~ John’s Gospel Opens And Ends With a Feast ~
The Gospel of John opens with a wedding banquet in Cana of Galilee. This was the start of Jesus’ earthly ministry. John closes his Gospel account with a special banquet which included an anointing. This time it was in the town of Bethany at the home of Mary and Martha. Both events are pictures of something bigger.
The Start of John’s Gospel (A Wedding in Cana) ~ This banquet occasion is the first recorded miracle of Jesus Christ where Mary came to her Son with an unusual request. “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. … When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. … This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:1, 9, 11, read verses 1-12).
don’t miss the big pictures: 1. Not to be overlooked is that this scene is a picture of a future wedding at the marriage of Jesus Christ. In a future day the Lamb of God will be united with His church in a great marriage feast.
2. Also note that Messiah’s first miracle was turning water into wine—Moses’ first miracle was turning water into blood. What a contrast between the Law handed down through Moses versus “grace and truth” coming to us through the Savior. “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
The End of John’s Gospel (Jesus at Bethany for supper) ~ The scene is a dinner party for the Messiah at the home of three siblings: Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. “Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him” (John 12:1-2, read through verse 8).
don’t miss the big picture: Lazarus had been raised from the dead (John 11) by the Messiah and is in full fellowship with his Savior. In the future all Christians will be resurrected from the dead and will be in full fellowship with their Savior. In the three individuals you have three pictures; 1. fellowship with Christ (Lazarus), 2. growing in knowledge of the Savior (Mary), and 3. serving our Lord (Martha). All three elements are critical for effective Christian growth.
So what is your reaction? Do you know the Messiah, the Savior—Jesus Christ? Are you in communion with the One who died for you? Are you growing in your knowledge of Him? Are you serving Him? If not, maybe you do not understand the continual abundance that is available through Him. Your life on earth can be a never-ending abundant feast regardless of your circumstances.
closing note: In a prior post entitled “2 Priests” (May 7, 2013) we noted that the Gospel of Luke opens and closes with a priest.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW