The characters in these daily postings are fictional. I enjoy understanding the makeup of various characters – how they dress – how they talk – what they think and how they relate to others. The stories are taken from actual events which occurred during Jesus’ ministry from the point of view of those who were witness to them. The time was right for God to send His Son into the world. It was all part of His amazing plan for our salvation. I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.
RACHEL, THE WEDDING PLANNER
It was the responsibility of the family of the bridegroom to provide food and drink for a wedding festival. Most weddings lasted for seven days at least, so this could mean considerable expense for the family. They had their reputation to consider. It was a social disgrace to run out of wine. Wine was served in connection with this very festive event. Not only would the family be disgraced, the head of the house would take the brunt of it.
My brother, Jacob and I, knew that this family was struggling financially, yet we were in the business of making money. These were not only customers, but friends. We would provide the best wine we could find without sending them into deep debt. We’d also make sure it arrived on time.
Wine in Israel was not the best. Actually it was quite bitter and things like berries or other fruit and maybe even herbs or honey would be added to make the taste more appealing. As Mary, the mother of Jesus was on hand to help with all the preparations, she was the person I worked closely with. Every little detail from the kinds of food, to the decorations of flowers would be orchestrated through her with the help of the mother of the groom. Mary knew that wine was an important part of the feast and thought she’d ordered enough for seven days of feasting.
Jacob and I arrived early to unload the wine jugs and prepare the cups for serving. I took a sip to make sure it was satisfactory and it was much too bitter to my liking, so I asked Jacob to sweeten it with some honey. When all was ready, we took a back seat and waited. The bride was lovely. The groom looked a little nervous, but proud at the same time. They would be joining together under Jewish custom as husband and wife – planning out a lifetime together. No amount of preparation can help when something happens that you don’t expect.
Jesus arrived at the celebration with his group of twelve friends. They knew the couple. The fact that Mary was part of the planning, indicated that Jesus might be related to the bridegroom. People sat to eat and drink as we filled their cups with sparse amounts of wine. We needed to be sure there was enough to last for the entire time. More visitors arrived – more than had been expected. Even our half cup servings of wine couldn’t control the amount consumed. Eventually the first obstacle in this marriage occurred. They ran out of wine.
In order to save her friends from humiliation, Mary went to Jesus and told Him that the wine had run out. I listened as she pleaded for His intervention. Jesus replied, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” Mary turned towards the servants and said, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Jesus told the servants to fill the six empty water jars with water. These were normally used for ceremonial purification, but the servants did as they were told. When they brought the filled jars of water back to Jesus, who told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.”
During that simple act, the water changed into excellent wine. We were witness to this miracle. When the master of the feast drank from the cup, he was surprised at the heavenly taste. He asked the bridegroom why he saved the best wine for last. It indeed was the best. It was at that moment I knew that Jesus was not just an ordinary man, celebrating at the wedding feast of a friend. He had come for a far greater purpose. To take the bitter cup of suffering for me and all the world, so we could be the best.