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ministers of God, that do His pleasure, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word." They are sent forth into ministration indeed for the benefit of the heirs of salvation, not to attend upon them as their servants, but to execute such commands as they may receive from Him who employs them in His own service. And therefore we have nothing to do with them, whatever they may have to do with us. We can hold no intercourse with them. The Apostle cautioned the Colossians: Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind; and not holding the Head, even Christ. To seek the mediation of others is to set aside that of Him who is made known to us in the word of God as the One Mediator between God and man,43 who alone ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him.
But to return to the narrative in the Gospel for this day. Notwithstanding Mary had received a reproof for her improper interference, she evidently expected that Jesus would supply what was needed for the marriage festival by a miracle. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. She acted
41 Psalm ciii. 20, 21. 42 Col.xi. 18. 43 1 Tim. ii. 5. 44 Heb. vii. 25.
in her proper sphere in giving these directions to the servants, as they were under her controul. Jesus knew what He would do; and when the right time was come, He showed that He was not unmindful of the wants of those whose wedding feast He condescended to grace with His presence. The Evangelist relates that there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins a piece; or from eighteen to twenty-seven gallons each. A late traveller (Dr. Clarke) mentions that he saw large stone vessels of these dimensions, when he was at Cana, lying about broken and useless; from which it appears that the custom of making them still continues, though they are applied to other purposes. It was needful for the Jews to have such vessels of water in their houses, on account of the different cleansings appointed by the ceremonial law. When water was scarce, this was the only way to have a supply at hand. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. When this had been done, the Lord Jesus changed, in an invisible manner by His almighty power, the large quantity of water, with which these vessels had been filled, into wine; as much altogether as about a pipe of wine of our measure. This was probably designed not merely for the use of the feast, which
commonly continued seven days; but that these poor people might sell it, and live for a time on its produce.
When the wine was wanted, He saith unto the servants, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. They must, doubtless, have been much astonished to observe that the water had changed its colour, and still more when they heard what followed. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew,) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
He found it to be most
excellent in quality, as fine old wine; notwithstanding it was served up in these large open vessels, as though it were new. It was better wine than was commonly to be met with even at wedding feasts, where the best that could be procured would be presented to the guests.
The Evangelist sums up the narrative by saying in the words of the text, This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory, and His disciples believed on Him. Here we learn, as hath been before observed, the purpose for which this miracle was wrought by our blessed Saviour:
First, For His own glory, and
Secondly, For the confirmation of the faith of His disciples.
The glory of the Lord Jesus is a subject which our Evangelist delights to bring forward. He speaks of the glory which He had on the throne of heaven, which the enraptured prophet saw, and recorded. These things said Esaias, when he saw His glory, and spake of Him. It was the Lord Jesus whom the prophet Isaiah beheld, when he said, In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. To the exalted station in glory which He had before His manifestation in the flesh, our Saviour Himself referred, when He prayed to His heavenly Father, Now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. Our Lord Jesus Christ manifested by His miracles that Divine glory belonged to Him. And to these He continually appealed as proofs of His Divine character. Though ye believe not Me, said He, believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.48 His miracles attested the truth of His assertion, I and My Father are one.48 seen Me hath seen the Father.49
He that hath Who could raise
45 John xii. 41. 46 Isaiah vi. 1. 47 John xvii. 5. 48x.38, 30. 49 xiv.9.
the dead, but He who giveth life to all flesh? Who could heal the sick of the most incurable disorders, but He whose power is Almighty? Who could still the waves, and make the storm a calm, but He whose word they fulfil? Who could walk on the water, but He who formed the sea and the dry land? Who could cast out demons from the bodies of those whom they had possessed, but He to whom the infernal spirits are subject, and whose name is above every name? Our Lord Jesus Christ did works or wrought miracles, such as none other ever did, before or since. Thus He manifested forth His glory in such a manner that they who refused to give Him the glory due to His name were left without excuse.
But His glory was displayed in another way at His baptism, and at His transfiguration. On the former occasion the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, like a dove, upon Him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.50 On the latter occasion, He was transfigured before three of His disciples; the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. The impression which it made upon St. Peter was such that He could
50 Luke iii. 22. 51 Matthew xvii. 2, Luke ix. 29.