07Jan Saturday, January 7th, 2012

1 John 5:14-21: Those begotten by God he protects, and the Evil One cannot touch them.

John 2:1-11: The wedding feast at Cana.

Jesus Honours Marriage

On the Wedding at Cana, from The Sermons of Martin Luther (II:55-69)

In the first place, it is indeed a high honour paid to married life for Christ himself to attend this marriage, together with his mother and his disciples. Moreover, his mother is present as the one arranging the wedding, the parties married being apparently her poor relatives or neighbours, and she being compelled to act as the bride’s mother; so of course, it was nothing more than a wedding, and in no way a display. For Christ lived up to his doctrine, not going to the rich, but to the poor; or, if he does go to the great and rich, he is sure to rebuke and reprove, coming away with disfavour, earning small thanks at their hands, with no thought of honouring them with a miracle as he does here.

Now the second honour is his giving good wine for the poor marriage by means of a great miracle, making himself the bride’s chief cup-bearer; it may be too that he had no money or jewel to give as a wedding present. He never did such honour to the life or doings of the Pharisees; for by this miracle he confirms marriage as the work and institution of God, no matter how common or how lowly it appears in the eyes of men, God none the less acknowledges his own work and loves it. Even our high  priests themselves have often declared and preached that marriage was the only state instituted by God. Who then instituted the others? Certainly not God, but the devil by means of men; yet they shun, reject and revile this state, and deem themselves so holy that they not only themselves avoid marriage–though they need it and ought to marry – but from excess of holiness they will not even attend a marriage, being much holier than Christ himself who as an unholy sinner attends a wedding.

Since then marriage has the foundation and consolation that it is instituted by God and that God loves it, and that Christ himself so honours and comforts it, everybody ought to prize and esteem it, and the heart ought to be glad, that it is surely the state God loves and cheerfully endure every burden in it, even though the burdens be ten times heavier than they are. For this is the reason there is so much care and unpleasantness in marriage to the outward man, because everything that is God’s Word and work, if it is to be blessed at all, must be distasteful, bitter and burdensome to the outward man.

For this is what Christ also indicates by his readiness to supply any want arising in marriage, bestowing wine where it is needed, and making it of water; as though he would say: Must you drink water, that is, suffer affliction outwardly, and is this distasteful? Very well, I will sweeten it for you and change the water into wine, so that your affliction will be your joy and delight. I will not do this by taking the water away or having it poured out; it shall remain, yea, I will have it poured in and the vessels filled up to the brim. For I will not deprive Christian marriage of its cares and trials, but rather add to it. The thing shall be wondrous, so that none, except they themselves who experience it, shall understand it.

God’s Word shall do it, by which all things are made, preserved and transformed; that Word which turns your water into wine, and distasteful marriage into delight. That God has instituted marriage (Gen 2, 32) the heathen and unbelievers do not know, therefore their water remains water and never becomes wine; for they feel not God’s pleasure and delight in married life (Gen 1, 31): “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

First Reading: 1 John 5:14-21

Beloved: We have this confidence in God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours. If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the Evil One cannot touch him. We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Children, be on your guard against idols.

Gospel: John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.