Monday, November 24, 2014

THE MEASURE OF FAITH by Gary Wilkerson

The gospels make clear that whatever measure of faith we receive is up to us.

“The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, ‘They have no more wine’” (John 2:1-3, NLT).

Have you ever run out of anything? Perhaps patience for your rebellious child? Hope for your marriage? At this wedding in Cana, Jesus’ mother, Mary, saw that the celebration had run out of wine. So she went to Jesus and said, “Do something.”

Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come” (2:4). Mary could have accepted her Son’s reply as a firm edict: “Well, it has been sovereignly declared from heaven that wine won’t be multiplied at this wedding.” Instead, she acted like a good Jewish mother or any other kind of mom, for that matter—and ignored her son’s response. “His mother told the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’” (2:5).

Theologically, I am very big on the sovereignty of God. I believe nothing happens unless He decrees it. But sometimes God’s sovereign decree is, “I’m leaving this up to you.” The clear impression from this passage is that Jesus was not going to act on Mary’s request. He even had a solid theological reason for it: “My time has not yet come,” meaning, God hadn’t yet announced His public ministry.

But Mary could not wait on the calendar of heaven. She needed God to move immediately—and so the calendar moved! “Jesus told the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ When the jars had been filled, he said, ‘Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.’ . . . When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from . . . he called the bridegroom over. ‘A host always serves the best wine first,’ he said. ‘Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now’” (2:7-10). This was not just “replacement” wine. It was the very best!

A miracle occurred, surpassing even Mary’s expectations. Yet things could have been very different. She might have been discouraged by Jesus’ response. She might have accepted His words at face value, agreeing, “I guess it’s not the right time.” Instead, she made a withdrawal of faith from the heavenly bank when she hadn’t even made a deposit yet.