May 28, 2014
READ: John 2:1-11
A host always serves the best wine first. . . . Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now! (v.10).
In 2013 the Catholic Church in Venezuela reported that it was running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of a nationwide shortage. This reminds me of another shortage of wine that took place in the village of Cana where Jesus was attending a wedding.
The wine supply ran out during the festivities and Jesus’ mother told the servants to do whatever He commanded (John 2:5). Jesus told them to fill six stone jars with water and take some to the master of ceremonies (vv.7-8). When the man tasted the water that had been turned into wine, he was amazed—the wine was the best he’d tasted all night. This was unheard of, for the bridegroom usually served the best wine first and the cheaper wine later (v.10).
Running out of wine at a wedding was considered a terrible scandal and would bring shame on the newly married couple and their entire family. The food and drink were a symbol of a secure inheritance and a shortage at the wedding pointed to impending doom for the future of the bride and groom. By turning the water into wine, Jesus removed their shame and blessed their future.
Shame is debilitating. It robs us of our dignity and keeps us cowering in the background. But Jesus draws us out of the shadows and into the light. He removes our shame and guarantees an eternal inheritance—securing our future. God promises: “Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy a double share of honour. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land and everlasting joy will be yours” (Isaiah 61:7).
When we’ve reached the end of our reserves and feel that we have nothing more to give, Jesus turns our shame into a proclamation of His miraculous provision. —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith
Daniel 1:1-21 ‹365-day plan
Read John 8:1-11 and see how Jesus removes the shame and restores the dignity of a woman.
How is shame keeping you in the shadows? What do you need to do to find renewed dignity and hope in Jesus?