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Monday, November 19, 2012

Cheap Wine in a Wedding Banquet?

Cheap wine in a grand wedding banquet? 

The wedding at Cana where my Jesus' first miracle took place was saved with high quality wine. Wine saves weddings in Israel in Jesus' time, and weddings then took some days to celebrate, often 7 days. I don't know if it's still like that today there, but I'm sure quality wines are still very much part of such banquets.

I can see this as a parallelism to the future big wedding banquet that will happen when Bridegroom Christ marries his Bride, the glorious church--his body, his one flesh--according to Ephesians. To save that event, Jesus needs to turn water into wine. That event is in danger of being spoiled by the lack of quality wine. Imagine cheap wine being served in that banquet? My Jesus said he wouldn't taste the fruit of the vine again until he drinks it anew in the wedding in the Kingdom.

Of course, this wedding banquet in heaven is sure to happen as scheduled and with the best wine because it has been written thus in the Word. Nothing can spoil that. God's Word is final. But the way things look in church today, there's definitely a severe shortage of quality wine at this moment in time. The exciting thing to see is, how would my Jesus save the situation? Studying that wedding at Cana will give us hints.

Cheap Wine

There's nothing but cheap wine in church today. Wine symbolizes Jesus' blood. It's the "blood" of his new covenant with his people. And his blood is LIFE, for life is in the blood, says Leviticus. Jesus' blood (or life) is the only "wine" that will do in the wedding. It's the best quality "wine" believers must drink. But the problem is, the church is holding another cup of wine--it's the cup of wine that Jezebel gives the whole world to drink and which makes the world drunk with the wine of her adulteries [Rev.17]. Friendship with the world (using the world's ways) is adultery [James 4.4].

Jezebel's wine is cheap wine. Jezebel symbolizes the ways of this world--the system that controls the world. Many saints have been caught in her wine revelry and deceived, operating in the ways and systems of this world, like church denominationalism. Many have died spiritually while still looking active and alive. Even the bigger worldly system at large that has been controlling governments have killed faithful saints in forbidden territories, not to mention those persecuted by the worldly church itself. It's like how Ahab and Jezebel either controlled or killed the prophets in Israel. 

The church today drinks from her cup.

In the Cana wedding, the host said he was used to seeing quality wine served only at the beginning. Cheap wine took its place later and served during the rest of the banquet when everyone had become drunk. It's like that in church today. You notice churches getting quality wine only during their first few months or years. After a while, the honeymoon ends and their true colors surface: bitterness and immaturity and backbiting happen left and right, and they call this "normal." And they appear happy about it all, serving the Lord, and "growing." This is Jezebel's cup of wine. You see worldliness operating in church, with worldly people manning positions, hiding behind titles and degrees and money and material possessions. They look "blessed" and claim thus. And church people believe.

Real Servants and Disciples

The master of ceremonies and the guests are in the main casts, performers in the spotlight, but Jesus and his genuine servants and disciples are behind the scene. They are turning water into wine. Those in the main casts--reverends and doctors and "missionaries" who hunger for recognition and importance, and those titled and degreed--cannot be expected to be kept in the dark corners of the kitchen quietly preparing and serving food and drinks. They cannot afford to be insignificant. And anyway, you cannot expect them to believe in a stupid thing as turning water into wine. They need theological and doctrinal and scientific explanations.

So my Jesus chose docile servants and disciples. Now he makes them serve the water which will turn into wine only if they go and serve them with faith that they will indeed turn into wine. While the master and the guests celebrate in the main reception where life is easy and attractive, enjoying worship songs and being "touched" and "so blessed" but knowing nothing about what is going on in the kitchen, Jesus and his true disciples and servants concoct a miraculous quality wine.

Where would you rather be--in the limelight and amid all the celebration and recognition, or in the kitchen, being irrelevant and insignificant, but witnessing a miracle and being part of Jesus' close-in miracle team working with him? It's easy to say "I want to be in the kitchen with Jesus" but in real life the majority readily prefer to be amid all the fanfare.

So, the quality wine is served and saves the grand banquet in the end. The cheap wine is gone, replaced by the best wine made from a liquid of insignificance and irrelevance. Water is cheap for most but in God's eyes it has the potentials of a banquet-type quality wine. Only my Jesus and his kitchen crews have eyes to see that. To the rest, faced with a choice between ordinary water in Jesus' cup and cheap wine in Jezebel's cup, would quickly choose the cheap wine.

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