Awkward moments. We’ve all been there… You say something you didn’t mean to say. You see that person you haven’t seen since you blew them off or ignored their texts. You spill a drink on someone which leaves them drenched with no change of clothes. Someone gossips to you about someone else only to have that person walk up on the conversation… Awkwardness happens. Jesus even experienced some awkward moments as He went about ushering in His Kingdom and plan for rescuing the world.
This past Sunday, we looked at one of those awkward moments. In an awkward moment for the bridegroom of the wedding, Jesus does an “awkward” thing. In reality though, what Jesus does was not that awkward for the people who were actually there. They were probably just amazed that Jesus was able to do what He did. The only “awkward” part is for us to be reading about Jesus, our Savior and King, serving up strong wine to people at a wedding.
As we unpacked John 2:1-11, we discovered that Jesus’ first miracle wasn’t as flashy or seemingly “powerful” as other miracles he would later perform. However, Jesus wasn’t all into making a “big splash” as He began His ministry. He would often perform a miracle and then tell people to not share it. Kind of strange, I know, but Jesus very cautiously unveiled who He was and what He was doing. I’m not completely for sure why He took this approach, but I do know that the primary focus was not supposed to be on the miracle but on the One performing the miracle…
Perhaps, Jesus knew people would just gravitate toward the spectacular and mind-blowing events. Maybe He knew people would only become greedy, selfish, and all too consumed with getting their own miracle. So because of these things, it could be that Jesus slowly showed who He was to certain people at certain times. Yes, at other times, a public miracle would take place, but I believe it was never meant to be fully about the miracle. Instead, it was ultimately about Jesus showing who He was/is.
What does all of this mean for you and me?
You can get distracted by the fact that you maybe don’t like wine or think anyone should drink it and then Jesus, your Savior, goes and turns water into wine…
Or you can notice how Jesus carefully intervened in this moment to save someone (the bridegroom) from great embarrassment in an awkward moment (running out of drink for his guests). You could also realize that Jesus was modeling for us that He cares about the things that could embarrass us or create awkward situations.
Actually, you and I are all victims of being caught in an awkward moment… We’re guilty before God because of our sin and disobedience. We awkwardly come before Him at times with our selfish prayers lacking confidence in who we are and who He is. However, in our awkwardness, in our messiness, Jesus still meets us where we are! His truth and plans are hard for us to accept at times, but in some cases, He intervenes in the best way possible that wasn’t even on our radar. In return, we even make things awkward again by abusing His grace and mercy just as I’m sure people “abused” the wine He provided at the wedding.
I also believe Jesus was showing us that we must pay attention to other people. We must be present, attentive to the moment, and willing to help someone that might be stuck in an awkward situation. Are you willing to step into a messy situation with someone so that they come out better on the other side? It would be much easier to just ignore it and “pray” they figure it out, but just as Jesus did, we should be willing to help others in their moments of tension… keeping in mind that the goal is not what we do but ultimately to reflect who we live for (Jesus) and who we are (His disciples).
Finally, if you happen to be struggling with the whole conversation of Jesus serving up wine, then take a holistic viewpoint of how this issue is addressed throughout Scripture. Don’t let this be the focal point though for you as it really wasn’t for Jesus. As a church, we don’t encourage or discourage the use of responsible wine/drink. In connection with the whole counsel of Scripture, we say let the Holy Spirit give you wisdom and discernment as to whether you should/shouldn’t exercise this liberty. Here’s a two part article that may be helpful to you. We don’t take these articles as “doctrine” but they offer some interesting thoughts and perspectives… Part 1 Part 2