When You Run Out of Wine

In first century Israel, weddings were a big deal.  The celebration would often last a week, and the entire community was invited.  The groom's family was expected to provide plenty of food and drink for the entire week.  To run out was a major embarrassment that could follow the new couple for years.  In John 2:1-12 we find that Jesus, His disciples, and His mother were invited to a wedding.  And the wine ran out!  We're all going to run out of wine at times.  We're going to face difficulties.  And there are several encouraging lessons in this story for us when we run out of wine.

First, invite Jesus to the party.  The order is important.  First, Jesus was invited to the party, then the wine ran out and His help was requested.  Most people reject Jesus and exclude Him from their lives, and then they want His help when the wine runs out.  But Jesus doesn't offer to help His enemies.  He doesn't offer His support to those who are running from Him.  He is an ever present help in times of trouble for those who love Him.  The way to handle the hard times in life is to prepare for them before they occur, and the best way to do that is to make sure that you have a healthy, close relationship with Jesus before the wine runs out.

Second, ask Jesus to help.  That's what Jesus' mother did in this story.  She asked Jesus to help, and He did.  There are so many promises in the Bible about prayer that it should be a crime that we do not pray more.  Usually when the wine runs out our first response is to panic or to go into problem-solving mode, but the best problem-solving skill is prayer.  “Call on me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor me (Psalm 50:15)."

Third, do whatever Jesus tells you.  That's what Mary told the servants to do.  Do whatever Jesus tells you to do.  There's no better advice for those who are going through a hard time.  God doesn't bless sin (Ps 145:20).  He doesn't answer the prayers of the wicked (Pr 15:29).  He disciplines His children when they disobey (Heb 12:6).  You will never find the answer to your problems by breaking the law of God.  Do what He tells you, and He will take care of you.  "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Mt 6:33)."  

In John 2, Jesus turned water into wine.  And that's what you can expect to happen when you respond to adversity this way.  He will give you what you need and more.  He will lead you to the best path for your life.  And He will glorify Himself and increase your love and faith in Him.        

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