John 2:9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. ESV
God’s Word about this wedding began way back in Genesis, with a rib.a One rib that turned one flesh into two people that completed the image of God, “male and female He created them.” Then God set up a condition, a promise and a blessing.b The condition was the agreement to each set aside others in order to be joined together. The promise was there would be a unique new “oneness” that would strengthen their own individuality. The blessing was, in that joining each would become more fully themselves [naked] before one another. That’s the ideal. This wedding is the next act of God’s story.
It’s about introducing Jesus into the marriage. All the expected trimmings of a celebration of family and friends with food and drink aren’t enough to make God’s ideal a reality without Jesus attending the party. God’s intent for the marital relationship was that it would flesh out the relationship He desired to have with His people. God is the bridegroom and his church, you and I, are His bride, but it takes Jesus to keep the party going. “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now…And his disciples believed in him.”
a Genesis 2:22
b Genesis 2:24-25
MSG 8-11 It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, lif, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.
This is probably the toughest “first” chapter so far for me. I struggle with the use of the law. I want to understand the law as a standard for correction that results in the victory of restoration not a cattle-prod of control but when push comes to shove that’s pretty hard to live out. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “hate the sin but love the sinner.” That’s the ideal. That’s easy to believe but that’s also where all the confusion about the use of the law comes into play.
I found this quote in a commentary: “The demands of the law exceed our ability, and the knowledge of our sin that comes from these demands leads us to repentance.” That quote revealed some truth to me about my use of the law. My limited ability to understand the use of the law is as big an issue for me as it is for that sinner. The reality is the sin the law reveals in someone else has an impact on me. My response to the law and that sinner makes their sin my issue. God has planned for the law to correct the sinner, but wait…there’s more. The revelation of their sin that’s meant to lead their sinful heart to repentance and the use of “that moral guidance and counsel needed” that “exceeds” my ability…is meant to change my heart too. The law is not “us versus them.” Repentance for the inability of my heart to empathize with the needs of another heart is the victory God desires from His law. Lord, work that victory out in me too please.