Wednesday, May 20, 2020
My first trip to India three years ago was quite an experience, especially at mealtime. I fell in love with the food, but I’m still not a fan of how you have to eat it. Indian people use their fingers to mix the rice with the meat and vegetables, forming them into a small ball that they would then place in their mouth. I have two problems with that. First, I can’t eat rice because of the excessive carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to rise. Without rice, there was no way to control the flowage of meat sauce through my fingers. Second, My OCD level doesn’t allow my fingers to feel dirty long enough to eat more than one mouthful at a time. I had to ask the people serving me for utensils. I just couldn’t eat that kind of food with my fingers.
At the end of the meal, the server would bring out small bowls of lemon water and a clean towel for each person. Each guest would wash their fingers so they would be clean again. It was not until the purification was done that the meal was over and we could leave to do more ministry.
The Jews had similar rules for purification. I was actually in several ancient cities in Israel where homes had built in purification baths. The Jews made sure nothing ever defiled them and disqualified them from serving God. They had designated jars and basins that only carried clean water for washing and purification.
There were six such jars at the home where Jesus attended a wedding. We read the story in John 2.
John 2:6-7 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.
Each jar held twenty to thirty gallons of water. They were empty because they had been used for washing everyone’s hands and feet prior to the wedding beginning. Jesus told the servants to fill them with water. Then He instructed them to dip some of the water out and present it to the wedding host. When the host tasted it, He was amazed at the quality of wine that was now in the jars. Jesus had performed His first miracle.
The symbolism is significant. Man’s means of self-purification will now be replaced with God’s richest blessings. Wine is worth far more than water. Wine symbolizes the wealth of heaven. Wine represents the abundance of God’s blessing. Jesus, in this one miraculous act, pleads with us to leave the rituals of religion and receive the righteousness of God.
Religion cannot purify from sin. Rituals require more rituals. Jesus will fill the empty vessel of your life with the riches of eternal life. Religion cannot do that. Only Jesus can.
Renounce the rituals you have trusted to provide righteousness for your life. Receive the righteousness of God by trusting Jesus Christ for your forgiveness and eternal life. Your jar will be filled with wine.