53. If Only They Had Known the Time of the Lord’s Visitation
Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
Reading: John 2:1-11
‘And the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come. His mother said unto the servants, Whatsoever he says unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots made of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, each containing twenty to thirty gallons (76-114 Litres). Jesus said unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he said unto them, Draw out now, and take it to the master of the feast (Master of Ceremony). And they did so. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not realize where it had come from: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said unto him, Every one with a feast brings out the choice wine first; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse is brought out: but you have kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (John 2:1-11 [KJV])
Mary Mother of Jesus Was Invited to a Wedding, Jesus Was Also Invited
Early in Jesus’s ministry, there was a wedding celebration in the Cana village in Galilee. Jesus and his mother were invited and so were his disciples. Jesus and His disciples, who were down in the Jordan valley with John the Baptist, returned to Galilee to join the wedding celebration. Mary’s role in the wedding seemed to be more than that of a guest. One gets the impression that the couple being married were either friends, or possibly related to Mary, and that she was helping with the arrangements since she took charge of things when the wine planned for the occasion unexpectedly ran out. Jewish weddings were steeped in tradition and ritual and it was a disaster for wine to run out in a wedding feast. The guests seemed unaware of what was happening. If something was not done as a matter of urgency, shameful humiliation and embarrassment was to face them. She went to Jesus to inform him that there was no more wine because she knew who He was and that He could turn water into wine. However, Jesus politely replied that His time ‘had not yet come’. So, Mary, knowing that He was able to turn the water they had into wine, she told the servants to listen to Jesus and do whatever He would tell them.
Jesus’ First Miracle
It is interesting to know that Jesus performed His first miracle here on earth in a home. He was personally involved in a young couple who were getting married in a wedding celebration and by extension is involved in your celebration too. And because they had invited Him, He was there with them in their home to join them in their joy. When you invite Jesus to your celebration, He will be there in your home and in your family. He will be there for you in a personal relationship. According to the above scripture, everything was going on well at the wedding until they ran out of wine. Jesus was there to show them God’s way of doing things: whatever was lacking would be restored and the diminished would be replenished. Jesus told them to put the water they had in six water pots and draw it out and they would get the wine they desired. They obeyed Him and did exactly what He told them because they believed Him. This miracle, showing Jesus’ supernatural control over physical elements like water, marked the beginning of His public ministry. ‘This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
Mary Knew Who Jesus Was and She Approached Him to Avert the Crisis
If the master of the wedding ceremony had known, like Mary, who Jesus was, that he could turn the water they had into wine, disaster would not have struck. Mary the mother of Jesus knew that Jesus was. Mary had been told by Gabriel, a high-ranking angel charged with bringing special messages to God’s people that she was to bring forth a child who would be called holy – the Son of God. “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-35 [ESV2011])
Mary the mother of Jesus knew that Jesus was the Son of God who could turn water into anything: ice, steam, air, wine, anything because Jesus is the creator of heaven and earth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.” (John 1:1-3 [HCSB])
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.” (Heb 11:3 [HCSB])
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 [ESV2011])
“yet for us there is one God, the Father. All things are from Him, and we exist for Him. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things are through Him, and we exist through Him.” (1Cor 8:6 [HCSB])
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Col 1:12-22 [KJV])
Jesus can even turn water into a hard surface to walk on. Did Jesus not walk on water as recorded in Matthew 14:22-34? Mary knew that her son Jesus was the Son of God, and was actually the Lord (or Jehovah God). Lord is the English name that was translated from the Hebrew word Jehovah or Yahweh. Apostles like Paul, Peter, James, Titus knew that Jesus is Lord or Jehovah and they used to call Him Lord as recorded in Rom 1:7, Rom 15:6, 1 Cor 1:3 and in Paul’s salutations to the saints. A verse worthy noting is found in 1 Cor 8:6 where Paul told the saints in the European city of Corinth in Greece that “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
Many people already knew who Jesus was as recorded in the first chapter of the Gospel according to John . John (the disciple whom Jesus loved and the one who wrote the Gospel) had a testimony that Jesus is the Word of God, was with God and was God (John 1:1-3).
John the Baptist knew who Jesus was and testified that He is the Messiah and the Son of God (John 1:17-34).
Andrew and his brother Simon, who were disciples of John the Baptist and who became the first two disciples of Jesus, had a testimony that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and the Lamb of God. (John 1: 35-41)
The other two disciples of Jesus, Philip and Nathaniel also had a testimony that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God (John 1:43-49)
If Only the Master of Wedding Ceremony Had Known Who Jesus Was, He Would Have Known the Time of the Lord’s Visitation
According to the scripture about Jesus turning water into wine, everything was going on well at the wedding until they ran out of wine and no one knew what to do. In those days, wine was an integral part of the wedding feast and a wine-less party was a disaster that nobody would envisage.
But how come the master of the wedding ceremony who came from that area did not know that Jesus is God while many other people knew? Many other people of that area of Cana of Galilee and especially those who heard the testimonies of the disciples and that of John the Baptist when he was preaching in the wilderness knew that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. If only the master of wedding had known who Jesus was, he would have known the time of the Lord’s visitation. If he had known that Jesus is the Son of God, the creator of heaven and earth, the Lord God Almighty, he would have known that the Lord had attended his wedding, that the Lord was around. It is exciting to discern the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ when He visits you in the Spirit. For Jesus is God and He visits us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus went back to heaven to be with the Father, He promised His disciples (and is promising us) that He would not leave them as orphans but would send them His Holy Spirit to live in each of them and in each of us! Jesus told them in John 16:5 that “But now I am going back to the Father who sent Me, and none of you asks Me where I am going. You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help You until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.” (John 16:5-7 CEV) Before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised them that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NLT) Jesus promised to send God’s Holy Spirit to live in each of them! Some Bible translations call God’s Spirit the Counselor, or Friend, or Helper. Jesus promised them they would be filled with the same power that Jesus was filled with (Luke 4:1) so that they would do even greater things than He did. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12 [KJV])
One man by the name Thomas who did not believe in Jesus was so excited to see the resurrected Jesus walking in His body through a brick wall to enter the room they had locked themselves in that He proclaimed Jesus as “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 ESV) That was when he realized that Jesus is God who can pass through a brick wall to be with His own. It is important to recognize the visitation of the Lord who is just a prayer away from you. Talk to Him in the spirit, uplift His name, give Him all the glory and honour and thanksgiving and praise and worship Him. For “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 [ESV2011]) Walk in the spirit and be in the spirit if you want Him to abide in you. Jesus told His disciples that “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:1,4, 7,8 ESV)
The first person the Master of Ceremony should have invited to the wedding celebration would have been Jesus Christ, the creator of heaven and earth (John 1:3), who calmed the stormy sea (Mark 4:39), walked on water (Matthew 14:24-29) and fed 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (Matthew 14:15-21). One can ask how come many people in Galilee and in Jerusalem knew that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah and the Son of God but the Master of Ceremony did not know. John the apostle, John the Baptist, disciples of Jesus like Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathaniel, Mary mother of Jesus all knew who Jesus was and they had testimonies of who Jesus was and they were telling others that Jesus is the Messiah. How did the master of the wedding and his wedding committee members and all the guests attending that wedding miss out on knowing who Jesus was and how come he did not recognize His presence as the time of the Lord’s visitation?
In Luke 19:40-44, Jesus wept over Jerusalem and rebuked the Jews for not knowing the day of their visitation by the Lord. Because the Jews were undiscerning, they had eyes but could not see; ears but did not hear; hearts but did not understand. They failed to recognize and embrace the Messiah when he visited. The consequence of their lack of discernment was that Titus, the Roman general in A.D 70, eventually destroyed Jerusalem. With the benefit of hindsight, we may be quick to criticize the Jews for their shortsightedness and indifference to the Lord Jesus. But is it not true that our generation also makes the same mistake of failing to discern the day of our visitation by the Lord? Materialism, the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in have blurred and made this generation so hardened and insensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit that we do not recognize the time of the Lord’s visitation? A measure of alertness would have made them sensitive to the LORD’s presence. In Luke 12:35-48, in the Parable of the Faithful Servant, the Lord encouraged us to prepare and be ready for His return. This time we are encouraged to gird our loins, keep our lamps burning, and to be ready like men who wait for their master. There is a special way of waiting for one’s master. To wait simply means to have an expectation, and to be watchful. If those who are expecting the return of their earthly master are always vigilant and ready, much more should those of us who are waiting for the heavenly King be more ready and prepared.
Spiritual insensitivity is to fail to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit revealing to you the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us pull up our spiritual aerials so as to sense the Lord’s visitation and presence. Spiritual alertness and sensitivity are necessary for our time so that we are expectant of the Lord’s visitation if we want Him to change our water into wine.
May the Lord open our eyes to see, touch our hearts to understand and quicken our ears to hear so that we don’t miss out on His visitation. If only the master of the wedding had known that Jesus is the Son of God the creator of heaven and earth, he would have been alert to know the Lord’s visitation.
If The Master of the Wedding Had Known the Time of the Lord’s Visitation, The Crisis Would Have Been Averted
Lack of discernment of the time of the Lord’s visitation implies the decline of spiritual interest and alertness. When a divine visitation comes, it should find some hearts that are anxious, expectant and willing to recognize and make the most of it. The divine visitation may find others with hearts which have waxed gross, and whose ears are dull of hearing, and whose eyes are closed. They hear but do not understand; and see but do not perceive: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt 13:15 [KJV])
The failure to know the time of the Lord’s visitation can very often be followed by severe consequences. If the Master of the Wedding Ceremony had involved Jesus from the first day of their wedding plans, then Jesus would have been their wedding planner and supplier of whatever was needed and they would not have lacked anything. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17 ESV)
When wine ran out, disaster struck. Mary knew that her son Jesus could avert that crisis because she knew who He was and that He was well able to provide to all their needs. She knew that He was able to provide wine where there was none. The guests had tasteless water but they needed sweet wine. She referred them to Jesus and He turned their water into wine. He averted the crisis by turning the water they had into the wine they desired.
Jesus was saying that His way of doing things requires one to trust and obey Him. Jesus took the thing they had; water, and transformed it into what they needed; wine. They needed the wine but they had to give what they had; water. God always starts with your nothing for Him to make something out of it for you. God is a specialist in making something out of nothing. “God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the dump to seat them with nobles, with the princes of His people.” (Psalm 113:7-8)
God wants you to do the natural for Him to do the supernatural for you. God is telling you to put your nothingness into the vessels you have and He will work on those vessels to transform your nothing into something. God is telling you and I to put our problems, sicknesses, bondages, poverties into the vessels that are available (the cross) and God will use the same vessel (the cross of Christ) to miraculously bring salvation, healing, prosperity and life to whoever believes in him. Jesus “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:14-15 [KJV]) Jesus Christ will take that sin, sickness, poverty, curse, bondage that has enslaved you and pin it on His body on the cross so that He sets you free from that bondage and burden of sin. “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34 ESV) Each one of us remains a “slave of sin” unless we are “set free” by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:20-22, NIRV)
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
“For God has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor 5:21 [KJV])
Jesus Christ will take that wound from off your body and turn it into a scar so that you be testifying that He is the Lord your healer provided that you believe in Him. God told Israelites that “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.” (Exod 15:26 [ESV2011])
Jesus took our sicknesses in His own body and gave us wholeness in exchange. Jesus is a wonderful exchanger. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised [or crushed] for our iniquities, the chastisement [or punishment] for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes [or his wounds] we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus volunteered to take death away from us and tasted death on our behalf so that we might share his life for “He is the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) What kind of love Christ has for us, that He offered Himself to die on our behalf. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Jesus was made a curse that was pronounced on man so that we might receive His blessing. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal 3:13-14 [KJV])
Jesus was made poor so that we become rich. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)
When the Israelites were running away from Pharaoh and from all his army, God used the little stick Moses was holding in his hands to create a dry highway across the Red Sea so that six hundred thousand Israelites and their animals would pass through the sea on dry ground. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Why do you cry to me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, to divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exod 14:15-16 [KJV])’
When Jesus Visits You, He Can Turn Your Water Situation to a Wine Situation
If the master of the wedding (symbolic of you) had known that Jesus is God dwelling in the midst of His people, he would have made Jesus their priority and invited Him in the first place. Jesus would then have been the one to head the wedding planning committee and assure them that He would supply all their needs because He is Jehovah Jireh. Jehovah Jireh is the Hebrew name for God the Provider, a name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of his son Isaac. As they near the site, Isaac questions Abraham concerning the intended offering: “Where is the lamb?” With great faith and foresight, Abraham responds, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:1-8). The New Testament tells us that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. The LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” (Gen 22:9-14 [KJV])
God averted the disaster by providing a ram to be slaughtered instead of his son. God turned Abraham’s water into wine.
Jesus Turned Their Water into Wine and Will Turn Yours Today
The same God who turns water into wine will turn yours today. When people look down upon you, they do not realize that you are in the ‘water’ situation and that God is capable of turning your water situation into a ‘wine’ situation that will restore joy to you because He is “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Eph 3:20 [KJV]).
Your current job is the water situation while the promotion that you desire is the wine situation. Poor health is your water situation but Jesus can turn that situation into robust health so that you rejoice and be exceedingly glad. A tasteless marriage life characterized by endless wars and mistrust can be turned upside down into tasteful honey-like joyful marriage full of peace, love, trust and understanding because Jesus, the Word of God, is the taste that lasts forever. “Heaven and earth shall pass away but the word of God remains forever” (Matthew 24:35). “How sweet are your words to my taste, O Lord, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 [ESV2011]) The Word of the Lord is sweeter than honey and it will turn your water situation into wine situation. Reading the word of God is like eating honeycombs of the goodness of the Lord. “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 [KJV])
Story is told of a girl who never bothered about a book that she had been given by her boyfriend. But the day he told her that he is the author of that book, she never ceased reading it because it was his biography and she wanted to know as much as possible about him because he meant so much to her. The more she read about him, the more she loved him and their love matured into marriage and they lived happily thereafter. If only people would come to the knowledge of the truth that Jesus all what we need in our lives: good health, prosperity, blessings, God’s favours, God’s mercies, the Word of God (in the Bible) would not depart from our mouths and from our hands. When you start seeing the word of God tasting sweeter than honey, you will bind the word of God every where: on your hands,fore heads, on door frames, gates, and in your hearts and minds. In Deuteronomy 6:8–9 the Lord speaks of His laws, saying, “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” A related passage says, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 11:18–20).
Word of God is sweeter than honey for its innumerable divine promises. Honey never expires. The healthy sweetener—which contains antibacterial proteins and enzymes as well as plenty of antioxidants—is good forever. Kept sealed in an airtight container, the National Honey Board says honey remains edible indefinitely—even if it crystalizes or darkens over time. Similarly, the word of God which is sweeter than honey is eternal. “Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness is unto all generations: you have established the earth, and it abides.” (Ps 119:89-90 [KJV]) And the promises of God are from everlasting to everlasting. For the Lord is good and His mercies endure forever. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8) Can you imagine tasting the Lord and seeing that taste in your body. In the kingdom of God, taste is visible. That means that the taste is not only felt in the mouth but in your whole body. Your mouth enjoys the taste of the Lord and you feel satisfied. Your eyes get the taste of the Lord and your eyes see far. Your weak legs receive the taste of the Lord and you start walking with a spring. You brain receives the taste of the Lord and you are full of wise words. Your hands receive the taste the Lord and after that, when you lay your hands on the sick, or even greet them, they get healed. When your hands enter into your pocket, they enter your pockets with the sweet taste of the Lord and the pocket gets full. Your hands become instruments of releasing the goodness of the Lord and for praising God and blessing His people. What a good God that we have; the Lord who is more to be desired than gold, even fine gold, sweeter than honey. “The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. His judgements are also sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:9-10)