Years ago when Johnny Carson was the host of The Tonight Show, he interviewed an eight-year-old boy. The young man was asked to appear because he had rescued two friends from a coal mine outside his hometown in West Virginia. As Johnny questioned the boy, it became apparent to him and the audience that the young man was a Christian. So Johnny asked him if he attended Sunday school. When the boy said he did, Johnny asked, “What are you learning in Sunday school?” “Last week our lesson was about when Jesus went to a wedding and turned water into wine.” The audience roared, but Johnny tried to keep a straight face. Then he said, “And what did you learn from that story?” The boy squirmed in his chair. It was apparent he hadn’t thought about this. But then he lifted up his face and said, “If you’re going to have a wedding, make sure you invite Jesus!”
Jesus’ first miracle occurred at a wedding he’d been invited to. It clearly announced his nature, showing that he came to bring joy to his people. God delights in his children. Our joy pleases him. When we celebrate, he celebrates with us.
The hosts of the wedding celebration would have been embarrassed if the wine had run dry. Knowing this, Jesus’ mother turned to the One who can turn sorrow into gladness. Jesus quietly worked behind the scenes to turn the water into wine. When the banquet master tasted the wine, he was surprised that it was better than what had been served at first.
When we invite Jesus into every aspect of our lives, he can exchange our past pain for present comfort and turn our deep sorrow into divine delight. He can take old wounds and turn them into fresh wisdom. He can turn stale, old thoughts into new ideas and creative ways to solve our problems. He can take a cold silence and turn it once again into a warm conversation. If we just ask, he can take those things that we are ashamed of and cast them into a sea of forgetfulness, allowing us to experience true and deep joy. He does not save the best for last, he saves the best for now.
Those who drew the water knew the secret: Jesus has the power to change things. Just imagine what he can change if you only issue the invitation. He’s the guest who can never stay too long.
- How has Jesus changed difficult circumstances for you in the past?
- What would you exchange right now if you could—gladness for mourning, praise for despair, beauty for ashes? Invite Jesus to work a divine exchange for you as only he can.
- Who will you share the knowledge of the joy of the Lord with today?
The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.