The Guest, the Best, and the Last
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from . . . the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wince first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2:9-10
Jesus and his disciples had come to the wedding. We don’t know whether they had been invited, though Jesus’ mother Mary was. In any case, Jesus was a guest. And when he is your guest, his disciples are, too.
Then they ran out of wine. Was it because of the extra guests? Sometimes, having Jesus – and his disciples – around does cause difficulty, even hardship. In this case, the groom’s family would have lost face, and might even have been subject to a lawsuit for failing to provide properly for the wedding guests.
Jesus the supreme Guest stepped forward to help the host and his family. Miraculously, he transformed a large amount of water into an equal amount of wine, wine enough for those guests and for the young couple for some time to come.
So, although inviting Jesus into your life most likely means inviting trouble as well, you can be sure that Jesus will more than make up for whatever trouble he and his friends have caused you.
Not only did Jesus make an overflow of instant wine, but this wine was of superior quality. The steward praised the host for saving the best for last.
Other prophets had preceded Jesus, but they prophesied in part. He spoke the full truth of God, and he fulfilled what he said.
Other priests had ministered in the Temple, but he was the best of all, since he was sinless, offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to take away our sins, and ever lives to make intercession for his people.
Many kings had sat upon the throne in Jerusalem, some good, some bad, some horrible, like the Idumean Herod and his sons during Jesus’ lifetime. Jesus was the best king, because he came, served, and died as a servant, not an overlord; he rules now over all the world for the sake of his people; and he will return to establish an everlasting kingdom, where righteousness dwells.
The Old Testament had called Yahweh the husband of his people Israel. Now the Bridegroom for whom they had longed finally stood in their midst, proclaiming by his merciful provision of wine that he will bring them joy overflowing.
Jesus is the best, and he is the last. We need no more prophets, since the death of the apostles who wrote about Jesus; no more priests, since Jesus’ offering satisfied God once for all; no more kings, because he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Now – Who is Jesus to you and to me?
The most welcome Guest, along with his followers?
The Best in our lives, the one we seek, and long for, and treasure, and love more than anyone or anything else? Is he to us the Bridegroom, our most intimate and beloved friend and companion?
The Last, the ultimate goal and hope of our lives, other than whom we seek no one and nothing else?
The more he is to us the supreme Guest, the Best, and the Last, the more will our lives be filled with love, and joy, and peace.