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3. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

4. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, 1 what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

5. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

In this domestic history is represented to us the way in which the Eternal Word, whose majesty has been so fully described, “dwelt amongst us in form and fashion as a man. The first narrative which we read, relates to his conduct at a common family entertainment, to which, according to custom, all the friends and neighbours of the bridegroom were invited.

It is not clear with what purpose the mother said to Jesus, They have no wine. But from his answer it would seem to be said with an expectation that he would exercise his power. And her order to the servants implies the same : Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Those who wait long, and seek the Lord, know not when the hour may come that he shall see fit to hear them, and interpose. But they may be sure that he does not neglect or overlook them, and is only delaying till the proper hour comes.

1 Though to our ears this appellation sounds harshly, there is no such effect according to the usage of the original language. The word yuval might as properly have been translated, Mother. The whole answer, however, may be sufficient to show that the mother of Jesus, as such, is entitled to none of the veneration which belongs to the Son alone. Whether so intended or not, it leaves them without excuse, who taking the honour from the Son, have exalted Mary as “ the queen of heaven,” “the hope," " the life," “ the health of the world."


In the mean while their course is clearly prescribed to them. Whatsoever he saith unto thee, do it.

6. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. ?

7. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

8. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

9. 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,

10. 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.

11. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believed on him.

The intention of the miracles performed by Jesus is shown in these words : He manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believed on him. The miracles were needful to prove the authority with which he came. The people asked, as they had a right to ask, “What sign showest thou, that thou doest these things?” What sign dost thou give us, that thou hast a claim to our faith and obedience ? And the natural answer was that which he himself

? According to their constant habit of washing before meals.

alleged : “ If I had not done among them the things which none other man did, they had not had sin ;” they would not be condemned for disbelieving me.

It is only by some change in the usual course of nature, either by the communication of superhuman knowledge, or by an interruption of the settled order of the universe, that a revelation can be proved to be of heaven, and not of men. For this purpose alone God has seen fit to interpose, and occasionally to permit a change in that arrangement of things which he established at the creation. He did so in the case of Moses. Moses very naturally expected that neither the Israelites nor the Egyptians would attend to his summons. (Ex. iv. 1.) “He answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice : for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord gave him power, by which the truth of his promise might be seen, when he assured him, “Certainly I will be with thee.” It was the same with Joshua, till the will of God was accomplished by the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan : it was the same with Elijah, when he recalled the people from thei idolatry. And now the divinity of Jesus was manifested in the like manner. What we call the laws of nature, i. e. the principles on which God framed the world, were suspended at his command : water became wine : the sea was calmed : the

provision of bread was augmented : the fig-tree withered away : fever, even death, was arrested in its course.

Thus the Creator did again, what he had before done at the creation. He visibly exercised that power to change the regular system of things, which he is constantly exercising to keep the system regular. It is not more surprising that a certain union of substances should produce wine, than that they should produce water: that the juice by which a tree is nourished should suddenly fail, than that sap should ever flow within its pores. It is not more surprising that the substance of a few loaves and fishes should be enlarged, till many thousands were satisfied with food, than that any substance should ever be produced where none existed before. It is not more surprising that the eye should be enabled to see, or the ear to hear, than that any ear should be formed for hearing, or any eye for seeing. It is not more astonishing that the blood should be restored to its natural circulation, or that the lungs should breathe again, than that blood should be “the life of man at all, or that “the breath of life” should ever have been imparted.

If, then, it at first seems strange to you, that Jesus should perform these wonders and mighty deeds, look back to the beginning, when God created the heaven and the earth. What could be more strange than that God should say,

6 Let there be light,--and there was light.” “Let us make man in our image.-And man became a living soul.”

And we were before told, that “nothing was made, that was made, without” him who was now exercising his power : exercis

ing his power to change or to suspend what he had at first ordained and established. The object was no light one; it was one which could not otherwise be fulfilled : it was to show that he who had now been born into the world was indeed a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” And St. John here, unintentionally as it were, alludes to the effect produced upon his own mind, and the minds of his brethren. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee ; and his disciples believed


on him.

We, who could not witness the miracles, believe on him “through their word.” And if we continue stedfast in the faith, the promise made by Jesus to Nathanael may be again applied. We “shall see greater things than these.” Indeed, greater things are daily seen, when the promise of the Scripture is fulfilled, and a new heart and a right spirit is given to any man.

It is much to govern the material elements, and can be done by him alone who moulded them in their original form : but it is more to govern the human will, and give a new direction to the affections—to raise them above things seen, and fix them upon things eternal.

May we be all conscious of this superior power exercised over ourselves !

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