The Audacious Faith of a Servant
…. From the marriage at Cana Story (John 2:1-11)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Going through bible history, there were stories of various men and women who showed unusual faith in God and therefore forever inscribed their names in the sands of time. Some of the most common tales include:
- Abraham: The Old Testament tells the tale of man largely regarded to all Christians as the father of faith. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will become a great and numerous tribes. His obedience, as well as that of his children and grandchildren, is severely tested as they prove their faith to God.
- Ruth: The story of Ruth is a story of challenge, loyalty and faith. The Old Testament tells a story of a Moabite woman who was the newly widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi, who was also experiencing great sadness at the loss of her husband and two sons. Ruth shows great courage by leaving behind all she knew in complete loyalty to Naomi. At the end, God who is faithful compensated both she and Naomi for their loss.
- Daniel: The life of Daniel provides a clear example of a man who had total devotion to God and was faithful to Him even in the face of life threatening trials.
We could go on and on talking about more people and their various adventures, but there is a different story we would like to share. An account on an event which begun the ministry of a man who started the biggest revolution ever recorded in history.
The Wedding at Cana
In a small village called Cana, right in the middle of Galilee, there lived a certain man named Micah. He was famous and influential among the villagers due to the nature of his job which was basically event planning and coordinating. There were no events in or around the village that he wasn’t handling, from weddings to birthdays and even funerals, he was always the man for the job having an enviable pedigree of successful performance in his catalogue and with more than twenty years of experience, you could understand why he was the regular preference.
One evening, Micah was relaxing outside his house, watching the sun set and sipping his favorite brew while reflecting on how his day went when one of his servants walked into the house with a message from one of the most prominent people in the city of Galilee.
“There is going to be a wedding and they would love you to handle It.” the servant said.
“What a way to end the day, another opportunity to make even more money” Micah thought to himself obviously excited about the message and having a sense of pride and fulfilment. He acknowledged the servant and from there on began preparation for the wedding.
Now, this wasn’t like any other wedding Micah had coordinated. In fact, this was the biggest he’s ever had the opportunity of working on. Two of the biggest families in the country were about to tie the knot and he had been given a great responsibility of making sure it all goes according to plan. The success of this celebration would assure him of financial security and giving the calibre of people attending, it gives him the opportunity to make more contacts with top personalities in the country. Whereas, failure would pretty much mean the end for him. But giving his acquaintance with this line of work, he was brimming with faith in his abilities to deliver.
Weeks went by and finally, the day was here. As expected, it was a huge event attended by people from both lower and higher echelon. A certain middle aged woman named Mary, who was mother to a young evangelist called Jesus and his disciples, was also in attendance.
The event got going with the newly wedded couple being excited about their journey into hopeful marital bliss, their parents were occupied welcoming various leaders in society to the high table while the master of ceremony kept the celebrants and everyone in attendance entertained. The atmosphere was electrifying; everybody seemed to be in high spirit and seemingly satisfied with the amount of service rendered to them by Micah and his team of servants. There were foods and drinks everywhere; this was indeed the merriment of the season. Things looked to be going according to plan which was encouraging to Micah who was zealously making sure it ends that way, until the unexpected happened.
Micah was busy ensuring there would be enough space for more guest who were still being expected to come when one of his servants walked quivering towards him with perspiration written all over his face. “Sir, we have a problem” those were the very words the servant whispered into Micah’s ear.
Taking him to the side, Micah asked, “What is it?” Hoping it would be something he could solve at the moment.
“The master of ceremony requests that the guests at the high table who just arrived be served drinks, but we just realised we are out of wine” the servant said. “How can this be?” Micah thundered which got the attention of the women who were having a conversation at some distance close to where both men were standing.
Mary being one of the women sensed there could be some serious problems, walked up to the men and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Micah being too embarrassed about what was actually happening, and fearing the worst that could possibly happen at a wedding of this magnitude, retired to a nearby bench in order to gather his thoughts together as to what the next plan would be. The servant on the other hand, being left alone with Mary, felt the obligation to narrate what had been going on to her.
At that point, Mary realized that there was indeed a serious problem which required an urgent solution. They needed a miracle.
During this period of total shock and confusion as to how something like this could happen, Mary had a brief recollection of an encounter she had about thirty one years ago, when an angel of the Lord approached and said to her “you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the son of the most high. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over Israel forever; His kingdom will never end!”
Even as she thought about the encounter before the birth of her son, she also remembered the strange visitations after his birth. Moments after her son was birthed, some shepherds walks into the manger worshipping her new born as the King of the Jews and also explaining to her and her then fiance, Joseph on how Heaven’s angelic host appeared to them, announcing the birth of the messiah and also praising God, saying.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased”
What about the visit of the mysterious men, who claimed to have come from the east bringing with them gifts befitting for a King. She thought
Mary said to the servant “call some of your colleagues and come with me.” The servant did as she said and they followed her.
Sitting in the centre section of the wedding hall was Jesus and his four friends (Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel) who were also regarded as his disciples. They were discussing the future plans of their new found ministry when Jesus mother, Mary cuts into their conversation, trying to pass a message across to her son.
“They have no more wine” she said, which pretty much sounded hysterical to the disciples of Jesus. “That couldn’t be possible” they said to themselves, but Jesus knew his mother was serious and then, he said, “dear woman, that’s not our problem… my time has not yet come.” But his mother was having none of that. Looking at the more confused servants, she said “do whatever he tells you.”
Jesus wanted to know if there were any vessels they could use for keeping the wine and the servants showed him six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing and each of them could hold twenty to thirty gallons. “Fill the jars with water” Jesus commanded. When the jars had been filled with water, he said “now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremony.
Micah on the other hand, already conceded defeat and was envisaging on what the future would hold for him after this marriage disaster which was almost inevitable, saw the interactions between Mary, Jesus and the servants but was curious to what was happening.
On hearing what had transpired between the servants and Mary’s Son, he almost had a heart attack realising that the master of ceremony and high guests were about to be served water. “This must be the end” he said to himself not just to his illustrious career he laboured to build, but most certainly his life. He definitely didn’t see himself living through the shame, insult and possible assault. “What was this Jesus of a man thinking? Why would he even attempt to serve the high guests water? He certainly must have had too much to drink.” Those were the thoughts going through Micah’s mind as the servant followed Jesus’ instructions and served the master of ceremony.
The tension was so evident on Micah and his servants, but nobody understood why they looked so petrified. They were obviously oblivious to what had been happening.
When the master of ceremony tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from, he called the bridegroom over and said, “A host always serves the best wine first, then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
Not believing his ears, Micah ran straight to the jars which had been filled with water from which the master of ceremony had been served, but was astonished by what he saw, the jars were filled with wine. “How did this happen?” he thought to himself. Still in doubt, he took a cup and tasted it for himself, it was wine indeed.
Calling one of the servants, he asked, “Who exactly is that man?” pointing at Jesus while gulping down the remaining contents in his cup, relieving the anxiety and stress he once had some few minutes ago. “His name is Jesus, and he is a Nazarene” the servant replied.
“What manner of man is this Jesus” Micah said to himself.
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
It took the audacious faith of Mary to believe that her son who is the Lord could do the impossible, and the obedience of the servants to carry out a task that looked and sounded foolish in other to save the marriage.
Another great thing to note is that aside from the people involved in the miracle, everyone else was ignorant that a great miracle took place. This makes me wonder, how many miracles and battles the Lord has fought and is fighting on our behalf of which we are ignorant of.
The Bible says:
“He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord Himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.”
– Psalm 121:3-5
This story was written to encourage anyone who is being beaten down by life and you are at the brink of giving up on God and yourself. Do not lose hope, help is coming, you are not alone.
The Lord has promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He feels your pains, He understands your struggles. The storms we may be going through right now isn’t meant to break us, but to recreate us into a beautiful tasting new wine perfectly prepared by the master and served to the world for His glory.
I love you and God bless you.