By Joseph Ametepe
"His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it.' Now there were six waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots with water.' So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, 'Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.' So they took it to Him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, 'Every man serves the good wine first first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.'" (John 2:5-10).
The obvious spiritual lesson in this rich and remarkable story is this: Obedience is essential to experiencing the blessings of Christ. On the third day of His ministry in Galilee, Jesus and His mother Mary and His disciples were invited to a wedding. Weddings are times of joy and celebration of God's blessed and wondrous work of bringing a man and a woman together to become one. Our Lord knew that and graced the occasion of this unnamed and unknown couple with His presence. What a fortunate couple! As far as we know, they are the only couple in the Bible whose wedding our Lord attended. How special is that! Having the physical presence of the Lord Jesus at your wedding! It tops all!
The Bible doesn't tell us whether this couple was a relative of Mary or not. But it did reveal to us how much Mary cared for them. She had such a genuine concern for them that when they ran out of wine, she lovingly approached Jesus and informed Him of that. By informing Jesus, Mary was actually expressing her confidence in Jesus' ability to handle the situation. Our Lord responded to His mother respectfully with a Hebrew idiom that literally means: "Woman, what to Me and to you? My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4).
After this response, Mary continued to express her genuine care for the couple and her confidence in Jesus to demonstrate the glory of God in this situation. Knowing full well that Jesus could handle the situation, Mary exhorted the servants at the wedding to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. Basically, Mary's exhortation to the servants can be summed up in this catchy or memorable statement: "Just do it when Jesus says it!"
Taking full control of the situation, our Lord gave a first command. The command involves filling six waterpots or jars containing twenty to thirty gallons each (probably about 75 to 115 liters). We are talking about a total of between 120 to 180 gallons (about 450 to 690 liters). We are not told how many servants were to do this arduous task of fetching 120 to 180 gallons of water. Nor are we told, where the water source was. We know from John 4 that in those days, water was often drawn from a well. The Holy Spirit's main focus here, however, is not to tell us how many servants filled the six waterpots and where they got the water from. His main point is to teach us about the servants' response to what the Lord Jesus commanded them to do. Their response to the first command was one of prompt obedience. They took Mary's admonition to heart. "Whatever He tells you, do it." And so, as soon the command went forth from the lips of the Lord Jesus, they obeyed Him. There was no discussion with Jesus. They didn't drag their feet. They didn't dilly-dally. They didn't hold back. They didn't hesitate. They heeded Jesus. They didn't put their buckets down until the six waterpots were filled to the brim. They didn't stop when the jars were half-way full. Please take note of that. They understood that when Jesus said: "Fill the waterpots with water," He meant, as far as, up to the brim. The point I don't want you to miss here is that, the servants' obedience was not only prompt, but perfect, that is complete in all respects. Theirs was not a partial obedience.
After the first command was promptly and perfectly followed, the Lord Jesus issued a second command to the servants. It was a simple and straightforward command: "Draw some out now and take to the headwaiter." The headwaiter is the steward or the master of the banquet. Again, we are told that the servants promptly obeyed Christ. Please notice very carefully that it was only after the servants fully obeyed Christ that the miracle of the water turning into wine was manifested. The master of the banquet, who didn't know where the wine came from, called the bridegroom aside and praised him for still keeping the good wine around. At this time in the wedding celebration, he was expecting the servants to be serving the cheaper wine to the guests. But he was pleasantly surprised to find that the best wine was still flowing at the party. All this came about because some unnamed and unknown servants chose to do whatever Jesus told them. Through their obedience, the first ever sign or attesting miracle-that is, one which points to the supernatural power of God in redeeming grace was recorded in Scripture. The lesson preserved for us in this story, which is repeated throughout the Gospels is that: Obedience is the essential to experiencing, and yes, to enjoying the blessings of Christ.
I know every believer desires to experience and enjoy the blessings of Christ. I know I do. But often, we choose to ignore the most basic principle for experiencing God's blessings-obedience. Prompt obedience! Full obedience, not partial obedience! Why is it hard for us to do whatever Jesus tells us to do? It's simply because we like to do things our own way. What would have happened had the servants come to Jesus and said: "Actually, we want to do it our way. We will fill the jars partially with water. After that, You can do Your miracle-turning the water into wine. Then, by Your power, make the wine fill the jars to brim. We think that will be great." If this had happened, there would have been no miracle. Why? Simply because Christ's commands would not have been fully obeyed. He is God. It is for Him to command His servants. And it is for His servants to obey Him. Period. If we want to enjoy His abundant blessings we must set our heart on doing whatever He tells us?
Choose to rely on the Spirit of God to do whatever Jesus tells you. Commit yourself to a life of prompt obedience. Confess to Jesus your sinful tendency to do things your own way. Claim His forgiveness. Conform to His way of doing things without dragging your feet or dilly-dallying. His abundant blessings will be yours! He will make you a blessing to be a blessing to others!