In our series on “The Miraculous & The Mundane”, we looked at the first of Jesus’s miracles (or ‘signs’) which John describes in his gospel (John 2:1-11). The miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana not only reminds us how Jesus was present in his community, being holy in everyday life rather than hiding away as a hermit, and also how Jesus endorsed the God-given gift of marriage through His presence, but shows us something of God’s bountiful nature. The problem – running out of wine during the festivities – was not life-threatening, but would have resulted in shame for the families; Jesus did not merely ‘solve’ the problem, but provided more than enough wine for the newly-married couple. His generosity reminds us that God always gives us more than enough; He is a generous God who wants to bless.
This is one of two miracles recorded by John which do not appear in the other gospels (the raising of Lazarus being the other one) and we are explicitly told this was the first miracle Jesus did, a sign that brought glory to God and encouraged faith in His disciples. Yet at the same time, it was (in many ways) an ordinary and domestic miracle that probably went unnoticed by the vast majority of people present. A problem averted, so to speak, rarely makes the news. This reminds us that God often works miracles in ways that seem very ordinary. Every answer to prayer is a miracle, but not everyone knows about these things or believes God is responsible for the answer!
Jesus does not initially seem to have been keen to answer His mother’s plea for help, and we may find this delay puzzling (as we see also with the raising of Lazarus, when Jesus stayed where He was for a further two days after hearing that His friend was ill, or the healing of the daughter of a Canaanite woman in Matt 15:24-26.) Perhaps there are times when God delays answering us to see how sincere our requests are and how determined our faith is to trust, even when we do not see. (John 20:29) Certainly, Jesus’s response did not deter Mary, who told the servants to do whatever He told them. (John 2:5) There, in a nutshell, is the key to seeing miracles in our own lives. Faith and obedience are the keys to opening the door to the miraculous. God alone can do miracles, but as we trust and obey Him, we too can be involved in these everyday miracles. (John 14:12)