I have read many times about the first miracle of Jesus at the marriage of Cana of Galilee from the book of John 2: 1-12 and although many have wrongly used this story to defend their addiction to strong wine, I intend not to trade words with any. For me and for now, there are issues of more concern than the matter of wine. Do you recall the story at all?
A man and woman were getting married and as usual, they had a wedding reception. Mary, the mother of Jesus was invited and somehow, someone felt Jesus, an ‘SU’, should also be invited. (It’s rare to invite Jesus to parties these days. He is copiously absent in most parties.)
Anyway, Jesus attended this party because He was invited, but He didn’t go alone. The couple had to make extra provisions for His entourage, made up of 12 or more of His disciples. (Is Jesus a burden to you; the reason you cut Him off your function?)
In the course of the wedding reception, the last bottle of wine was served without any hope of restocking, but somehow, Mary got a wind of it. She immediately approached Jesus for a solution (Jesus remains a problem solver till today) and although He felt it was not yet time for Him to launch His ministry, yet for the respect He had for His mother, Mary, He assisted in rolling off the reproach of the couple.
He called the servants to fill up the available six water pots with water and thereafter, he asked them to do the unimaginable. “Draw some out now and take it to the master of the feast,” he said. ‘Foolishly,’ the servants obeyed without questioning His order.
The master of the feast, also known as the Master of Ceremony (MC) tasted the water-turned-wine and cried out: “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
What, however, caught my attention and set about the writing of this piece is found in John 2:9: “When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, AND DID NOT KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM (but the servants who had drawn the water knew)…”
Usually in such an event, you will agree with me that MCs or Chairmen are highly considered or esteemed than servants. The MC is more visible and more respected, but in our story, this MC knew nothing about the party he sat upon as the chairperson. He was completely ignorant of happenings at the party, yet nothing was hidden to the servants.
While the MC stood aloof, the servants had a relationship with Jesus. They knew when the last bottle of wine was taken out of the cooler and served. They understood the implication of not having enough wine in such a ceremony and they presented and yielded themselves for a solution. The servants, not the MC, knew how a better wine replaced the initial seemingly good wine. (Every wine you taste looks good until you taste the wine of Christ.)
Servants take and act on instructions, but MCs issue/dish out instructions. Unlike the servants, MCs are not made to take instructions, not even from Jesus. Servants understand it all and they perform those foolish-looking tasks that keep parties going.
With the party of the body of Christ, the Church, needing a new wine, you can be sure that MCs are kept in the dark about the whole issue. It is rare that MCs would be considered in getting the Church the much needed new wine. Why?
MCs are too noble to put their hands on the sand pan. They are too dignified to pick up buckets of water and go the river to fill up water pots. They are masters in their own rights and they simply cannot do menial things in the body of Christ. They love to be exalted and celebrated, though they are as empty as the word empty itself.
“Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; BUT THEIR NOBLES did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord. Nehemiah 3:5
While almost everybody in town, across professions and families, did one thing or the other to get the wall of Jerusalem back in place as led by Nehemiah, some noble men felt they were too big to be involved in the mixing of sand and cement. That they did not put their shoulders to the work means they were not ready to shoulder any responsibility. These were big men; too noble to make themselves available for God’s use.
The servants took instructions from Jesus and laboured behind the scene. Their labour, though quiet, however, soon announced itself. To the embarrassment of the MC, they brought about the restoration of the party and saved the couple from disgrace.
Nobody knew how they did what they did. They laboured in silence and went through tough situations without complaining. All they wanted to see was the restoration of that party and if they had to act foolishly, so to say and carry out an instruction no one has ever obeyed before, they were ready. Servants have hearts made-up to go the extra mile for revival and they will do anything scripturally correct to see life being brought back into the body of Christ.
As for the MCs, they are too busy enjoying the glamour of the Church; delivering lifeless messages in lifeless Mortuaries (Sanctuaries) and receiving ego-blowing accolades from people. Covered up with fats, they sit heavily on ministries emptied of wine. Will someone please tell them that without wine, their party is tending towards an embarrassing end?
Anyway, thank God for true servants. I am sure that what these true servants are busy doing secretly, will one day affect the entire body of Christ positively. The expected new wine will come and the body of Christ will glow again.
“For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.” I Cor. 1:26-27Amp
Imagine that while dignitaries sat in their gorgeously looking dresses, these servants put on their overalls, carried their buckets of water on their heads and left for the river to fetch water. People disdained them, yet nobody knew they were at work for the good of all.
They were not influential by the world’s standards, yet they influenced the party. You won’t call them wise people, but these servants, by their seemingly foolish acts, eventually revealed the true foolishness in those the world considered as wise and noble.
Thank God for servants, for if all were to be like the MC and the “awaye wa jeun/j’aiye” (I’m in this world to eat and enjoy) guests, the party would have ended up in shame. Thank God for servants who did not waste precious time debating or deliberating on the instruction of Jesus. Had they done so, the nakedness of the party would have been exposed to all. The body of Christ, just as this party, is doomed without such servants.
While it was a good thing that the couple invited and allowed Jesus, it was more important that Jesus had the services of these servants at the party. Think of what would have been the situation if Jesus was present, but servants were missing. The presence of Jesus without men to run around and carry out His instruction to the letter would not have made any difference. Without sincere servants, the presence of Jesus will hardly matter much.
The only time you will see Jesus in a helpless situation, so to say, is when you have MCs and VIPs around Him. Revival will tarry when we all clamour for the seat of the Master of Ceremony with nobody willing to serve. Who, but servants, would let go of the pleasures of the moment to labour in fetching water? Who, but servants would have done away with the shame of bearing pitchers of water while others sat comfortably with men waiting on them?
Mary avoided wasting her time approaching the MC about the problem, because she knew the disposition of most MCs. What would the drunken MC have done? Do we expect him to buy wine from his personal money? Such a sacrifice is far from MCs. Nothing good comes out of them. We know them!
What good can you expect from a man who was ignorant of the presence of the King of glory in the party he sat over? How will a man without a relationship with Jesus approach Him for solution? Mary did, because she had a relationship with Jesus.
Tell a MC, “Whatever He says to you, do,” and watch him react with pride. How dare you give orders to a Master of Ceremony without envisaging any problem? Are you surprised that Jesus has since kept quiet in such places where MCs are dominant? He will rather wait and watch until servants emerge.
MCs and VIPS are in our Churches just to catch fun, as they say. They are merely interested in the Church entertainment and once it is over, they jump off to any other interesting thing or place in town. They are with us to criticize, but don’t ever think they will lift up their fingers to put things right. MCs are known to run their tongues, but their shoulders they keep away from responsibilities. They are not response-able (responsible) but mere merrymakers.
“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human.
It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death–and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth–even those long ago dead and buried–will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ.” Phil. 2:5-10
Jesus had all that could make Him act as the Master of Ceremony here on earth, but He chose to serve and His example is what I intend to follow. What about you?
Burning Bush Boy