Monday, February 20, 2017

The First and Last Supper

In the Gospel of John, the author has carefully crafted his narrative to reveal Jesus to his readers. Thus the various miracles John relates are not selected at random; these stories are interwoven with the message of the book. For example, Jesus heals a blind man and then declares, "I am the light of the world" (8:12). Likewise, after feeding the 5,000, Jesus declares, "I am the bread of life" (6:48).

But what is significant about Jesus' first miracle (2:1-11)? What does the act of turning water into wine tell us about who Jesus is and what he has come to do?

Note that John opens his narrative of Jesus' ministry with the story of a meal Jesus eats with his disciples (the wedding feast at Cana). Eleven chapters later, John closes his narrative of Jesus' ministry with the story of another meal Jesus eats with his disciples (the 'last supper'). If we compare these two events side by side, we see some striking parallels.

Thus, in the act of turning water into wine, Jesus demonstrates his power to produce fruit in the lives of those who simply obey him. 

[I am currently teaching an adult Sunday School class at the Offerings campus of the First UMC church in Lexington. We meet at 11:20 in the building adjacent to the church. If you are in the area, we would love to have you join us! This post is part of a series of notes I am writing as I teach the class. Click here to read them all.]

1 comment:

Dad said...

These are great observations.

There might also be significance in the roll of water at both meals (e.g. Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet)and how water actually is part of the events and teaching throughout the Gospel of John, i.e. in chapters 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9, and even closing out the Book of Revelation (22:17)