A wedding planner in Cana some 2,000 years ago pretty much had a plan to keep in budget. Serve the good wine first, then when people have are too happy to notice, serve something less. Jesus attended this wedding, but decided to turn a significant amount of water into wine. The wedding planner said this about Jesus making good wine, “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.” (John 2:11, ESV) Jesus is the kind of man who wants quality, even when no one will notice.
One anecdote about the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ father tells us a moment when the father told his son how important it is to make the back of something look as good as the front. Just because some people do not notice it does not mean we should cut corners. The wedding planner in Cana may have been one of the few to notice the “good wine” as were the disciples and the servants.
We can see the humanity of Jesus in the miraculous. He displayed his character trait as one who would not settle for “poor wine” even in his miracles. This is why when we read the words of Jesus, we have well constructed stories and parables. His intentionality, detail and quality are not only for his purpose, but also because the fully human side of him shows traits of the highest form of humanity. Perfect humanism is reflected in the divine in this case, I believe. And, we should be powerfully challenged and inspired.
The “good wine” also shows us the abundance of God’s grace. God will pour out expensive, life-giving wine even if it only be for the benefit of a few. The disciples of Jesus benefited by the faith being strengthened. The guests who already had their fill of wine, may have been unaware of this event. But, the disciples saw it all. And, they received the moment of wonder both in the miracle and perhaps in partaking of the good wine. When we are close to Jesus, the power of his character reveals things that strengthen our faith while practically providing something very tangible like “good wine”. The life of Jesus was poured out for many and offered to all. The “good wine” in this story reflects that fact. God offers grace to all. Some, unfortunately, never notice.
It is one thing to turn water into wine. It is even more to turn it into “good wine” that even a seasoned wedding planner recognizes as quality. When we pray and God intervenes in our personal lives he does things like this. His answers, when we look a bit deeper, prove more than providing a practical outcome for us. There always seems to be, in my experience, a “good wine”-quality about it. Jesus “kept the good wine until now” rather than let frugality prevail. He holds nothing back.
When we love Jesus back or show love to others, do we make “good wine”? Do we cut corners?