can be deduced from his statement, “Is it any of our business, Mother-yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me” (John 2:4)
To me, as I read this exchange, it sounded like the typical banter between a mother and a child who understood each other so well. Mary simply walked away telling the the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it”. This reminds me of how my mother used to ensure I do certain things even when I was reluctant.
Jesus gave instructions for some water pots nearby to be filled with water. The servants obeyed as Mary told them. The result was that from not having wine, they now had six pots full, each containing 20 – 30 gallons of wine. Not only did they have wine in abundance, the new wine was of much better quality than the earlier one they had.
At another event, Jesus had just finished preaching. The meeting ended quite late, close to the time of the Passover feast. Jesus knew that the people would not have enough time to get back to town and prepare for the feast. He therefore requested that bread be bought for the people to eat.
The disciples, unlike Mary, did not understand how a crowd of over five thousand people could be fed with their limited resources. They asked the question, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn't be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece”. Andrew also added his own doubts after identifying a boy who had five loaves and two fishes.
At that point Jesus requested the people to sit in groups, blessed the five loaves and two fishes and the result was that there was not enough to go round, there was leftover of twelve full baskets!
The following day, the people who had been fed by Jesus, began looking for him. They discovered he had left and traced him to Capernaum. When they saw him, they asked, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’ Jesus answered, “You've come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free” (John 6:25 - 26)
There are so many in the church today who are seeking God, not because they seek a relationship but because of what they can get from Him. Many of them soon become disillusioned after they have waited for a while, waiting for the miracle to happen. Just like those people were looking for Jesus from one place to another, there are many today who are looking for God’s miracles – His acts, from one ministry to another and even from one religion to another.
Seeking God because of miracles has drawn many into deception and unfortunate ends. I recently read in the news about a couple who went to a church because they needed a miracle baby. They got one but later lost the child in a legal battle when it was discovered that the children were not theirs. The judge said the woman had been subjected to great psychological and physical trauma and deceived into believing that she actually delivered the child miraculously.
God still works miracles but the miracles are to draw us to Him and to help our faith grow. When we begin walking with Him and learning His ways everyday of our life, the miraculous becomes something we know He is able to do, even though we don’t see it happening when we expect it to.
Focus on God’s ways and you will find yourself walking in the miraculous.
(c) 2011, Biblepraise Fellowship Online
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org