First Follow the Directions


” Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,’ and they did. The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine” (John 2:7-9a, Common English Bible).

Yes, I am one of THOSE guys. I am probably not as bad as some, in fact I feel pretty certain of that. I will usually pull the instructions out, glance at the pictures and if it appears to be something I THINK I can do without reading them or even looking at them further, they are thrown off to the side and not referred to again until indeed, I can’t quite get it to work. Then and only then it becomes the old adage, “When all else fails, read the directions.”

It is probably a good thing most adult Bibles don’t come with pictures. If they did, I probably wouldn’t attempt to follow those instructions very well either until I had messed up my life to the point that all else had obviously failed and I was forced to go back and read the instructions.

The lesson above was Jesus’ first known miracle, turning water into wine at “The Wedding at Cana.” There is a lot we could talk about in that story. We could start with the weird things that happen at weddings that leave all the guests with conversation starters for years to come. We could talk about the nature of miracles. We could talk about what appears to be a temptation on Jesus’ part to ignore the instructions of his mother. Well ignore probably isn’t the right word but you know what I mean. We could also talk about the way Jesus was so extravagant in both quality and quantity of the wine he provided.

We are going to set all that aside for today and focus on the poor lowly servant that Jesus told to take the water that had turned to wine to the headwaiter. What you first have to know is, servants, throughout history, as a group were not and still in many ways are not treated very well. Those over the servants were often abusive. Can you imagine being to poor guy who Jesus tells to dip out some water, oops, I mean wine, out of these jars, knowing at least in your mind you were about to take the boss water and try to pass it off as wine.

The servant would appear is in a no-win situation. He had just been told by this woman, who it would seem, we can imply she has something to do with the bride’s family. Why else would she bother to get involved. And then there was her son who talked in a pretty stern way to his mother and he is now telling you to take the wine to the headwaiter. And speaking of the headwaiter, that is his, “on the other hand.” He knows in his mind this isn’t wine and the headwaiter will become angry and since our poor servant is the one standing in front of him… He probably didn’t think he could say, “Please don’t shoot the messenger.”

If ever there was a guy who didn’t want to follow the directions, it was probably this servant. And remember, he didn’t have the Bible to tell him who Jesus was. He didn’t know from having studied Scripture the miracles Jesus could and would do. He was living the scene out, unlike us, who know or at least can read the stories of Jesus in our Bibles. And, to his credit, our young man followed the directions.

There is a lesson in that for us. For so many of us, even though we have the directions, we often fail to follow them. We don’t read our Bibles and in this failure, way too much of the time we fail to know what God is telling us to do. If we don’t know what the directions are, how in the world are we going to follow them?

We need to take a lesson from the servant. We may not know where God’s path will take us. As people of faith, what we do know is, God is for us. God loves us. God will see us through.

Just remember this, all else will probably fail, if we fail to read the directions.

Have a great day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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