The Blanket of Grace

“When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ ‘Dear woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My time has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’…They did so, and 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. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.'” (John 2:3-10 NIV)

Jesus was a guest at the wedding like anyone else. He was mingling, laughing, and enjoying a few finger foods. He was making the rounds talking to people He hadn’t connected with in a while when His mother comes up and tells Him they are out of wine. Evidently, this was a travesty. You must have wine for the guests for the duration of the festivities. So Jesus does as His mother asks. He turns water into wine. It is the first of His miracles recorded in scripture.

When I read this my thought was that Jesus did as His mother asked. Even as an adult, He respected and responded to the request of His mother. But even more so, when Jesus created the wine, He didn’t create the cheap stuff. His wine was the best. He was not willing to make the groom look bad. Because He made choice wine, the groom looked like a man of honor. He was praised by the master of the banquet. The wedding continued without as much as a hick-up (no pun intended). Jesus saved the groom from being embarrassed and ashamed.

I love this about Jesus. He didn’t go and reprimand the groom for not having enough wine. He didn’t stand back and watch the man fall. He didn’t stand there and tell the groom he should have been a better planner. He simply stepped in and lifted the man up. Can you imagine the look on the groom’s face when the master of the banquet gave him such a compliment? Can you imagine the relief the groom felt? He knew he hadn’t planned well or maybe he didn’t have the money to provide more wine. We don’t know why they ran out. Maybe everyone was partying longer than expected. Maybe the guests were simply big drinkers. We don’t know, but Jesus was there and blessed the groom. He allowed the groom to preserve his reputation. And the only people who knew were Jesus, Mary, the servants and the disciples. Jesus didn’t desire to be praised for His good works; He let the praise fall on the groom.

There are times God calls us to confront a person or situation head on. I believe He calls us to hold each other accountable. But there are times that He also calls us to simply fill in the gap someone else has left. There are times we are to cover someone’s flaw with a blanket of grace and bless them. This is what Jesus did in this story. And sometimes this is what He wants from us. I am so grateful for a Lord who chooses grace over condemnation. He chooses blessings over cursing. Our willingness to do the same shows where our priorities are. It shows our humility. It reflects the heart of the One who created it.

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